Michigan has more than its fair share of excellent mid century modern architecture - and we love it! South West Michigan is home to not one but TWO Frank Lloyd Wright designed communities, one here in Kalamazoo (Parkwyn Village) and one in nearby Galesburg (The Acres).
In June 2016, the Eppstein house at the Acres was purchased by Marika Broere and Tony Hillebrandt, a Dutch couple based near Toronto, Canada. A total restoration of the home has been going on for the past 18 months and it is now available to rent through AirBnB.
Broere and Hillebrandt are no strangers to challenging projects, and their dedication to the Eppstein restoration is evident in all areas of the house. They even invited the Eppstein family to stay at the house as its first official guests last weekend, which I thought was such a special way of honoring its heritage. The five children of the original owners lived in the house until 1970. The youngest was only 6 months old when they first moved in. He hadn't been back to the house in almost 45 years!
I first toured the house when it was in rough shape in February 2016 and was lucky enough to tour the house again just last week (Dec 2017) to photograph it. The difference between those two visits is incredible.
In true Wright tradition, the fireplace is front and center in this home with the entry, living room, dining room and kitchen taking a side each. This makes for a free-flowing plan and movement between the spaces in a feast for the senses. There are varying ceiling heights, corners that suggest discovery and that always important ample supply of natural light.
The 2,250 square foot house can sleep up to 6 guests in 3 bedrooms and the family room at the southern end. The master, second and third bedrooms each have a band of east facing windows for warm morning sun and light throughout the day. They also showcase beautifully restored built-in storage, a Usonian hallmark.
The family room offers yet another Wrightian space to enjoy, with French doors opening onto a small patio and signature corner windows letting southern light in.
The entire home has been furnished with period appropriate and fun pieces, ranging from Bauhaus chairs to Danish modern standards and faithfully recreated Wright-designed tables and ottomans. The mahogany dining table is original and was built by the Eppsteins and can be used by guests. The living area also features a 48"x64" FLW portrait the owners commissioned Montreal artist Francois Escalmel to paint especially for the house.
The revamped kitchen is stocked with great retro touches that make the house feel like a real home.
It even includes this fully functional 1948 vintage cooker as part of the whole experience.
Walking around the structure really you can really appreciate the scale of the house as it follows the slope downhill and reaches out welcomingly at the carport.
I will definitely be adding the Eppstein House to my list of top mid-century homes on Airbnb. It's a little pricier than touring a Frank Lloyd Wright home, but how often do you get to spend the night in one? As a bonus, you can explore the common grounds of the Acres, which includes hiking trails, a beautiful pond and the chance to explore the neighborhood, which boasts three more FLW homes plus one more designed by Taliesin Fellow, Will Wilsey.
All Photos by Tim Hills of Trystcraft. Do not reuse without permission.