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Natural House Echoes Environment in Form and Materials

M22-House designed by Michigan-based Michael Fitzhugh Architect is an exploration of the environment within the walls of the home. This natural house design sits as the crest of a tall ridge, looking out on West Grand Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan. Complementing the home’s earthy setting and organic architecture, the materials and layout itself takes a cue from the elements of earth, wind, fire and water – the rich wood floors and ceilings throughout; the airy glazed living areas opening to the outdoors; the numerous fireplace features; and what is arguably the home’s piece de resistance – the pool, hot tub and sauna area. The Earth is undoubtedly the architect’s muse. Take a tour of this glass, concrete and wood house and see how the ultimate in countryside homes inspires you!

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This soaring space echoes the eternal sky and towering trees that surround it, both in volume and in materials. “The design of the house recreates the sense of discovery felt while ascending the back of the ridge to the views revealed once at the top,” explains Michael Fitzhugh Architect. We love the contemporary fireplace, suspended from the ceiling of this two storey volume, finding its way down to the cozy sunken living area at the foot of the home.


The living room opens to the views to one side, and the kitchen on the other. the open concept layout is perfect for entertaining family and friends, and taking in the scenery from every point in the home.


The kitchen is wrapped in windows, flooded with natural views and light alike. The aesthetic is a balanced blend of earthy and modern, featuring rich, grainy wood floors, the white marble countertops and dark cabinets, and the stone pillars which work their way from outside in.


A separate living and dining nook branches off the main space, providing privacy and a breathtaking views of the bay and the forest. Here, the scenery, in combination with the wood ceiling and floor, literally wraps you in trees.


A long interior hallway is echoed on the outside by a large terrace overlooking the water’s edge. A glass wall lets you take in this views from inside or out.


This serene sitting area is peaceful and reflective of the home’s surroundings; natural yet refined, looking out on the garden and beyond it, raw nature at its best.


We love this delicate staircase, which is a combination of beautiful warm wood and cool steel spindles stretching from the steps to the ceiling. The barely-there spindles and open rise create the illusion of a floating stair, while letting light and views permeate the space.


A sweet and sophisticated nursery, complete with toys and baby furniture, wood ceiling and floor, a large picture window framing the forest view, and a fireplace feature wall to warm up the room in look and feel.


The bathroom is a spa-inspired retreat that surrounds you in nature and luxury all at once. The wood warms up the cool marble and grey stone details, while a trio of steps lead up to the focus of the space – a large soaker tub surrounded in river rocks. Ahhhh…


The master bedroom invites intimate evenings and mornings, and if you love modern design and nature like we do, then probably full days spent here on more than one occasion. Love the fireplace! A glass wall features sliding doors that lets you step right out into your own private paradise in the great outdoors. Just outside, a sunken fire pit surrounded by built-in seating is the perfect place to unwind and warm up before heading in to bed.


On the other hand, if you’ve had a particularly rough day, perhaps a dip in the refreshing pool, a soak in the hot tub or a good steam will help you forget the cares of the day. The glass wall dividing the sauna and pool area keeps in the heat while lending a visual openness to the space.


Beautiful, natural, luxurious and modern – everything a home should be!
Michael Fitzhugh Architect
via Furniteka