Annette and Jeff Brennan were thousands of miles from their home in Kalamazoo, Michigan when the first hints of this Great Lake Story unfolded. Celebrating 25 years of marriage, they dined, and whale watched at a picturesque, cliffside restaurant overlooking Oregon’s Depoe Bay and envisioned where their next 25-plus years would take them. When Jeff asked Annette, “When we’re done working and raising children, and if you could have whatever you want, what would that be,” she already knew the answer. She wanted a place; a large lake house for their children and grandchildren to visit and come home to. And, while that could have been anywhere, they ultimately decided they wanted to stay in Southwest Michigan.
In architectural design, it’s not always a given that what’s drawn on paper comes to fruition in perfect alignment with the initial vision. Intentions for the home change. Expectations for the homeowners’ lifestyle shift. For the Brennans, their aspirations for their Crooked Lake home remained a constant — and Ryan La Haie’s design followed closely throughout the process.
With construction complete, those goals have become fully realized: A lakefront retreat that draws friends in and brings family back home. A space for gathering, entertaining, and celebrating. A warm, welcoming abode from which to embark on the next phase of life. Few homes can accomplish so much — and deliver so much satisfaction — so effectively.
“We set out to create the perfect house for the Brennans based on their wishes to entertain and bring people together,” says La Haie, principal of 42° North – Architecture + Design. “To see it play out so true to their dreams is something special.”
Although the Brennan family knew La Haie was a master of space, it wasn’t until they moved in that they realized the beauty of the layout of the home. They say they’re using all of the rooms in the house on a regular basis because all the spaces are relaxed, open, and inviting.
“The primary goal of having this home bring our family and friends together has been achieved magnificently,” the couple says. “We’ve had multiple gatherings of 20 or more people, and one party of about 100 people, and the house worked beautifully. It never once has felt crowded, and people have felt comfortable here, enjoying each other’s company on the lake. Mission accomplished!”
This chapter closes the story of the design and construction of the Crooked Lake home. But, for the Brennans, it’s really just the beginning.
The entire team, comprised of 42° North – Architecture + Design, Jim Roberts Construction, Cnossen Construction, Christine DiMaria Design, Kirshman Kitchen Design Studio, and TruMedia, has been honored to be involved in such a rewarding project.