THE JEWEL BOX HOUSE
Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine|February 2021
NORTH MEETS EAST IN THIS STUNNING HOME ON A FORESTED BLUFF ALONG LAKE MICHIGAN.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS

After living four years in Tokyo, Doug and Debbie Brown developed a deep fondness for the warm, clean-lined aesthetic of Japanese style. When they found their dream lot on a bluff along Lake Michigan north of Harbor Springs, they decided they’d try to fuse those two worlds in their new home. The couple took their vision to architect David Kimble and his wife, interior designer Caroline Kimble, who embraced it enthusiastically. “It’s typical of the way we work to pay attention to what sort of influences the client wants,” David says. “We find it exciting to get clients who are creative in their own way so that we can pick up on their interests and learn from them.”

The Browns appreciated the Kimbles’ enthusiasm and a strong client/designer relationship was forged between the two couples. “They were just so receptive to our ideas and easy to work with,” Debbie says. Both the Browns and Kimbles, in turn, were delighted to work with the home’s builders, Waterfront Property Management & Builders, Inc. “We worked very closely with them on the building and installation of this house and they were an integral part of the team,” Caroline says.

Before putting ink to blueprint, David set out to research the Japanese aesthetic. He began by scouring several books on Japanese style that he had in his library, as well as refreshing himself on the influence that Japanese design had on the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s pioneering American designs.

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