Detroit mansion built on remains of 100-year-old golf course

This appealing, cottagey house sits on a hill at Lake Angelus that tapers down to a lakeside retreat. Lawn, landscape and old stone stairs lead down to the lakeshore. They end at 105 feet of frontage that has brick patios, a dock and a beach house.

The owners designed this house with architect Dominick Tringali to mix as many cottagey points as made sense. So the front face shows stacked gray stone, painted cedar siding, Victorian insets, carved corbels, porthole windows and a roof with many gables.

The mahogany doors of two two-car garages are set back under a porte-cochere. It’s embellished with 12 short white pillars — three to a corner — that stand on gray stone piers.

The owners brought the same enthusiasm to planning the house interior. “We just designed every inch of it,” the wife said.

That includes unusual teak floors through the kitchen and dining area — a light wood that glows with tones from pale to deep.

A striking teak floor blends this kitchen with its hearth room, its butler’s pantry, the breakfast nook and the formal dining room. (Stylish Detroit)

The main floor rooms lie in a circle around a large foyer. Curving through this open space are a sinuous three-point staircase and catwalk. “Our builder soaked that wood in the lake to get it to make that curve,” the wife said.

The staircase takes a clever turn the husband designed. Halfway down, a landing starts a second set of stairs that curve back toward the kitchen. No need for a second staircase.

Past the living room is the large marble foyer with its sinuous stairs and upstairs catwalk. The owner said to get those curves the builders soaked the banisters in the lake. (Stylish Detroit)

The kitchen and dining areas use a good part of the main level, marked out by the teak floor. It takes in the cooking area, a long breakfast bar, a hearth room with a fireplace and bay window and a butler’s pantry.

There’s also a breakfast room in a circle of windows and the formal dining room.

The final key room on the main level is an office off the foyer. It has built-in cabinets and bookshelves of maple.

The large laundry room is on the main floor and includes a dog shower.

A doggie shower in the laundry room can double as a place to hang drip-dry clothing. (Stylish Detroit)

The second floor has the owners’ suite, with an entrance that’s raised three steps, three more bedrooms and two more baths. The suite’s large main room includes a fireplace and a sitting room, tucked into a large bay.

French doors lead to a small outside sitting room — a stone floor and cedar siding walls with three tall windows that can be closed against cold weather.

There’s a large walk-in closet here and a cedar closet. The large owners’ bath has his and her vanities and sinks, also a large shower and a big jetted tub.

The finished lower level includes a big games area, a theater, a wide bar, a gym, a wine cellar and a full bath. At the rear of the house, this level walks out onto the sloping lawn. (Stylish Detroit)

The walkout lower level is finished with a family room and recreation space, a bar, a full bath, a gym and a stone wine cellar.

The site itself is a prime asset here. When these owners bought it the 1½ acres were remains of a 100-year-old overgrown golf course. Digging through soil, their shovels hit stone. Then they hit more stone seven inches lower, they said, then seven inches lower again.

Eureka! Stone stairs. These are now part of the landscape.

Near the edge of Lake Angelus that landscape has two brick patios, a fire pit and a long dock that goes out to two boat slips. There’s a one-room beach house lined with knotty pine, with a living room and a partial kitchen.

At 477 acres, Lake Angelus is one of Oakland County’s largest lakes. It is an all-sports lake with only private access by its property owners.  This side of the lake is sandy for a few hundred feet out.

These owners say they love the lake and this community. Where will they go when this house sells?

They’ve bought another lot on the lake and will design another house there. “It’s what we like to do,” the husband said.

Where: 550 Gallogly Road, Lake Angelus

How much:  $2.6 million

Bedrooms:  4

Baths:  4 full, 2 half

Square feet:  5,218 in the main floors, plus about 2,500 finished in the walkout lower level.

Key features:  Large, attractive cottagey house, built in 2002, is full of architectural details on a large site that goes down to the Lake Angelus shore. Fine landscape, shore-side patios, dock and boat slips, beach house.

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