Character, Detail & Flair

Couple creates unexpected modern home
A glance at the kitchen and dining room of the Fisk Lake Home designed by KLH Custom Homes. Photo by Diana Paulson/Linea Photography.

When a family of four approached Liz and Kevin Hoekzema with an idea for new construction, the design-build duo had just the spot.

Only months earlier, the KLH Custom Homes co-founders had purchased a lot on Fisk Lake in East Grand Rapids, knowing the perfect client would come along. “We had come across the lot through a realtor in town and snatched it up. It became the perfect spot for them,” said Liz Hoekzema, Creative Director for KLH.

Working closely with the clients, the Durant Project began to take shape. While the overall aesthetic of the home is light, bright, and modern, KLH took special measures to give the home unexpected flair. “I think whenever you have a brand-new home like this, it’s important to inject some character and detail,” Liz explained. For the Durant Project, details such as rough-sawn beams were added in the kitchen to provide texture and age, as well as exposed copper plumbing in the lower-level bar. “It’s all brand new, but it feels like it’s been there longer than it has,” she said.

The showstopper in the home is the two-story library, which Liz describes as having an inky, moody vibe. It was one of the design elements the homeowners brought to the table. “It really started the whole architectural design of the house and we worked backward from there,” Liz said.

And while the library is Pinterest-pin-worthy, it isn’t the home’s only architectural feat. The main staircase serves as another focal point. The floor-to-ceiling window floods the entry with light, while the wood-paneled stairwell anchors the space, adding natural warmth.

Kevin and Liz celebrated a decade in business in 2023, no small feat while juggling family life with four children. Last year, KLH reorganized a portion of its growing service offerings into an architecture and interior design off-shoot, TEN Design Studio, which has 17 employees.

Ready to refresh a space of your own? When designing, Liz believes that going all in always pays off. This could be dipping a room in full color, as in the Durant Project library, or bringing tile to the ceiling, as in the laundry room. “Embrace the space to its full extent, instead of checking a list, Liz advises. “Breaking the rules can make it personal to you and eye-catching. That is where we get really excited.”

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