Custom Home Design Services in Michigan

Our Michigan custom home design team is here to help you make your vision a reality, whether you want a modest summer cottage in Traverse City or a luxurious estate on the outskirts of Grand Rapids.

How to Find a Good Residential Design Service Near You

You might have a certain picture in your mind of what an architect is like: An uptight, pretentious person who would rather go with their vision than what their clients want.

Erase that picture when you’re looking for a partner. We believe our best assets are our ears and not our hands. After all, we started our firm to get away from architects like that. Generally speaking, we recommend looking for a few different elements when you’re courting Grand Rapids residential design services:

  • Good listening skills: If you’re going through the effort of looking for residential designers, you should find someone who will take the time to listen to your vision rather than follow their own.
  • Friendliness: At 42º North, we’re looking to establish a long-term relationship. We offer experience-centered service, but we want to make sure your home is something that will fit your needs for generations to come. 
  • Design agnosticism: While there are certainly architectural styles we would consider our specialties, we won’t try to shoehorn you into certain specific design styles just because of that.

Our Residential Architectural Styles

Traditional Homes

Focusing on historic architectural styles from centuries past, traditional-style architecture marries simplicity and sophistication to impart a sense of timeless elegance.


Featuring simple, understated detailing and wraparound porches, farmhouse-style architecture often uses open floor plans, exposed rafters, and airy designs to provide comfort and sensibility. A white exterior with black windows is a hallmark of today’s farmhouse, thanks to Joanna Gaines.

Prairie Style

We have become nationally known for our prairie-style homes. Prairie-style architecture tends to focus on expanding the home’s design outward instead of upwards. Originally designed with the Midwest in mind (as the name implies), prairie homes tend to have shallow roofs and overhanging eaves.


The castle-like, old-world European style usually has steeply pitched roofs, bay windows, and multicolored brick exteriors to give a sense of opulence.

English Revival

Based on medieval English building traditions, English Revival-style architecture has ornate lines, prominent front gables, and half-timber exterior walls to create a stately but cozy appearance.


Craftsman-style homes typically feature wide, low profiles on the outside with gabled roofs and front porches with support columns. However, on the inside, they often feature exposed rafters, open floor plans, and a timeless feel.

And Many More

This list is far from exhaustive. Whether you’re looking for a modern or contemporary home design, a transitional home, or some combination of different styles in our portfolio or beyond, we can work with you to make your exact vision a reality.

Our Custom Home Design Process

Connect with Us

If you’re planning to jump into the long-term commitment of an important project with us, we’ll want to get to know each other first. After all, building trust and connections takes time. We’ll get drinks and have a few laughs together either online or in person.

During these early stages of the process, we’ll ask you hundreds of questions. Where do you put your keys when you get home every day? How about your phone? These little details help us develop references as we start to design your new home.

We’re firm believers that if an architect starts drawing live in the first meeting, you might be with the wrong partner. To put it gently, we think this is just a bunch of showmanship that only illustrates the architect isn’t gathering the key information they need to understand your vision.

Tell Us About Your Lifestyle Vision

While we can’t speak for every home designer in America, we firmly believe that a home designer’s best asset isn’t their hands—it’s their ears.

When you choose us as your residential designer, we’ll spend a lot of time learning about how you use your current space, through questions and observations. You’ll fill out a questionnaire that focuses on what you love—and hate—about your current home, past homes, or even hotels and other places you’ve experienced.

Or perhaps you live in a house that has three floors, which was great when you bought it and didn’t have three toddlers or arthritis in your knees. Maybe your current home existed during the 70s and had carpeting in the bathroom. Or worse still, maybe your house is old enough to only have one bathroom for five bedrooms. 

No matter what the case might be, we want to hear about you and see how you interact with your home.

Give Us a Tour of Your Current Home

We mentioned the perils of drawing live in the first meeting once already, but we really can’t emphasize this enough. If an architect starts drawing a design for you without visiting your current home first, you’re with the wrong home designer.

At 42º North, we’ll take a tour of your current home. Above everything else, this is the most important part of the process for us! It gives us an idea of how you use your current space and shows us how you interact with your home in ways you might not even realize. Plus, it shows us things we’d never be able to discuss just through a questionnaire or initial consultation.

Together, we’ll walk through each part of your current house to learn more about the ergonomics, spatial relations, and scale. This can tell us a lot about how to design your new home to fit exactly what you need and want.

We Put Pen to Paper

Not literally—we use cutting-edge CAD software to give you an exact visual of what your home will look like. Our top priority is to focus on the feelings you want to experience when you wake up in your bedroom in the morning, come home from work at night, and every moment in between.

It’s important to us that we learn every single detail of what you’re trying to accomplish. We also want to make sure you see as much of what the final product will look like as possible. That’s why we use 3D modeling to flesh out the design of your new home. We’ll even go down to the fine details including the landscaping, siding, and interior design.

We Become Your Construction Partner

Expect us to be hands-on even after you give us the final approval for your custom home design! We’ll still be around after we finalize everything. That way, we can make sure your new dream home becomes a reality while keeping the project on budget.

You can expect frequent site visits and communication with your building team to check in on their progress. We’ll also refer you to some recommended interior designers, landscapers, and other professionals.

Bring Your Custom Home Design Ideas to Life

Ready to make your dream home a reality? Connect with us to get started and let us be your custom home designer.