Design firm Suzanne Lovell Inc. redefines cabin living in southwest Michigan.
On the sun porch, Kyoto rattan lounge chairs by Janus et Cie complement the Gibbings dining table by Michael Taylor.
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 great room stars sculptures “Voodoo Moss Girl & Boy” (2015) by Kim Simonsson on the mantel and John Buck’s artworks “The Deep End” (2000, left) and “Crystal Lake” (2001) on either side of the fireplace.
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.
A tree bookshelf hand-carved in walnut with integrated lighting was commissioned by Michael Wilson. It is paired with Kim Simonsson’s “Mossgirl” (2016) sculpture.
“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.”
A pair of Butte cone pendant lights in aged brass with matte black shades by Rejuvenation in the kitchen.
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.
Photographs by Sandro Miller hang above a Henley arm chair in oak with a rush seat by Rose Tarlow.
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.
A custom chandelier made of a cluster of 12 free-blown glass cone pendants suspended from a dark axed bronze backplate and chains by Remains Lighting in the great room.
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.
A carved deer head (c. 1875) by Harry Leach in the stair hall.
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.
A custom chandelier with six carved resin panels in blackened steel finish hangs above Nick Brandt’s “Homeless Kids with Elephants” (2015) in the entry.
“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.”
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIC PIASECKI