THE GREAT ESCAPE
Design firm Suzanne Lovell Inc. redefines cabin living in southwest Michigan.
Good things come in threes, and that was exactly the case with design firm Suzanne Lovell Inc.’s recent collaborations with Lincoln Park-based clients. Lovell has worked on three of the clients’ abodes, including their art-filled Lincoln Park home, and this time, the task was to create an elegant escape in Lakeside, Mich., just over an hour drive outside the city.
The client had a long history on the property: Their original cabin was demolished, and a new structure, inspired by its predecessor, was built from the ground up by Lakeshore Enterprises. It was Lovell’s job to take it to the next level. “For the new residence, knotty pine was incorporated as the architectural material that allowed that memory to continue.” The space is filled with quirky, distinctive pieces that Lovell and the clients collected together specifically for this residence (Lovell’s firm has been helping them curate their personal collection for more than 12 years). She adds, “We enjoyed a spirited dialogue around acquiring artwork for the clients’ art collection that added a very personal layer of experience to the home.”
Inspired by the Lake Michigan shoreline and the surrounding woods, Lovell’s team crafted a stress-free space that still exudes an exotic energy. Spirit animals, as Lovell puts it, are presented in photographs by David Yarrow and Nick Brandt, while an antique carved deer head (c. 1875) by Harry Leach infuses a woodsy undertone throughout. A slice of the outdoors made its way inside in other forms as well: While hiking, Lovell came across a large tree mushroom, and later, tree mushrooms were custom-molded of resin and colored to exactly replicate the found mushroom.
Although the home’s private lakefront location offers close proximity to immense natural beauty, it was also one of Lovell’s nemeses throughout the project. “The wind from the lake is intense, especially with rain and storms, making protection a key component in the design of the large screened porches,” Lovell says.
Lovell gave new life to this Lakeside lot, and in turn, gave the clients a truly dreamy retreat. And, according to Lovell, one of the greatest satisfactions of this project was the clarity of vision she shared with the clients. “The understanding of intent is a joyful environment for shared inspiration,” Lovell says. “Creating this new residence, like the first project we did together, filled the clients’ collection to a true expression of imagination and of self, and was the ultimate win for our firm.”
By Lauren Brocato
Architecture & Interior Design by Suzanne Lovell Inc.
Home Builder: Lakeshore Enterprises