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Warm and woodsy 1968 Keck & Keck time capsule house in Michigan

retro living roomTour-a-Time-CapsuleMidcentury modern came in more than just one “sleek” flavor. Case in point: This rustic modern 1968 time capsule house perched above Lake Michigan — was designed by Midwest architects Keck & Keck to blend unpretentiously into its woodsy lakeside location. Mega thanks to Photographer Rita Endres for alerting us to this fabulous property and allowing us to feature her photos.

rustic retro houseAll’s quiet on the outside, but hang on to your paycheck, the interior of this house is lovely and yowza, it sits on 37 acres with frontage on Lake Michigan — and dunes don’t come cheap. From the property listing:

  • Price: $2,200,000
  • Year built: 1968
  • Square footage: 2,772
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 3 full

Pristine 37 acres of dune land with 1550 feet of Lake Michigan frontage. Property has natural woodland, dunes and wildlife. The home is a Keck and Keck designed mid-century contemporary built between 1965 and 1968. Superb attention to detail and materials when building this home. This is a rare find! The cherry wood walls and vaulted wood ceilings give the home an open airy feel. Wonderful raised soapstone hearth where you can enjoy dinner or games around the fire. Exterior of home is a contemporary design with concrete block and western red cedar. Wonderful serene property for one looking for privacy. Located between North Muskegon and Whitehall and only 55 minutes from Grand Rapids.

retro rustic homeThe home’s extensive use of wood on the walls and ceilings, paired with avocado green accents, gives a cozy cabin-in-the-woods feel. The natural color palette, materials used, and large windows help bring nature inside.

And hey: We even LOVE that the house was not staged. We presume that this is how the owners hang — we’ll guess it’s a vacation home, the eastern coast of Lake Michigan is a vacation paradise… hey, we’re ready to relax  inside without fear of spilling our Vernors, too!

retro rustic homeretro rustic homeOn one side of the main living area, there’s a unique feature. This fireplace has a built-in raised soapstone counter around the hearth where the home’s inhabitants could pull up a Saarinen tulip stool for a cozy dinner — or S’mores, every night! — by the fire. What a fantastic feature, I neeeeeeeed one of these!

retro transistor intercomOther fun features in the home include a built-in intercom and stereo system…

retro clock…and this fun “floating” clock with number markers that look like they could be made of cabinet pulls!!

retro rustic homeLarge indoor clerestory windows on the upper half of the wall between the dining room and kitchen let light flood through the space and keep that open feeling, but prevent kitchen smells from permeating the entire space.

retro rustic home retro rustic homeThe home’s kitchen has avocado green countertops, and a lovely looking vintage stove.

retro rustic kitchenI spy a George Nelson bubble lamp!

retro rustic homeThe rustic, earthy feel of the decor continues into the home’s bedrooms. This one even has a cork wall for hanging artwork and mementos — fabulous touch.

Link love:

Tips to view slide show: Click on first image… it will enlarge to 1000 pixels on screen… click anywhere to move forward and look for previous and next buttons within photo to move back or forth… you can start or stop at any image:


  1. Kathy says:

    The fireplace is very cool, but it would seem very hard to put wood in there and maintain a fire. I don’t see anything to indicate it is rear loading, or a gas fireplace. And you would have to climb on the table to clean it out.

    The exterior is very plain Jane, and a bit Brutalist with the concrete. Could be cool though. The horizontal board and batten siding is unusual and the soffits and fascia look like they need some work. I’m surprised that they did not even to restain and repair the exterior to make it look better kept up, but I suppose the land is the selling point.

    Seems very odd for a property near a lake to not have a balcony or at least a patio to take advantage of the view in nice weather. I can envision a nice pergola in the front and a deck out back to give a bit more dimension to the house and some color and landscaping to enhance its mid-century vibe, to match the terrific interior.

    I hope someone with a similar vision buys it, or as some have suggested, makes this into the guest/caretaker house. It takes a bit of imagination to see beyond the weathered surfaces, but it has the makings of being a real stunner. That fireplace is right out of James Bond movie.

    I saw a show the other night where they took a landmark MCM house, ripped out a georgous custom kitchen with bookmarked veneered cabinetry in excellent condition, and ripped out a copper fireplace hood similar to the one pictured here. I can somewhat understand the desire for a new kitchen (although I think the old one could have been modified rather than destroyed), but I don’t see how anyone could claim to be inspired by MCM architecture and demolish an expensive custom hood like that, and painted the brick as well. What a loss.

    I wish I can send all designers to the site to get an education! Appreciate old stuff, even if it is a little worn, especially if it is high quality. Please educate yourself with the original aesthetic before you break out the sledgehammer. Smaller changes to restore a house to its former glory can be just as dramatic.

    1. Diana says:

      Amen to that! I think I saw the same show and I was horrified! I hope this home will be preserved as is. We’re losing our history with all the remuddles. What a beautiful and special home.

    2. The amazing thing is that it hardly seemed worn at all. Old yes. Worn no. But if you think about it, it was a summer place. Needless to say, it wasn’t a “lived in” house, but more of a “visited” house. The elderly couple that owned it didn’t want anything moved. So, I had to giggle when the old-style swimsuit was still hanging behind the bathroom door! And the carpet? Perfect.

      The stone around the fireplace was so solid, I think you could have used it as a dance floor! Climbing on that to clean it out would not be a problem. I don’t recall seeing an ash trap of any kind.

      If I had the $$, I would just clean out the junk like their personal belongings and leave it as is. It truly was a time capsule.

  2. James says:

    Big fan of Keck & Keck. A Keck house circa 1965 came on the market a few years ago on Crescent Boulevard in Glen Ellyn Illinois. I fell in love with that house, but the timing wasn’t right. Hmmm…I wonder what the commute to Chicago would be like from this house in Michigan?

    1. Rita Endres says:

      It’s only 3-4 hours (depending on how you look at the time change lol). This area swells to double the size in the summer—mostly people from Chicago area. 🙂 C’mon over!

  3. DavidF says:

    My grandmother’s house had a fireplace that had a door in the bottom that could be opened to drop the ashes into a metal box in the basement to be disposed of from there. After the fire cooled you were supposed to break up the leftover chunks with a poker, then flip open the door and send it all down. I wonder if that table fireplace has the same thing? As a child I was fascinated with how it worked. As an adult, 40 years later, it kind of sounds unsafe. I believe the entire thing was contained in a metal sleeve and it had a metal door that sealed flush with the wall.

    1. pam kueber says:

      I had one of these in the first house I ever owned! It was very cool! However, I don’t recall that it went into a box — it went all the way down to the foundation. That is: Ashes to ashes and into dust under the house!

      1. ineffablespace says:

        The fireplaces in our house had the trap doors at the bottom of the fireboxes, except for the fireplace in the basement. They were separate chambers lined in fire brick and deep. (9-10 feet probably) The one in my current house appears to have a metal access door in the basement.

  4. Rita Endres says:

    The “walkout windows” were actually just screens. Here in West Michigan, we love our summers and walkout basements. Nice cool spot to enjoy the breezes. . . and man, were those panels HEAVY! It took 2-3 of us to pull them up and latch them. This place is a total vacation spot. The house is almost a mile back from the nearest road and climbs through the dunes. Unless you have a snowplow guy that really loves you, there isn’t much time spent here in the winter.

  5. Samantha Anastasiou says:

    I love those old speaker and intercom systems! I lived in a house with one. My house built in 1963, has wires running through it, so I suspect it had something like that. I wonder if you could buy a system and do it today? I mean, really its better than using a bullhorn for your kids, and the music would be amazing!

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