Updated Tudor Style
Nestled among the winding rivers and lush woodlands of Ada, Michigan, this spacious home rises gracefully from the landscape, offering exquisite views in every direction and plenty of room to spread out.
Designed to be family-friendly, the 7,600-square-foot house has five bedrooms and five baths.
Elegant, Hardworking Family Home
The homeowners envisioned an elegant home that also had to be hardworking (they have four children and several pets). Partial to the warm, rustic houses of the English countryside, the homeowners asked residential designer Jeff Visser for a streamlined, family-friendly version of the Tudor aesthetic.
"We put in extra effort to make every inch of the house usable," Visser says. "And because we also spent a lot of time perfecting details and paying attention to crafting, we achieved a nice balance of form and function. The house is attractive, sure, but it's also incredibly versatile."
The living room has a traditional feel, with a stately coffered ceiling and handsome mahogany gleaming at every turn.
The residential designer trimmed the paneled wall in the living room to echo the curve of the piano, positioned at the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The sprawling, sunny space contains furniture in well-defined groups, allowing each room to flow easily into the next. The open space is anchored by a handsome, two-sided fireplace with tile surround. The grand structure delineates the living room from the informal sitting and breakfast areas.
On the opposite side of the fireplace, the light-filled sitting room opens to a large family-friendly space that includes the breakfast area and kitchen.
The sophisticated mahogany woodwork adds a touch of formality to the casual open layout.
Custom woodwork and hand-painted tile bring an old-world feel to the sitting area's fireplace and hearth.
With three walls of windows and all-white woodwork, the breakfast room offers a serene, casual place for the family to gather in the morning.
From the kitchen, the homeowners have a direct view to the breakfast room, living room, and sitting room--a boon for keeping an eye on the kids. They can also enjoy gorgeous views of the outdoors from almost every angle, thanks to expanses of windows.
To enhance the kitchen's views, Visser kept high cabinets to a minimum and used glass panels. Pendant lights contribute a vintage look.
Elegant Kitchen Details
At the center of the home, the kitchen conveys a cheery, casual mood that's ideal for family, but fine crafting and old-world accents also evoke an air of elegance.
A commercial double oven range and dark-stained wood floors anchor the airy, light-filled space.
The formal dining room is the only space that's totally separate in the main living area. Used primarily in the evening for formal entertaining, the room nonetheless is radiant with natural light.
Serene Master Bedroom
The 17x18 master bedroom is tucked behind the main floor's living room, creating a private retreat. Soothing colors and an abundance of natural light provide an open, airy feel.
Bedroom Ceiling and Light
The stained tongue-and-groove ceiling in the master bedroom introduces elements from the living room. A sparkling crystal light fixture adds an ultrasophisticated touch.
A sunny alcove offers a cozy spot for a spa-style soaking tub with adjacent built-in storage.
This master bath is one of five bathrooms in the house.
Floor Plan: Main Level
On the 3,268-square-foot main level, Visser drew attention to the outdoors by linking rooms to an expansive bluestone terrace and connected light and views wherever possible. Highlights include:
-- A master bedroom suite tucked behind the living room with private access to the terrace
-- A living room wall that curves slightly for architectural interest
-- A generously sized mudroom "suite"--accessible from the exterior and the garage--with a powder room and walk-in closet
Floor Plan: Lower Level
On the 2,541-square-foot lower level, the designer converted what could have been unused space into an additional living area that includes:
-- A generously sized home theater
-- A solariumlike pool room with a lap pool for cold-weather swims
-- A private office
-- An exercise room
-- A kitchenette
-- A wine cellar
-- Ample storage spaces
Floor Plan: Upper Level
The 1,656-square-foot upper level contains private bedrooms for each of the family's four children.
A Note About Tudor Style
Tudor home exteriors are often defined by the craggy splendor of natural stone. Low-maintenance, versatile, and durable, stone works equally well in mountain cabins and modern dwellings.
This home's exterior takes traditional Tudor architecture--steeply pitched rooflines and a richly textured facade--and adds a modern twist by pairing board-and-batten siding with stacked stone. Shutters add period details.