Making Memories

A rustic-style new-build cottage on Torch Lake is a getaway that will welcome family for decades to come // Photography by Beth Singer
97
Covered and uncovered porches take full advantage of the views of Torch Lake.

“Fishing, hiking, sailing, skiing, and large family gatherings with lots of food” are among the memories the owners of this rustic retreat cherish from their childhoods — his in northern Michigan, hers in New England.

It’s not surprising that, years later, they wanted to re-create those happy years with their own family. After many scouting trips to northern Michigan, the couple opted for a place on Torch Lake in Bellaire, in part because it offered “pristine water quality,” not to mention an excellent youth sailing program, nearby ski areas, and easy access to Traverse City, Charlevoix, Petoskey, and Harbor Springs.

The active family, who live downstate but also have a home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., purchased an existing Mid-century home on the lake’s east side that boasted stunning sunset views in 2000. Less impressive, however, were the home’s ongoing water issues, caused in part by the lot’s 12- to 14-foot grade change, says architect Steve Werner, of Shoreline Architecture & Design in Petoskey, who also worked with his business partner, architect Michael Pattullo, on the project. Fifteen years later, the homeowners consulted with builders and architects about renovating the home — a plan they eventually abandoned. “Most said it would be more efficient and cost-effective, and we would end up with a more cohesive complex if we started from scratch,” the homeowner recalls.

A fresh start meant they were able to prioritize what they’d always wanted in a lake home. At the top of the list was “a place our family will enjoy for generations,” the homeowner explains. “We wanted to have a home that was comfortable, with room for our extended family (and grandchildren in the future). But while we wanted plenty of room and comfort, we didn’t want our place to be overstated. It was very important to us that it fit within the environment. It’s somewhat hidden from the roadside and the water by native trees and other landscape. We both like the look and feel of the barns and ranches we’ve experienced in Jackson, Wyo., and wanted to bring some of that feel to Torch Lake.”

Wood and steel elements were inspired by old mining architecture in the West.

The couple eventually selected their builder — Roger Widing, of Widing Custom Homes in Traverse City. They had also kept a thick inspiration file, which they passed along to the architects and interior designer Lucy Earl, of Jones-Keena & Co. in Birmingham, during the planning process.

“Natural products, especially the blend of barn wood and stone, appeal to us,” the homeowner explains. Werner and Pattullo researched Western building styles — reclaimed mining structures in particular — and eventually landed on a style Werner calls “Mountain Rustic.” Popular out west, there’s nothing  similar in northern Michigan. “I like how it embraces the site and the views,” he says. “It’s designed to capture as much natural light as possible.” Designer Earl says the architects “did a great job laying out the house; everything works fantastically.”

Splashes of crimson — including a red ladder, oven knobs, and a mixer — complement the kitchen’s otherwise black-and-white palette.

Texture plays a large part indoors and out, according to both the designer and the architect. Barn beams and stone complement the judicious use of steel and other industrial elements. A stone fireplace in the living room is among the designer’s favorite features, as is the open-plan kitchen, with its expansive soapstone island and bright red ladder.

Earl integrated color “in small ways” throughout the home’s predominantly black-and-white palette. Also prominently featured is the family’s enviable art collection. “Textiles, rugs, and art — she loves the same things I do,” Earl says of the homeowner. For their part, the homeowners praised Earl’s ability to personalize their décor. “She quickly learned our sense of style and helped us refine it,” they explain, adding that the designer also introduced them to Environmental Artists’ Jeff Hennig, who integrated the structures and the landscape and added one of the female homeowner’s favorite features: a large raised garden full of organic vegetables and a spot she calls her “happy zone.”

Guests might prefer the renovated on-site guest house or the new three-story barn, the only structure visible from the road. Built using reclaimed lumber, the barn features the same large beams and rustic style found in the main house. In addition to extra sleeping quarters, it houses an entertainment area with vaulted ceilings and a lower area that provides storage space for sailboats and other toys.

Finished in 2017, “the house came together beautifully,” says Werner, who adds that “it’s one of the houses we’re most proud of.” The designer agrees, adding: “I wouldn’t do anything differently.” Earl says the two-year project “was just a blast.”

The lucky owners spend approximately six months a year enjoying the lake and the home’s many pleasures. They treasure their quiet weekends, but point out that they’re seldom there alone — which is exactly what they had in mind when planning began. “Our niece recently had a wedding in northern Michigan and we actually had room to sleep 38 people,” the couple marvels, adding that they and their young adult children also host family and college reunions at the house each summer that are filled with fishing, hiking, sailing, skiing, and, of course, lots of food.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to views of verdant trees and Torch Lake’s aquamarine expanse? Dark trim on the master bedroom’s bed echoes that on the nearby windows.

BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Lucy Earl, Jones-Keena & Co., Birmingham, jones-keena.com

BATHROOM, MASTER
Cabinets – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Ceiling Treatment – Travertine, Venetian Plaster, Venetian Plaster Co., Lake Orion
Countertops – Cristallo Honed Finish, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Faucets – Rocky Mountain, Russell Hardware, Bloomfield Hills
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Mirrors – Frame, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Sconces – Covington Sconce, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Wall Treatment – Venetian Plaster, Venetian Plaster Co., Lake Orion

BEDROOM, GUEST
Beams – Reclaimed Wood, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Bed Frames – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Bedding – Pine Cone Hill, Annie Selke
Lighting – Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Mattress Covers – Pindler, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

BEDROOM, MASTER
Bed Frame – Metz Bed, Alfonso Marina
Bedding – Halley Duvet, Alvasa Home
Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Gap, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Chairs – Louis XVI Chairs, Cowtan & Tout Fabric, Alfonso Marina
Drapery – Coraggio Fabric; Fabrication, Designs Designs Ltd., Wixom
Fan – Quorum, Michigan Chandelier Co., Troy
Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills
Lamps, Bedside – Clubcu
Pillows, Accent – Daiquiri Pattern, Nobilis Paris, Lori Reed
Rug – Nashville Rug Gallery
Table, Occasional – Antique, Sleepy Hollow Antiques
Tables, Bedside – Alfonso Marina
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

DINING ROOM
Cabinets, Wooden – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Chairs, Dining – Verellen, Chatham House Interior Design, Troy; Upholstery, Nobilis Paris, Faux Leather
Chandelier – Darlana, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Troy
Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills
Rug – Patrick Charles Ltd.
Table, Dining – Elias Dining Table, Four Hands Home
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

FOYER
Bench – Asia Minor Carpets
Ceiling Treatment – Walnut, Salvaged Wood Beams, Steel, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Chandelier – Dos Cubos Pendant, Solaria
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Vintage Cicim Kilm, Asia Minor Carpets
Staircase – Northern Staircase Co., Pontiac
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

HALLWAY 1
Artwork – Bodies Panel, Roberta Schilling, Designer Group Collection, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Gap, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lighting, Ceiling – Dos Cubos Pendant, Solaria
Rug – Vintage Cicim Kilm, Asia Minor Carpets
Table, Display – Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

HALLWAY 2
Door, Barn – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City; Paint, Positive Red, Sherwin Williams
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Wall Paint – Black Beauty, Lacquered Finish, Benjamin Moore

HALLWAY 3
Chandelier – Ralph Lauren Roark, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lamp – Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Staircase – Northern Staircase Co., Pontiac
Wall Paint – Black Beauty, Lacquered Finish, Benjamin Moore

HALLWAY, UPSTAIRS
Lighting – Dos Cubos Lanterns, Solaria
Railing – Northern Staircase Co., Pontiac
Rug – Vintage Cicim Kilm, Asia Minor Carpets
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

KITCHEN
Appliances – Miele, Sub-Zero & Viking, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Backsplash – PMP Marble & Granite, PMP, Troy
Bar Stools – Villiers Counter Stool, Alfonso Marina
Cabinets – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Board, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Countertops – Soapstone, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Faucets and Sink – Julien, Advance Plumbing, Detroit
Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills
Hood – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Ladder – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Lighting, Ceiling – Darlana Pendant, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lighting, Sink – Tech Lighting, Lighting Resource Studio, Michigan Design Center, Troy

LAUNDRY ROOM
Cabinets – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Countertops – Soapstone, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lighting – Kennedy Hanging Lamp, Light and Living
Rug – Asia Minor Carpets
Wall Tile – EPRO in Pewter, Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Wall Treatment – Gunmetal Lacquered Raffia, Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

LIVING ROOM
Andirons – Delray Antiques, Atlanta, Ga.
Art, Abstract – Graham Harmon
Chair, Armchair – Noella Wingback in Wolf, Verellen, Chatham House Interior Design, Troy
Fireplace – Brad Hagelstein Stoneworks, Traverse City
Flooring – Walnut Floor with Tung Oil Finish, Premium Hardwoods Inc., Auburn Hills
Lamp – Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Pillows, Accent – Sambra Charcoal, Jane Churchill Fabric, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Kuzu Oushak, Asia Minor Carpets
Sofas – Milano Sofa, Alfonso Marina
Table, Coffee – Four Hands
Tables, Display – Casal Console, Alfonso Marina
Wall Paint – Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore
Wall Trim – Black Beauty, Benjamin Moore

POWDER ROOM
Ceiling Treatment – Nickel Board, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Flooring – German Limestone, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Mirror – Custom, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Sconces – Watt Sconce, Waterworks
Sink – Custom, Hard Topix, Jenison
Wall Paint – Angel’s Trumpet, Benjamin Moore
Wall Treatment – Venetian Plaster with Hand-Embossed Stencil Dots, Venetian Plaster Co., Lake Orion

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS
Architect – Michael Pattullo and Steve Werner, Shoreline Architecture & Design, Petoskey
Builder – Roger Widing, Widing Custom Homes, Traverse City
Cabinetry – Liz Firebaugh, Signature Kitchens, Petoskey
Home Technology Designer – Navot Shoresh, Spire Integrated Systems, Troy
Landscaping – Jeff Hennig, Environmental Artists, Leland
Masonry – Brad Hagelstein Stoneworks Inc., Traverse City
Painting – AMS Custom Painting, LLC, Fife Lake
Roof – Mills Construction Service, Traverse City
Stone Supplier – The Concrete Service Inc., Traverse City
Trim Labor – North Park Construction Co. Inc., Empire
Trim Material – Phillip Elenbaas Millwork, Traverse City
Windows – Marvin Windows distributed by Thomas & Milliken Millwork Inc., Traverse City
Wood Floors –Bob Trudel Floor Covering Installation, Buckley

Facebook Comments