Back to Nature

The Cambridge Homes’ Terra Development in Novi puts the accent on Prairie-style design // Photography by WayUp Media, LLC and Michigan Real Estate Photography

Thoughtfully tucked among 300 acres of secluded woodlands in Novi, Cambridge Homes’ latest luxury development, Terra (meaning “earth”), is the first new development in Michigan inspired by Prairie-style architecture.

Prairie-style design celebrates the beauty of the natural world and was popularized by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s defined by strong horizontal lines and the extensive use of glass. This architectural style can also generate feelings of nostalgia for those who grew up in Mid-century Modern homes and are now looking for aging-in-place living options.

“In developing this property, we listened to what the market was telling us. Demographics show that society is getting older and there’s a growing need for luxury Ranch-style homes. People want to downsize into one-level living, and they gravitate toward open-concept floor plans, cleaner lines, and low maintenance,” Mark Guidobono, CEO of Novi-based Cambridge Homes, explains.

Natural World – Gorgeous wooded property surrounds the homes in the Terra development. Note the Prairie-style accents, including large windows and a sense of bringing the outdoors in.

Cambridge Homes worked with TK Design, a residential home design firm based in South Lyon, to develop six model options for this unique gated community of 40 homes, which will be wrapped in exteriors of stone, brick, and clear cedar. To date, the custom homes range in size from 2,600 to 4,500 square feet, with a starting price of $1.2 million. More than half the lots have already been sold.

Todd Hallett, president of TK Design, says, “We developed this idea of Modern Prairie as the overall theme after seeing the gorgeous, wooded property with rolling hills and mature trees. It’s a peaceful plot of land and the architecture blends well with the environment. In each home, the view pulls you through the home and brings you right into nature, blurring the two.”

“Terra is surrounded by protected parklands, and we wanted to protect its natural environment,” Guidobono adds. “Even though it’s only 10 minutes to shopping, dining, and downtown Northville, you feel like you’re Up North. It’s so quiet, relaxing, and private.” Florida-style lanais with electronic screens are offered as an option for homeowners who want to further enjoy the natural setting.

The spacious floor plans are thoughtfully designed for the targeted market. Says Hallett: “The interiors are more casual and less formal, but sophisticated. We focused on ease of living, convenience, and one-level living, with the ability to go to a lower level. We designed wider hallways and made everything easier to navigate.”

According to both men, the reaction to the innovative project has been overwhelmingly positive. “You know you’ve really got something when builders and architects regularly walk through your model home,” Guidobono says. “This is special.”