Kirsten Young, right, and her husband, Michael, had vacationed in southwest Michigan’s Harbor Country so many times over the years, they decided they’d look into purchasing a vacation home. That was 17 years ago, and they fell in love with a cottage in Sawyer. “My husband grew up going to the dunes there once or twice a year, so we would visit two or three times a year and enjoy wine tastings and fruit-farm visits,” says Kirsten, an interior designer who now runs Interior Blooms Design, based in Sawyer and Western Springs, Ill. “On our last trip of the summer, we arranged to see a few houses for sale. After seeing the third house (their current home) we made an offer and went for a nice dinner, nervous over our quick decision to buy a second home. It was one of the best decisions we ever made!”
Chip Steffey, a general contractor, was building the home for himself but his plans changed, Young recalls, and it was available for purchase. Unfortunately, in 2017 a winter flood destroyed much of the A-frame home, so the couple rebuilt it over a six-month period. During the process, Young decided to upgrade the kitchen because the family loves to cook and entertain. “I went with Christopher Peacock Cabinetry. They offer such quality,” she says. “I knew I wanted a classic kitchen and chose their Scullery collection cabinetry for our space. I was also impressed with the details such as the unlacquered brass protective strip that they include on the waste bin drawers and fully integrated dishwasher panels.”
She also installed a larger sink, created more room between the refrigerator and island, and added a second dishwasher and a beverage fridge/wine chiller. With Douglas fir flooring and fir window trim, the kitchen vibe is as warm as the woodsy colors outdoors that envelop the cozy cottage. More spicy attractions include a bright-red Le Creuset pot. “It matches the red knobs on the range,” Young says. “It’s our everyday pot; we (use it for) everything from braised short ribs to soups and stews.”
A hand-knotted Persian vintage runner from oldnewhouse.com, a stack of vintage cheese boxes, and floral plates from the Sawyer Home & Garden Center kept in a plate drawer add to the charm. Rounding out the look: A chandelier from Tower Lighting (in La Grange, Ill.). “It has just the right amount of crystal,” Young says, “and it’s not too rustic.”
More information: interiorbloomsdesign.com
Lake Life Lowdown
“Lake Michigan is a short walk (500 feet) from the back of our home, which is on the lee side of the dune. The water is clean and beautiful,” designer Kirsten Young says. “We like to paddleboard there; when it’s calm, you can see clear to the bottom. There’s no place like this. And the sunsets are awesome.”
“Every space should have something that’s personal to you — something you collected on vacation or a family heirloom. That’s difficult in kitchens, because there’s not a lot of space,” says designer Kirsten Young. Her kitchen features photographs her husband took of Michigan fruit, above. “He uses a Hasselblad 120 film camera; it’s his hobby,” she says. Meanwhile, a dark brown crock placed on the couple’s wine rack once belonged to her grandfather.