WASHTENAW COUNTY., MI – The meticulous vision of a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architect and a family instrumental in developing Ann Arbor’s downtown restaurant scene can be found nestled in more than 18 acres northeast of Ann Arbor.
The $3.67 million artisan craftsman home at 3900 N. Dixboro Road in Superior Township stands in harmony with the site’s natural beauty. It’s the home of the late Dennis Serras, a prominent Ann Arbor restauranteur who brought establishments like Real Seafood Co., Gratzi, The Chop House and Palio to the city’s downtown, and his wife, Ellie.
Crafted with tremendous care and fitting in with its natural surroundings, the home is the definition of “custom built,” Realtor Keith Brandt said, noting the home’s custom exterior and interior doors and windows, built-in casework, and 600 tons of pencil rock shipped in from Oklahoma that decorate the inside and outside with precise placement.
The Frank Lloyd Wright inspiration comes courtesy of architect Carl D. Gilmore, who honed his craft early in his career with Alden B. Dow Associates, with Dow himself a former apprentice of Wright. The 5,100-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom home is MLive’s House of the Week, featured every Wednesday.
“All these windows, all of this framing – everything – from raw wood to this, nothing was manufactured off-site,” Brandt said. “Everything about this home is over the top. Almost every point in this house you’ll find a window that allows you to see the outside.”
Solid cherry wood can be found everywhere in the home, which was constructed to complement its surrounding natural beauty, Brandt said, with custom designed and manufactured furniture constructed during a three-year period.
Custom interior and exterior doors, light fixtures, sofas, beds, dressers, bookshelves, closets, and wall cabinets can be found throughout the home, including 27 custom-built floor and table lamps.
Areas, like the recessed living room on the main floor, illustrate the importance of comfort and privacy with a wood-burning fireplace and built-in furniture, Brandt said.
“This was a house meant to be lived in – not so much built for entertaining – but for a family,” Brandt said. “For them, being in the public eye, this was kind of their way to get away from all of that.”
Serving as the residence for a family with restaurant connections throughout Michigan and beyond, the kitchen features custom all stainless-steel commercial quality appliances and fixtures, including a six-burner range and griddle.
The main floor also brings in the outside with a long hallway complemented by 2-and-a-half-inch thick glass and custom brass fixtures, with a gallery to display artwork connecting it to another wing of the home.
Like many Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired designs, the home includes a number of lounges and sitting areas throughout, including an observatory, enclosed sun porch and library.
Jack-and-Jill bedrooms include a connecting bedroom and office space on the main floor.
The entire second floor is dedicated to the home’s master suite, with a lounge area comparable to a sitting room, two bathrooms and a coffee and tea nook.
The master suite includes a gas fireplace and a plethora of built-in closet space, surrounded by pencil rock and tempered half-inch thick glass intended to block out sound.
A deck overlooking the property includes dual built-in charcoal grills.
The lower level of the home features another bedroom, which currently serves as an exercise room.
See all 53 photos of the home here and check out the complete listing here.
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