Beautiful Transition

Al fresco dining is a must for these Harbor Springs homeowners // Photography by Beth Singer
Jill Nuding, head of construction for Cottage Company of Harbor Springs, designed an outdoor space for clients who wanted to cook outdoors and enjoy dining al fresco. She removed a bank of windows and installed French doors to access the new kitchen.

Jill Nuding’s clients wanted to extend their outdoor space and enjoy outdoor dining, recalls the head of construction for Cottage Company of Harbor Springs. Located on Lake Michigan’s shoreline in Harbor Springs, the home underwent a full remodel, inside and out. “It was a super fun transition where we removed a bank of windows and installed beautiful French doors to access the new outdoor kitchen,” says Nuding, who’s been with Cottage Company for 20 years. The residence was originally built by Cottage Company as a spec home. The construction head tells clients who want to create an outdoor kitchen to think first about convenience. “You’re adding an outdoor kitchen, so furnish it the way your indoor kitchen works,” she says. “Don’t skip the sink; you’ll want it! Don’t skip the beverage center, because I promise you you’ll want it. And give yourself enough counter space to prep, grill, and serve.”

These clients, she says, “did everything to make it work for their family.”

Jill Nuding

The outdoor kitchen, located on the home’s east side (the lake is on the west side), was once an open patio that was accessed from a lower level. Nuding, who’s currently building the clients a guesthouse, adds that Cottage Company’s interior design team was involved in procuring the furniture.

Nuding says there’s no shortage of outdoor kitchen projects in northwest Michigan; in fact, she’s also working on three outdoor kitchens for a mixed-use project with views in downtown Harbor Springs, and she’s in the process of creating a rooftop outdoor kitchen for a single-family home. “We all want to be in the beautiful outdoors,” she says, “under the skies of Harbor Springs.”



Living in Harbor Springs is like being on vacation all the time, says Jill Nuding, construction head at Cottage Company of Harbor Springs. “Our waterfront is so accessible, and our Cottage Company office is (in the) front row, (bordering) the harbor downtown. I literally see the beautiful water every single day.” Her favorite body of water, naturally, is Lake Michigan, with its “multiple shades of blue.” She also loves how you feel small when standing next to it. “It’s like an ocean,” she says. Nuding has fond childhood memories of spending endless summer hours playing in the inland lakes in northern Michigan. “(My cousins and I) negotiated with our parents, stating we didn’t understand why we had to stop playing to take a bath because we swam in the lake all day!”

— MS


“I love to cook for a lot of people,” says construction head Jill Nuding, of Cottage Company of Harbor Springs. If you’re like Nuding, you’ll want to heed this advice: “Don’t forget the convenience factor. Make a place for your spices and make certain your grilling tools fit in the kitchen drawers. Take time to think about how you’re going to use the space as an area to prepare and serve.”

— MS

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