Simply Stylish | Midwest Living

Simply Stylish

Inspired by the Shaker tradition that embraced basic shapes, natural materials, repetitive forms, and down-to-earth function, Shaker Grove celebrates the simple life. Tour our interpretation, where you'll find modern, yet classic, ideas for bringing simple pleasures into your own home.


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    Cubic forms and repeated gables lend the exterior an unassuming grace.
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    Built-ins, a display shelf, and the staircase share the hall with a 6-foot Shaker reproduction bench made by artisan Marty Travis.
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    Lined up like fence posts, rows of low-emissivity glazed and insulated double-hung windows keep the home cool in summer, warm in winter.
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    Delta's faucet arcs gracefully above the sink.
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    A practical addition, the bench at the end of the bed makes an idea dressing seat.
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    Soft sage green creates a natural backdrop for an arc of stars over the headboard.
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    Modeled after a bench used in Shaker meeting hall, this 6-foot long settee greets visitors in the entry hall at Shaker Grove.
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    You'll find easy outdoor living on the cantilevered balcony or lower-level deck.
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    (rear view)


Shaker Grove, the Midwest Living® Idea Home 2002, illustrates how busy families can find calm and serenity in a design that fuses form and function. Inspired by the Shakers, a religious order founded in the mid-1700s and devoted to simplicity and hard work, the home embodies one of their precepts: a place for everything, and everything in its place. Our home stays true to its clean, utilitarian roots, but also plays to the comforts and amenities that today's families demand. Yes, you can have the best of both, and it's a beautiful blend.

Architects Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker of Evanston, Illinois, based the plan on rustic farm buildings and old Shaker meeting houses. Sitting on a steep site at the Landmark Pointe development in Antioch, Illinois (halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee), the home shows two stories in front, four in back. The result is a grand panorama of Lake Antioch, a private manmade lake some 200 yards down the slope. Builder Michael Doran of Landmark Homes in Gurnee, Illinois, excavated and built Shaker Grove with a rear window wall and outdoor areas that accentuate the views. We selected low-maintenance exterior materials that withstand extremes of temperature and humidity.

Wrapped Right

Choosing easy-care exterior products helps simplify life by cutting down on maintenance and upkeep. But homes still need to be attractive. So although the siding used here looks like cedar, it's actually cement-fiber Hardiplank from James Hardie Building Products. The preprimed, insect- and fire-resistant material won't split, warp, or mold and has a 50-year warranty.

Another selection that adds more than good looks is the garage doors from the Clopay Reserve Collection. Their layered construction, with a linear design that fits the style of the house, helps insulate during Midwest temperature extremes.

For windows, we paired warm wood tones inside with low maintenance outside. The handsome wood interiors of Integrity windows from Marvin Windows and Doors blend with other stained hardwoods such as oak and maple. Outside, fiberglass and polyester-resin cladding eliminate yearly painting.


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