Spaces in the Sun

From glass-walled rooms to screened-in retreats, shoreline homes make ideal places to bask in the light of day. // Photography courtesy of Scott Christopher Homes
Conservatory Space
The cream-and-blue palette of this informal conservatory space in Holland created by Via Design and crafted by Scott Christopher Homes complements the home’s Country French décor.

If sipping hand-squeezed lemonade or curling up with a good whodunit on your grandparents’ summer porch appeals to you, then one of the latest trends in casual living may beckon as well.

“What we’re seeing is a return to screened-in porches,” shares Scott Christopher of Scott Christopher Homes in Grand Rapids.

Clients often wish to pair this design feature that harkens back to the turn of the last century with retractable screens, fireplaces and heated floors to extend enjoyment of their outdoor room by one month each in spring and fall, the builder says.

This Omena-based screened-in porch designed by Via Design and built by Scott Christopher Homes in Grand Rapids allows for virtually unobstructed views and unhindered breezes from the nearby lake, while bleached white oak flooring lends beachside ease.

En Plein Air

Mike Wozniak, owner of Building Integrity/Sun Structures in Clarkston, says a growing trend in lakeside homes is the open-air room. Many customers are requesting glass-walled rooms that can be converted to open-air spaces via 15- to 30-foot long thermal glass walls constructed of accordion sliders or multiple sliders, he explains.

“I’ve also seen a more hybrid approach taken by companies who combine some of the ease of engineered glass wall systems with wood framing and/or shingled roofs, often incorporating standard skylights,” he adds.

Sunrooms and solariums are equally strong trends he sees being fashioned into new lakefront homes.

Designed by John Hurst of Von Der Heide Architects for a chef on Spring Lake, this former knotty pine kitchen recreated by Surpass Renovations in Grand Rapids is now a bright, open space with inspiring views, enhanced with interior design by Jodi Berault.

Taking It Outside

“The 2014 trend for sunrooms and outdoor spaces is the continuation of deep seating, consisting of sectionals or sofas, love seats and lounge chairs, depending on your space,” shares Ashleigh Kosin, owner of Bell Tower Outdoor Living Company in Richland. “In an open-air space, the trend of arranging the deep seating around conversational fire pits is very popular.”

Kosin encourages accenting outdoor furniture with pillows, rugs, lanterns and other items to make spaces in the sun feel more like home. Top color hues for 2014? All shades of blue and green, she says, are in sync this new season.

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