Happy Together

Major renovation makes family get-togethers more memorable at Lake Michigan retreat // Photography by Werner Straube
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The renovated kitchen now has a bigger footprint and a new island.

For a lake house in West Olive, near Grand Haven, the homeowners wanted their getaway to better accommodate seasonal guests. The couple’s newly remodeled refuge near Lake Michigan serves as the perfect gathering spot, thanks to Deidre Remtema, principal of Deidre Interiors; Brian Doezema, project manager from Scott Christopher Homes; and architectural designer Lori Potter, all based in Grand Rapids.

Each summer, the homeowners welcome extended family to their lake house for a few weeks. “It’s a tradition they started that they absolutely love,” Remtema says. “They have a blast, and they wanted to make sure their home is family-friendly.”

An inviting coffee bar is located in the kitchen and a hallway.

A kitchen with a bigger footprint can now handle more people. New features include an island with comfy bar stools and a dining table that seats up to 12. “The idea was that everybody could be together,” Remtema says. “It was too small for people to gather before.” The periwinkle porcelain backsplash echoes the lakeside location, as do the light fixtures above the island, which feature glass globes supported by delicate ropes. The barstools are upholstered in persimmon fabric. “I’m passionate about comfort,” Remtema adds.

“It’s just our lifestyle here in Michigan,” she continues. “We’re a state where people want to gather and entertain outdoors, but when we’re inside with family, we want to have breakfast and coffee and dinner and spend time with them, and sink into a comfortable spot.”

The periwinkle porcelain backsplash echoes the lakeside location.

Shiplap covers the walls in the dining room, where stain-resistant cushions encourage lingering at the expandable table. A built-in bench with storage drawers offers additional seating. “People want to entertain and have long conversations, and crack open another bottle of wine,” the designer says.

Another popular add-on is the coffee bar that’s part of the kitchen and the hallway, offering better traffic flow. “We separated it a bit so when people are getting drinks in the morning, the kitchen doesn’t get congested — but it still feels connected,” she explains.

The popular game room.

A small back porch above the walkout-level garage became a game room, which was on the husband’s wish list. Ample seating includes leather chairs with casters on the front legs, so they can easily pivot between the velvet sectional and the TV for movie nights, when the ottoman doubles as a footrest.

Upholstered chairs on casters surround the game table. “They’re very comfortable, but stylish. You can sit in them for hours,” Remtema says. Horizontal shiplap on the walls was stained to reveal the texture and grain. A coffered ceiling and wood floors add additional warmth.

The expandable dining table that can seat up to 12.

With a full bar, a dartboard, a pool table, and even an arcade game, the well-equipped space and its location get rave reviews from family and friends. “We wanted to mesh the game room with the rest of the home,” Remtema says. “It’s on the main level, so they can open up the double doors and look at the lake, and the windows create a great cross breeze.”

Tall cabinets with drawers make the custom bar feel like a piece of furniture. “It’s extremely functional and very well-planned,” she says. “Everything has a place.” The glass detail was her client’s request. An icemaker and beverage fridge make it easy for guests to help themselves.

Another perspective of the game room.

The area above the game room was built out to add two guest rooms in the two-story home, which also has an attached guest house. A deluxe guest bathroom can accommodate multiple people with four sinks, two of which are in a separate shower area. The striped effect of the blue and white tiles adds visual interest. “In a lake house, tile is aesthetically beautiful, and also very durable for high-traffic areas,” Remtema says. Hooks are another perfect fit. “People always have beach towels and bathing suits,” she adds.

Part of the reconfiguration of the interiors led to a new laundry room on the first floor that’s more functional than its predecessor, and a really pretty powder room. “In a lake house, a powder room is a well-used space. It’s almost like you can’t have enough of them,” Remtema says.

The custom bar in the game room features glass detail and tall cabinets with drawers that make it feel like furniture.

Tile covers the lower walls, protecting them and making them easy to clean. “It adds character,” she says. Blue-and-white wallpaper with a feather motif lends texture, along with a woven grasscloth mirror. “The feathers almost mimic waves, and the frame on the mirror brings in a sand element,” Remtema explains.

Now more than ever, Remtema says she values the work she does with clients like these who want to bring their family and friends together in their home or their lake house. “It just feels more meaningful,” she says. “(It’s) all the details about their hopes and dreams, and how we translated that to help them live their life. That’s the part I love the most — (thinking about) the memories and connections that are going to be made after the work has been completed.”


The custom bar in the game room features glass detail and tall cabinets with drawers that make it feel like furniture.

BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Deidre Remtema, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids, deidreinteriors.com

BATHROOM

Basket, Towel – Target
Flooring – Bliss Stone Pebbles, Zen Fiji Cream
Lighting, Sink – Visual Comfort, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Mirror – Mirror Image Home, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Sink – Kohler, Williams Studio, Grand Rapids
Wall Tile – Sonoma Tile Makers, Virginia Tile, Grand Rapids

BATHROOM, POWDER ROOM

Lighting, Sink – Visual Comfort, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Mirror – Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Sink Unit – Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids; Hard Topix, Jenison
Wall Tile – WOW Subway Lab, Virginia Tile, Grand Rapids
Wallpaper – Schumacher, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids

COFFEE BAR

Cabinets – Custom, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Flooring – Alder, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville
Shelves, Floating – Custom, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Wall Treatment – V Board Paneling

DINING AREA

Bench – Custom, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Chairs, Dining – Old Biscayne Designs, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Chandelier – Visual Comfort, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Flooring – Alder, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville
Table, Dining – Old Biscayne Designs, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Wall Treatment – V Board Paneling

GAME ROOM

Armchair, Leather – Hickory Chair
Armchairs – Design Master, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Cabinets, Mini-Bar – Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Countertop, Mini-Bar – Corian Quartz, Evergreen
Drapery – Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids; Fabric, Schumacher
Flooring – Alder, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville
Lighting – Visual Comfort, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Ottoman – Custom, Vanguard Furniture; Fabric, Lindsay Cowles
Pillows, Accent – Dwellings, Grand Rapids
Sconces, Mini-Bar – Visual Comfort, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Sofa – Performance Velvet, Vanguard Furniture
Table – Old Biscayne Designs, Deidre Interiors, Grand Rapids
Wall Treatment – Wood Paneling, Gray Stain, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids

KITCHEN

Backsplash – Sonoma Tile Makers, Virginia Tile, Grand Rapids
Bar Stools – Canadel
Cabinets, White – Custom, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Cabinets and Bar, Blue – Custom, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Countertop – Corian Quartz, Gray Tundra, Great Lakes Granite Works, Comstock Park
Flooring – Alder, RT Baldwin, Hudsonville
Hood and Refrigerator – Subzero, Bekins, Grand Rapids
Stove – Wolf

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS

Architectural Designer – Lori Potter, Grand Rapids
Client Specialist – Drew Terwee, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids
Project Manager – Brian Doezema, Scott Christopher Homes, Grand Rapids

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