SHELBY, MI – A big beach house with three stories of luxury overlooking Lake Michigan has been listed for $2.25 million.
Designed by Kalamazoo architect Terry Schley, the home’s mall square, “gun-turret” windows and twin peak roofs are a tribute to the wooden forts once built on the Great Lakes. There are also nautical accents, like the portal-like round windows, and a dramatic open-air bridge on the third floor between the two peaks. Fitting with the general motif for beach houses, the house is gray with white trim.
The house, built in 2004, was a labor of love for owners John and Suzanne Copenhaver – one the couple is only selling now to be closer to family in the Traverse City area.
“This is my idea of a beach house,” John Copenhaver said. “We had a fun experience building it.”
Interesting homes in Muskegon
One of Copenhaver’s favorite rooms in the house is a second-story “tree house” porch, enclosed on three sides by windows and surrounded on two sides by evergreen boughs.
All three floors, plus a large unfinished basement, are linked by an elevator. Many of the house’s interior design flourishes are on the second floor. The second floor kitchen, dining area and living area – all together in an open floor plan – are heated by a tall soapstone furnace imported from Finland. Burning wood, the furnace can also be used for baking.
The second floor is covered with a stone tile and bronze inserts. The stone has a slightly rough, or ungauged, finish and specks of mica are supposed to catch sun rays mimicking the sun hitting the tops of lake waves.
A study on that floor has a trey ceiling with concealed rope lighting. A half-bath on that floor features a skylight and a bright blue, clear tile vanity.
A master suite and study and cork-floored exercise room make up the third floor. The study gives possibly the best view of the house, southwest down the beach. The bathroom in the master suite features dual vanities fitted with tumbled marble and birds-eye maple. A high-tech bath offers chromatherapy and jets. The spacious master bedroom has its own fireplace.
The house is built for as many as a dozen overnight visitors, with 6,700 total square feet, six bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms. Two whimsical bedrooms for the children are tucked away on the second floor, and three others are on the first floor.
The first-floor bedrooms — although contrary to what might be expected — are a touch from the house the Copenhavers demolished before building their dream home.
“We realized the sanity of it,” John Copenhaver said. Night-owl guests can stay out on the beach as long as they like and come in without disturbing the man and lady of the house. A laundry room keeps most of the sand they track in on that first floor.
A lot of thought has been given to materials inside the house. All counter tops are granite, and cabinets in maple or cherry. Walls are done in Venitian plaster. Almost all of the floors, including the garage, are covered in tile – which are as functional as they are beautiful when it comes time to sweep up beach sand.