Clean lines, an open floor plan, and natural, rustic touches meld design styles in a new-build home
“We debated between building and buying a home for a long time. We had been somewhat ‘nomadic’ for years, but since we were starting our family, we wanted more space and permanence than apartments could provide. So, we started doing research on home design, and we found ourselves drawn to the clean lines of Prairie-style homes,” says the owner of a home that puts a gracious, modern spin on a style of American design.
The owners, a couple and their young child, of the Midland home originally put a purchase offer on another Prairie-style home in the area. It was designed by Red Warner, a local architect who followed in the footprints of well-known Prairie School students Frank Lloyd Wright and Alden B. Dow. However, the homeowners realized that while they loved the timeless design of the home, it didn’t quite meet their needs as a modern, growing family. So, they turned to Greystone Homes and owner/builder Kelly Wall.
Greystone Homes, based out of Midland, provides “full-package” home design to its customers, and builds homes that exude the character and consistency of style that can sometimes be lacking in new-build homes.
“In this home, we wanted to bring in the character that you would see in [an Alden B.] Dow home, but ensure that it [met] the needs of the modern family,” says Wall. One significant change [in the home] is [the] ceiling heights. Classic Prairie homes often [have] 7-foot walls, which seem low to today’s buyers, so we raised everything up to give the space a spacious, airy feel.
And, of course, using modern finishes and materials provides a much higher level of energy efficiency than you would find in a mid-century build.”
The walls in the home are all at least 9 feet high. The living room walls vault up even higher to a lovely trayed ceiling that separates the room from the rest of the open-concept space. The ceilings give the home an expansive feel, while the soft gray paint colors, rich hardwood floors, and stacked stone fireplace warm up the contemporary design.
“We wanted to balance the clean lines of our home with some natural, rustic touches,” says the homeowner. “We love modern design, but wanted our house to [feel] lived-in, which is why we paired our sleek sectional sofa with a more rustic wood and iron coffee table.”
The living area flows seamlessly into the home’s spacious kitchen, which features custom cabinetry in a mix of white and espresso-colored finishes. One of the homeowners’ main priorities was that the home be as low-maintenance as possible. They wanted to focus on enjoying the space, rather than on its upkeep. To achieve this, they went with quartz countertops, which can handle heat, scrubbing, and spills without getting scratched or stained, while still giving the look of natural stone. The surface of the huge island, which houses an induction cooktop, matches the Carrera marble of the tiled backsplash, while a deeper gray counter complements the full wall of white cabinets.
In the dining area, the homeowners chose a stacked rustic wood dining table and paired it with comfortable-yet contemporary upholstered chairs and a show-stopping glass chandelier. The space is finished off with a sleek take on a sliding barn door, leading to a large pantry space.
“Barn doors bring [to home design] a unique, almost industrial feel, but they don’t provide much sound-proofing, so I don’t recommend them for private spaces,” says Wall. “But as an accent door, they can bring a lot of personality into a room.”
Connecting the garage to the rest of the home is a space that Wall refers to as a “drop zone.” It’s a modern spin on the mudroom, and gives the family an area to hang their coats, take off their shoes, and drop the mail without bringing any clutter into the main living space. The homeowners expanded their drop zone to include an office area and first floor laundry.
All of the home’s bedrooms are set away from the main living space, providing separation and privacy in the otherwise open-concept home. The master suite has the most “traditional” design in the home. It features warm Berber carpeting, a high-backed upholstered headboard with tufting and nail-head accents, and curved mirrored dressers that serve as nightstands. A silk and glass chandelier brings a sense of romance to the bedroom retreat, as do the full-length drapes—the only traditional window coverings in the home.
The master bath balances the clean lines of the rest of the home with the relaxing feel of the master bedroom. Slate floors bring an organic sense to the space, while a floating vanity and sleek free-standing soaker tub honor the home’s modern aesthetic. The main feature of the bath is the over-sized walk-in shower, which features a sparkling mosaic floor, a rain showerhead, and body jets, allowing for a luxurious bath experience.
“One of our favorite aspects of this home is the amount of natural light that comes in,” says the homeowner. “Every room is just bathed in natural light, and we love that the windows frame the gorgeous natural views of our lot. We’re so happy with this house; it’s the perfect space for our family.”