Michigan House Envy: Ann Arbor-area homes transformed
Judy Rose, Special to the Detroit Free Press
10:19 p.m. EDT September 26, 2015
Download this: Case Study of the Parkridge Residence described in this article (PDF, 2.4MB), and see Case Study: Update Kitchen – Maintain Simple Elegance for more photos and description of the project.
This single-story, glass-walled house in Ann Arbor is a celebration of Mid-Century Modern architecture, so when the worn-out kitchen had to be restored, the pressure was on to not mess it up.
The original kitchen had been built on-site with fine cabinet-making details. Now, 50 years later, “The cabinets were basically falling apart and delaminating,” said owner Bonnie Greenspoon.
Greenspoon and her husband, Martin Schwartz, are architects, each with connections to the esteemed late architect David Osler, who designed this house in 1962. The couple has owned the home for 17 years.
Standard cabinets could not re-create Osler’s work. So Greenspan designed new cabinets and counters almost exactly like the originals, and a fine-furniture cabinet maker built them.
Their kitchen is one of 12 stops on the Ann Arbor Remodelers’ Home Tour.
What visitors will see is the classic Modernist kitchen, with clean lines and fine details. Pull-closed doors or drawers and the edges display a dense 13-ply plywood — furniture grade — faced with alder veneer.
They’ll see a wall of cabinets where the grain in the alder lines up from floor to ceiling, making the doors nearly undetectable.
The counter tops remain white, their beat-up laminate replaced with white quartz. As Osler specified, the counters do not jut out in typical fashion, but line up straight with the cabinets’ face. Between each counter top and the cabinet below, there’s a slight indent or “reveal” — all picky details, but important to the architects.
Acheson Builders, which put the project together, used its custom resources to create the special materials. For example, that 13-ply wood with its alder veneer did not exist, Jim Acheson said. “It was custom laid up for us on the West Coast.”
The context is a beautifully closed house where glass doors let you walk outside from almost every room.
“The house is wonderful because it’s so simple,” Greenspoon said. “You’re not bogged down with frivolous details. You just appreciate the space.”
Ann Arbor Remodelers’ Home Tour
The 2015 tour runs two days next weekend. On the schedule are 11 remodeled houses in Ann Arbor and South Lyon, including these two. They include a whole-house remodel with a finished walkout lower level, two first-floor remodels, several kitchen projects, several master suite projects, a basement renovation and a second-story addition.
The annual tour is sponsored by the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor.
When: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 3 and noon-6 p.m. Oct. 4.
Where: Start and pick up a map at any of the houses. For addresses, a photo and a thumbnail description of each project, go to bragannarbor.com
Cost: $10; free for children 16 and younger
Full article: https://www.freep.com/story/money/real-estate/michigan-house-envy/2015/09/26/house-envy-ann-arbor-remodelers-tour-realtors-metro-detroit-for-sale-judy-rose-university-of-michigan/72672794/