A gallery owner and her husband create a modern and cozy lakeside retreat that's ready for anything, inside and out.
Photo: James Yochum
When Irving Stenn and Judith Racht found a sylvan, 14-acre site with a gently sloping dune edging Lake Michigan, they had to retool the elaborate wish list that they had been constructing to focus on what was important. "The landscape was so spectacular from every angle that we wanted as many windows as possible," says Judith, who owns a Michigan art and vintage furnishings gallery. The couple hired Chicago architect Laurence Booth to build something streamlined, low-slung, and mostly glass, yet not minimal or cold. And it also had to be maintenance free. "I didn't want spots to show, surfaces to stain, or finishes to wear off," says Judith. "You need a structure that can really take a beating from the elements and withstand erosion. So you have to use really smart, durable materials inside and out," Laurence says. Here's how they created a sleek retreat that's tough and low-maintenance—but homey, too.