Lakeside Luxury

The architect's intent was to create a lakefront cottage with the same charm of a 1920s bungalow on a narrow lot with difficult topography.

May 01, 2002


Cobblestone from Lake Michigan is used on the base of this lakeside home. This material, common among older homes in the established neighborhood, helps this newcomer blend into its surroundings.
To capture lake views, the family room and kitchen/breakfast nook are in the rear on the second floor of the three-story home.

Architect Dominick Tringali’s intent was to create a lakefront cottage with the same charm of a 1920s bungalow on a narrow lot with difficult topography. Through an innovative combination of natural local materials and modern building products, this waterfront home on a peninsula in Sylvan Lake, Mich., delivers just what the buyers ordered.

The use of real cobblestone from Lake Michigan on the base of the home grounds the three-story house to its lush site and surrounding landscape. Lapboard siding and shake accents on the side elevations mix with stone similar to that used on older lakefront homes.

The garage, housed on the home’s lowest level, preserves the lake views from the front and rear of the home for the gathering areas on the living levels. Specially designed garage doors that mimic stable doors minimize the garage’s appearance on the streetscape. The result is a home that enhances the neighborhood and seems to have been there for years.

Style of Home | Historical bungalow

Location | Sylvan Lake, Mich.

Total Square Footage | 3,711

Designer/Architect | Dominick Tringali Associates, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Builder | Curtis Building Co., Farmington Hills, Mich.

Target Market | Affluent young professionals; families with children

Major Products Used | Doors: IWP | Windows: Weathervane | Paints: Sherwin-Williams

Lot Lines




  • Lot width and city requirements dictated a narrow floor plan. The major rooms that needed views — the family room and kitchen/breakfast nook — were placed toward the rear of the home. The media room and library were placed in the front to capture a partial view of the water in front.



  • The topography of the site is low at the street side, rises 8 feet to the middle of the property and then drops again toward the lake. To maximize usable square footage, the four-car stack garage was designed on the lower level. The second floor is the main living area, and the third floor has bedrooms and view balconies.



  • The context of the neighborhood drove many of the aesthetic design decisions. Because land on the peninsula is costly, making use of each inch of the property was important — as was making the home visually a part of its surroundings.
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