Lawless Cottage

Central Michigan - Lighting Design by Ashley Rutter

Natural materials and panoramic views make this woodsy, modern cottage the perfect weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of nearby Chicago. Lovingly realized by Searl Lamaster Howe Architects and captured by photographer Tony Soluri, step inside this stunning home nestled along the edge of a state park in central Michigan.

Inspired by the idea of a sanctuary with a modern sensibility, the cottage ties seamlessly to the outdoors, through both materiality and expansive views. Carefully chosen materials, many from the region, create a distinctive home that still allows the surrounding maple, oak, cedar, aspen and ash trees to take center stage.

Warm wood ceilings and steps combine with natural black slate floors as the house progresses from the kitchen to the living room, with its expansive view of the woods. The minimalist Cirrus lighting system casts a warm glow throughout the home without drawing attention to the fixtures themselves. They blend into the modern architecture of the interior design, sleek lines that further accentuate the geometry and flow from space to space.

Every moment of this home is a moment of modern. Sleek and understated, the Kurve Display Sign is suspended from the ceiling, continuing the bold vertical lines of the ebonized oak screen of the stairway. The strong contrast of the stairwell's white walls to the randomly spaced screen battens was inspired by the look of the surrounding nature in winter - dark tree trunks against the snowy landscape.

The house feels spacious, but is actually very compact. There's not a square inch of wasted space to be found. The lower level stylishly houses two pairs of bunk beds and a murphy bed to comfortably accommodate plenty of guests. Again, the lighting is understated enough to not draw attention, but perfectly coordinated to bathe the warm wood walls in cozy light.

Untreated cedar brings rustic consistency to the walls and ceilings throughout the home, exuding warmth and comfort in every room. The hand-worked blackened steel fireplaces stand in beautiful contrast, creating a look simultaneously organic and modern.

Lawless Cottage is a dream of conscious design, bringing all of the interior and exterior elements into perfect harmony. It is the ideal place to retreat and quietly contemplate the beauty within, as well as the gorgeous wilderness outside.

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