Elaine Keiser, Architect
The Walloon Lake couple had interviewed a number of architects and designers when it came time to turn an older cottage into the retirement home of their dreams. While spacious and nicely built, the home had some limitations: low ceilings, dark lighting and a configuration that didn’t suit the lifestyle of its owners.
The couple had hired an architect to head the redesign, but ultimately determined that he didn’t fulfill the vision they had for this picturesque piece of property that is blessed with a just-right elevation for unobstructed views of the lake. Its situation in its surroundings begged for wider, taller windows and expanses of glass, more view angles, indirect lighting and raised ceilings.
After a whirlwind life traveling the country for their careers, they wanted to come back to Walloon, to the memories they had of being in Northern Michigan – that was their over-riding design philosophy,” said Elaine Keiser, architect. “They asked our team at EKA to bring their vision together and create the house they envisioned.”
When Elaine walked through the front door with the homeowner on her next visit, that vision was clear in a simple statement she remembers today: “He said, ‘We want to feel like we are floating on the lake.’ We accomplished that. And from there, the rest of the house unfolded.”
Intertwining the layout of the house and its owners’ intimate connection to Walloon Lake couldn’t be adequately fulfilled relying on just textbook basics or a designer’s class in home construction. It takes the experience of a respected architect to turn what is often intangible – the feelings a home elicits, the nuance of its rhythm and flow, the way it works perfectly for the family who lives there – into bricks-and-mortar with elegance, function and consideration of its environment.