You Can Now Rent Frank Lloyd Wright's Gloriously Restored Eppstein House

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By Anna Squier
In Kalamazoo County, Michigan, the Usonian design welcomes guests through Airbnb.

Built in 1953 for Samuel and Dorothy Eppstein, the ranch-style home is an exemplary representation of Prairie School-style architecture and Usonian thinking. Constructed by the original homeowners, the midcentury residence displays a history of care and thoughtfulness in every detail.

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A curved concrete block wall conceals one of the three exterior terraces. Low-slung roofs appear to hover above the landscape.

A curved concrete block wall conceals one of the three exterior terraces. Low-slung roofs appear to hover above the landscape.

Fast forward to today, and this still stands true. The home has been completely renovated and furnished, staying true to the original era of the home and preserving the handiwork, craft, and brilliance of the original.  Such a massive undertaking was led by husband-and-wife team Tony Hillebrandt and Marika Broere after careful research and conversations with previous residents. The result is a beautiful restoration which respects the history of the home.

The cantilevered roofs and trim have been carefully painted and restored. Large windows blend the exterior terrace with the inside living space.

The cantilevered roofs and trim have been carefully painted and restored. Large windows blend the exterior terrace with the inside living space.

At 2,250 square feet, the home contains three bedrooms, two baths, two fireplaces, and two living rooms arranged in a linear fashion stretching north to south on the rolling, wooded land. A low, cantilevered roof fills the view as one approaches from the street. Appearing as a low-lying, horizontal massing, the home is formed from hand-made solid and perforated concrete block, which have been stained with UV protective stain, and mahogany wood elements.  

Living and dining spaces wrap around the full-height fireplace.  Original light fixtures remain and have been outfitted with LED lights. 

Living and dining spaces wrap around the full-height fireplace. Original light fixtures remain and have been outfitted with LED lights. 

A linear plan arranges public and private spaces along a central gallery.  In all spaces, colors were carefully selected to match the natural tones of the house.  At the northern end lies an open-concept living/dining room, arranged around a floor-to-ceiling fireplace—very typical of a Wright home. A multipurpose room, now converted into a family room, lies at the southern end of the home, anchored by one of three exterior terraces. 

The original built-in sofa remains in the living room.  Ten-foot windows and a slanted ceiling draw nature inside, while Maharam textiles decorate the furnishings. 

The original built-in sofa remains in the living room.  Ten-foot windows and a slanted ceiling draw nature inside, while Maharam textiles decorate the furnishings. 

The dining table is original to the house.  H.W. Klein #250 dining chairs manufactured by Bramin complement the table.

The dining table is original to the house. H.W. Klein #250 dining chairs manufactured by Bramin complement the table.

Built-in shelving full of architecture and design books extend from the dining space to the kitchen. 

Built-in shelving full of architecture and design books extend from the dining space to the kitchen. 

Open shelving continues into the kitchen.  A wood-framed skylight above draws natural light into the space. 

Open shelving continues into the kitchen.  A wood-framed skylight above draws natural light into the space. 

The family room is filled with midcentury furnishings and accessories.  Bauhaus chairs, a Danish design credenza from the owner's vintage collection, a wood fire stove, a record player, and shelves of books create a comfortable space for hanging out. 

The family room is filled with midcentury furnishings and accessories.  Bauhaus chairs, a Danish design credenza from the owner's vintage collection, a wood fire stove, a record player, and shelves of books create a comfortable space for hanging out. 

Along the gallery, perforated concrete blocks draw in diffused light along one side, while bedrooms and baths flank the other.  Vintage Danish teak beds, original built-ins, and writing desks decorate the sleeping quarters.  The original bathrooms have been updated with tiles that were produced in the 1950s. The second bathroom has been modified into a master bedroom, with an exact replica of the original vanity.  

Refinished concrete floors extend down the gallery corridor.  Perforated concrete blocks act as transom windows to fill the corridor with light.  Mahogany woodwork and doors lead to the sleeping spaces. 

Refinished concrete floors extend down the gallery corridor.  Perforated concrete blocks act as transom windows to fill the corridor with light.  Mahogany woodwork and doors lead to the sleeping spaces. 

Built-in millwork provides ample storage in the bedroom spaces.  Danish teak beds with midcentury textiles resemble the original furnishings. 

Built-in millwork provides ample storage in the bedroom spaces.  Danish teak beds with midcentury textiles resemble the original furnishings. 

A vintage writer's desk and chair fill the corner of the bedroom. 

A vintage writer's desk and chair fill the corner of the bedroom. 

Unsold tiles from the 1950s were sourced from Battle Creek Tiles & Mosaic.  The vintage tiles maintain the original character of the home in the renovated baths. 

Unsold tiles from the 1950s were sourced from Battle Creek Tiles & Mosaic.  The vintage tiles maintain the original character of the home in the renovated baths. 

A large, wood-framed skylight fills the master bath with daylight.  A Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired shower curtain accents the remodeled bath. 

A large, wood-framed skylight fills the master bath with daylight.  A Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired shower curtain accents the remodeled bath. 

Through the complete restoration, skilled crasftmen and painters worked meticulously to restore the home to its ideal state.   Craftsman William Heffernan detailed and built woodwork, furniture, windows, and doors, while Joe Farkas carefully painted the interior and exterior to align with the original Wright character. In addition to cosmetic restoration, may necessary upgrades were completed, including climate control in all rooms, upgraded plumbing and electricity, a new roof, and many other infrastructural modifications. 

The legacy of the Eppstein House lives on, now restored to its true architectural stature.  The home is registered on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy.  

The Eppstein House is available to rent through Airbnb for $340 per night.


Project Credits

-Interior Design: Marika Broere

-Master Carpenter: William Heffernan

-Interior and Exterior Paint: Joe Farkas, Bellevue, Michigan