Firefly Hill

Firefly Hill is a family retreat in Buchanan, Michigan.About 90 minutes east of Chicago, it's on the south side of Lake Michigan.

Chicago based architect Jeff Goulette wanted the new house to have an old vibe.

The house gets its time-worn appeal from use of materials like stone on the floor and repurposed timber beams. Pieces of archtiectural salvage appear throughout the house.

The 4000-square foot house is divided into smaller spaces, which make it big enough to encourage family gatherings, but intimate enough not to feel cavernous.

Many of the repurposed timber beams come from old two-flat apartment buildings in Chicago.

The stair landing, which looks out onto the living room, is a great place for kids to spy on grownups, and for grownups to keep an eye and ear on kids, providing both "an audible and visual connection," says Goulette.

Off the main entry is a cozy den, with a window seat that looks out onto the nearby vineyards.

Salvage touches like a tile and tiger oak direplace surround appear throughout the house.

The master bath has a mix ofvintage and modern touches that meld well.

Salvage sinks are put to clever use in the second bathroom, enabling three-at-a-time toothbrushing.

Rustic touches like birch trunk stairway railings give the family house a handmade feel.

The screened porch is the perfecct place to enjoy the summer breeze, and there's room for sleepover guests, too.

The screened porch pavilion is a bit grander than the rest of the house. It was inspired by the design of carriage houses, which sometimes got added to farmstead properties in times of prosperity.

The ground floor plan shows a series of linked pavilions.

The home's second floor is set at the center of the plan.

The site plan has a north-south orientation, with connecting pavilions angled out. One room deep, they take advantage of prevailing winds, making natural ventilation possible in summertime.

The house is divided into five pavilions, a plan that Goulette developed after looking at lots of farmhouses and their series of utility buildings. He was reminded that an aggregate, added-to feel is a quality common to old farmsteads.

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