Tuesday, July 8, 2014

North Branch Tudor has Russian Flair

A curving staircase goes to a second-level balcony where there's room for a library or an orchestra.
Even the floors are awesome in this room.

Ed May, a businessman who spent time each year in Russia on business, bought this 7,000 square foot house in 1973 and has constantly been changing and upgrading it.  The result is a house filled with detailed workmanship with a Russian accent.

Some listing-type details: 38 acres of land in North Branch, Michigan.  Heated five-car garage plus two other garages.  Guesthouse with six bedrooms.  Outdoor pool with a cabana.  Sauna in a separate building. Fishing pond on the property.  All-glass atrium.  Asking price a shade below $3 million.

The home is full of special touches like classic Burberry wallpaper, stunning greatroom or ballroom with large balcony.
But this house requires a specific buyer, one who is willing to accept someone else's decorating, because there are so many details in the design of this house.

Take the Brazilian cherry floors in the living room, for example.  That's not too unusual, but it is in a herringbone pattern, which is spectacular.  The ceiling has hand-painted highlights.  There are painted and wood details all over the house.

The room has 11 alcoves, which May filled with paintings of the 12 apostles. (Peter and Paul had to double up.) The owner commissioned these from a Russian priest who is a famous iconographer.
This kind of extreme detailing is common here.
May and his wife are pictured in a painting on one wall in a sleigh with St. Peter nearby.  It's going to be tough for the next buyer to paint over that, so you're probably looking at the old owners while you live there.

Mexican terra cotta tiles accent the intricate wood floors in the kitchen.

Thhe Free Press article on this includes a laundry list of details that have been added over the last 40 years, and even the owner admits that he will not be able to get all of that back in the selling price.  In a sense, it is over-improved and done specific to this couple's taste.

So I guess I would pass on this place if I were a buyer, mainly because I would have to leave it intact or break my heart and take out some of this exquisite work to put my own touches on the place.  And I could not bear to do either.

Master bathroom.
This bathroom is more comfortable than my living room.

This week, Michigan House Envy visits a elaborately turned-out Tudor-style house is on 38 acres in Lapeer County.