Beech Hill Bliss: A Blend of Open Spaces and Architectural Elegance in Ada

Beech Hill Bliss: A Blend of Open Spaces and Architectural Elegance in Ada

Just east of the Grand River in Ada, Sara Easter and Kathryn Hoffman have crafted a stunning residence that effortlessly blends both form and function. From the very beginning, Sara and Kathy envisioned a home where their children could grow, and their family's evolving interests could be accommodated.

As I spoke with Sara, she reminisced about that day they walked into the renowned West Michigan Architect Wayne Visbees' office. They were clear about their desire for spacious, open areas, aiming to create a home where they could truly breathe. Wayne quickly got to work, unrolling the onion paper, and what followed was eight hours of creative exchanges, discussions, and debates.

The result?

The blueprint for what we now know as 8842 Beech Hill Ct.

Describing 8842 Beech Hill as just a secluded sanctuary would be an understatement. Nestled on the western side of two wooded acres, the property welcomes you with a private drive leading to a self-contained cul-de-sac. A single Fir Pine tree stands as a graceful sentinel, hinting at the owners' love for and use of natural wood throughout the home's design.

Sara and Kathy's appreciation for simplicity and elegance shines through in the straight lines that dominate the home's design. Every angle and corner adheres to perfect 90-degree precision, with one charming exception – the front door entry. Handcrafted from Alder wood by R&J Raven in Grand Rapids, the arching top of the door provides a warm and inviting introduction to the residence.

"I wanted to be able to walk in and see the pool," Sara explains. In response, Wayne Visbees designed the foyer to guide the viewer's gaze directly to the backyard. As you pass through the main-level sitting area with a gas fireplace and Alder mantel, the spirit of openness and airiness is palpable.

The kitchen, dining, and sitting areas are only separated by four columns and one's imagination. The 11-foot kitchen island is so massive that it required special footings for support.

Branching from the open main floor living space are two additional living rooms. The first can be accessed by passing the well-appointed workspace. The Hoffman family affectionately refers to the second living space as the "Bahama Room," designed with children in mind. Its blue walls adorned with surfboards create a whimsical atmosphere perfect for the younger members of the household.

The second additional living space is the three-season room, but it's not your typical three-season room. With a swinging double bed, rustic decor, and a 40-inch TV, it's the three-season room you've always dreamt of.

Transitioning from indoors to outdoors, the three-season room seamlessly leads to the backyard's fire pit and lounge area. The fully fenced backyard boasts an Olympic-sized pool, a hot tub, a lido deck, and a special area that the Hoffman family has used for hosting outdoor movie nights. Sara fondly recalls those times, with the inflatable movie screen and hammock seating being a popular hangout for her children over the years.

One of the most intriguing design elements of 8842 Beech Hill is the tower on the northwest wall. Wayne Visbeens' clever design integrates the stairwell into this hidden tower with three main landings. It begins in the basement, serving various purposes over the years, from a playroom to a gym.

The tower continues to the 1.5-floor space, offering a surprisingly spacious flex room of around 248 square feet. As you follow the stairs upwards, you reach the second floor, housing an open flex area, a generous walk-in closet, and the primary suite. Keep ascending the stairs, and you'll arrive at the top of the tower. An expansive window wall allows Sara to gaze at the greenery as she sits at her desk, now in her office and meditation space.

8842 Beech Hill is a testament to the power of visionary design, where Sara and Kathy's desire for open, spacious living is brought to life in harmony with nature. This sanctuary embodies the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality, creating a place where family and creativity can thrive. The thoughtful details and unique features, including the tower, make it a one-of-a-kind home that truly stands out.

- Matt Goldman, Grand Rapids House and Home 2023. Thank you for reading. If you would like to be featured, please reach out to me at [email protected]


(As of the publishing of this blog. 8842 is currently listed for sale. The price is $1,250,000.)  This home has sold on Dec 20, 2023 for $1,225,000.


Author's Notes: there were so many picturesque moments in this home. Here are some of my favorite shots that didn't make the story:

The Ensuite Bath from the Primary Bedroom:


The Basement had a number of surprises including a full kitchen and a craft room:

The Primary Bedroom also Boasts Unique Decor, Including this Mirror. It was Hand Crafted by Sara, a Professional Furniture Maker:

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