Skip to content
Built-in 1920, this generously proportioned American Craftsman bungalow sits atop the dunes overlooking Lake Michigan, complete with a working funicular to the private beach below. The house, a former fishing retreat for Chicago politicians, was found in remarkably “original” condition and needed a top-to-bottom overhaul. Maintaining the history and character of the house was a top priority, commanding sensitive and discreet interventions, both inside and out. A new Front Porch, beach-facing “Sand Room”, fresh Baths, and a modern Kitchen make new history for this century – old summer retreat.
The Kitchen was gutted and designed anew. Borrowing cabinetry details from the adjacent Dish Room helped us create a modern room that feels original to the home. Original beadboard lining the walls and ceiling was patched and painted to make a completely new room feel like it had always been there. Cold food storage is tucked away behind doors designed to look like cabinetry.
A new ruby-red front door opens onto the new Entry Hall, replacing a series of spaces originally dedicated to service access to the house. Where the one–hundred–year–old heart-pine floors were unsalvageable after renovation, new pine floors were painted in lake-inspired blues.
Shortly before construction began, the house — in all its original glory — was the backdrop for the 2013 film, “Drinking Buddies”. A new Sitting Room is transformed into additional lodging for summertime guests with the conversion of a pair of storage closets into bunks.
A screened-in porch used for cleaning the catch-of-the-day was enclosed to create a new beach-facing entry to the house, named “The Sand Room.” This space doubles as a wet bar and prep space for picnics on the beach and a place to hang towels and shake off the sand before dinner. In the Living Room, a pair of corner benches inspired by a piece of furniture original to the house now frame an inglenook. Vintage nautical flags with the children’s initials hang above the cozy alcoves made perfect for reading on a rainy day.