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Hygge Supply: The Kit House Reimagined from Northern Michigan

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Hygge Supply: The Kit House Reimagined from Northern Michigan

March 28, 2018

After working in fashion event production for 12 years, Kelly Sean Karcher, who splits his time between Brooklyn and the Leelanau Peninsula in northern Michigan, got the idea of reinventing the traditional kit house while undertaking two massive and complicated old house rehabs. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if building a house could be more like putting Legos together?” Hygge Supply was born to deliver basic yet elevated materials and finishes to build sites across the country. (The company’s motto is “What if happiness came in a box?”) “I wanted to create the ultimate Sears-Roebuck kit crossed with the aesthetic of Phillip Johnson Glass House,” Karcher says.

With Hygge Supply, clients personalize everything from layout configurations and add-ons to color selections and a tightly curated collection of finishes. With the seventh Hygge Supply install already under way (not including separate kitchen cabinet kits shipping to existing houses), Karcher has become a master of high-functioning modular interior systems that are clever, refined, and impressively furniture-like. Here, a closer look at his approach.

Exteriors are a custom series of metal panels painted with calm, deep colors and floor-to-ceiling windows with matching trim. Usually, structurally insulated panels (SIP) are metal on both sides with a layer of oriented strand board (OSB), but Karcher partnered with a manufacturing company to create panels that are metal on only one side without OSB. The goal is to create modern packaged homes with durable materials that require little maintenance. “You take care of the exterior like you would take care of your car, except less frequently—wash and rinse it once a year and you’re done.”
Above: Exteriors are a custom series of metal panels painted with calm, deep colors and floor-to-ceiling windows with matching trim. Usually, structurally insulated panels (SIP) are metal on both sides with a layer of oriented strand board (OSB), but Karcher partnered with a manufacturing company to create panels that are metal on only one side without OSB. The goal is to create modern packaged homes with durable materials that require little maintenance. “You take care of the exterior like you would take care of your car, except less frequently—wash and rinse it once a year and you’re done.”
Because Hygge Supply layouts deliver an open-plan kitchen/living area, and require uncomplicated installation, Karcher treats kitchen systems like pieces of furniture that fit into a pocket in the wall, or exist as a freestanding unit. Cabinet fronts are powder-coated MDF with a matte finish. Dimmable LED flush-mount lights are installed through the house (even in cabinet units) and paired with pendant lights and sconces for visual interest. Here, a pair of antique brass oversize pendants by Visual Comfort command the island.
Above: Because Hygge Supply layouts deliver an open-plan kitchen/living area, and require uncomplicated installation, Karcher treats kitchen systems like pieces of furniture that fit into a pocket in the wall, or exist as a freestanding unit. Cabinet fronts are powder-coated MDF with a matte finish. Dimmable LED flush-mount lights are installed through the house (even in cabinet units) and paired with pendant lights and sconces for visual interest. Here, a pair of antique brass oversize pendants by Visual Comfort command the island.
A Bosch -inch refrigerator is hidden in a system of cabinets with a custom panel front. Clients can choose to integrate the refrigerator into a tall freestanding piece of furniture or nest it within cabinets as shown. “When clients want a larger refrigerator, I recommend using two side-by-side like a French door setup,” Karcher says.
Above: A Bosch 24-inch refrigerator is hidden in a system of cabinets with a custom panel front. Clients can choose to integrate the refrigerator into a tall freestanding piece of furniture or nest it within cabinets as shown. “When clients want a larger refrigerator, I recommend using two side-by-side like a French door setup,” Karcher says.
A hidden Braun downdraft vent is tucked behind the Bosch 800-series stovetop in walnut butcher block, one of three butcher block woods (marble and stainless steel are also options).
Above: A hidden Braun downdraft vent is tucked behind the Bosch 800-series stovetop in walnut butcher block, one of three butcher block woods (marble and stainless steel are also options).
To keep the island clean and visually consistent “so the island truly looks like a piece of furniture,” the Fisher & Paykel dishwasher is hidden in a drawer with a custom front to match the kitchen cabinets. Below the dishwasher drawer, there’s another -inch drawer for additional storage. “I put dishwashers in the top drawer, so you don’t have to bend all the way to the floor to put dishes inside.”
Above: To keep the island clean and visually consistent “so the island truly looks like a piece of furniture,” the Fisher & Paykel dishwasher is hidden in a drawer with a custom front to match the kitchen cabinets. Below the dishwasher drawer, there’s another 10-inch drawer for additional storage. “I put dishwashers in the top drawer, so you don’t have to bend all the way to the floor to put dishes inside.”
A look inside the kitchen’s dishwasher drawer, the Fisher & Paykel appliance has a powder blue interior that compliments the kitchen’s olive green cabinet fronts.
Above: A look inside the kitchen’s dishwasher drawer, the Fisher & Paykel appliance has a powder blue interior that compliments the kitchen’s olive green cabinet fronts.
In this configuration, a warming drawer is located directly below the 30-inch Bosch 500-series oven with matching hardware and cabinet panel for a seamless look.
Above: In this configuration, a warming drawer is located directly below the 30-inch Bosch 500-series oven with matching hardware and cabinet panel for a seamless look.
Long elegant hallways are a Hygge Supply hallmark. Clad in custom-tinted plywood, the hallway seen here belongs to the original Hygge Supply house where Karcher currently lives. While Hygge Supply bedrooms are equipped with pocket doors, their long hallways create privacy in an open floor plan without the need to close off rooms.
Above: Long elegant hallways are a Hygge Supply hallmark. Clad in custom-tinted plywood, the hallway seen here belongs to the original Hygge Supply house where Karcher currently lives. While Hygge Supply bedrooms are equipped with pocket doors, their long hallways create privacy in an open floor plan without the need to close off rooms.
A bedroom featuring polished concrete floors with radiant heating. The windows are a standard Hygge Supply offering by Sierra Pacific, installed floor-to-ceiling to bring the outside in. The window’s interior wood frames have a matte finish—here, in clear pine.
Above: A bedroom featuring polished concrete floors with radiant heating. The windows are a standard Hygge Supply offering by Sierra Pacific, installed floor-to-ceiling to bring the outside in. The window’s interior wood frames have a matte finish—here, in clear pine.
Using the same matte powder-coated fronts seen in the kitchen, Karcher hides the washer and dryer in custom-configured organization systems that can be applied for various purposes: entryway, pantry, bar, utility closet, and broom storage.
Above: Using the same matte powder-coated fronts seen in the kitchen, Karcher hides the washer and dryer in custom-configured organization systems that can be applied for various purposes: entryway, pantry, bar, utility closet, and broom storage.
A bathroom with a spacious wet room with exposed and heated aggregate cement floors (“a nod to the rocks of Lake Michigan,” says Karcher). An insulated soaking tub and Delta Trinsic fixtures are selected for their simple, hardworking design and easy installation. Shower knobs are hidden on the side of the glass entry rather than beneath the showerhead. As seen with the hallway and bedroom layout, bathrooms too, while open plan, are configured for privacy.
Above: A bathroom with a spacious wet room with exposed and heated aggregate cement floors (“a nod to the rocks of Lake Michigan,” says Karcher). An insulated soaking tub and Delta Trinsic fixtures are selected for their simple, hardworking design and easy installation. Shower knobs are hidden on the side of the glass entry rather than beneath the showerhead. As seen with the hallway and bedroom layout, bathrooms too, while open plan, are configured for privacy.

Hygge Supply houses range from a 350-square-foot model to three-bedroom houses. For more information, visit Hygge Supply.

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