Planning for a Marvelous Summer at the Cottage

Late winter is that time of year when waterfront property owners and others begin planning for the upcoming warm seasons.
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Michigan Beach in the Summer - photography courtesy Birch Lodge
Guests at the 134-year-old Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island will continue to enjoy the Victorian styling and hospitality that has made it a global icon - Photography courtesy Birch Lodge.

Late winter is that time of year when waterfront property owners and others begin planning for the upcoming warm seasons. Will it be the year to buy a boat, a personal watercraft or a standup paddleboard? Does the cottage deck need refinishing? Do stairs to the beach need to be rebuilt?

Fortunately, several home and garden, cottage, and lakefront living shows or boat shows are scheduled during the next two months. Each presents an opportunity to see what is offered in the marketplace, what new designs and technologies are available, and a chance to meet or arrange to meet with a variety of providers all under one roof.

To find out about those shows, be sure to check out the Excursions calendar found in the back of this issue. Many are shows where couples and others can confer with contractors, interior designers, landscapers and others about their anticipated projects.

This annual Cottages issue is a celebration of cottage life and waterfront living with stories about waterfront homes, great places to visit or dine, and other unique Michigan people and things. One of my favorite stories is Amy Eckert’s profile about artist Nawal Motawi, the Ann Arbor tile designer, and her company Motawi Tileworks. Maybe you have longed for a custom kitchen backsplash, fireplace or bathroom wall. Motowi’s creative work is in high demand.

Writer Jeanine Matlow, a regular contributor and the source of our home décor and many of our waterfront home stories, has a large presence in this issue. For those used to finding her home decorating stories in our Waterways section, that is changing. Jeanine’s regular home décor stories will now appear as an expanded and dedicated column about home decorating. Jeanine began writing for BLUE in 2014; she has a passion for homes that is obvious every time I speak with her.

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, including my father, who had a women’s apparel store in New Jersey where I’m from,” she said. “I was always fascinated with his window displays and mannequins. As a child, I loved to draw rooms and see how other people lived and that curiosity continues today. I truly enjoy the entire process of my assignments, from the story concepts to interviewing homeowners and professionals and weaving it all together.

In this issue, you also will find the story of Birch Lodge by Dianna Stampfler, another regular BLUE contributor. Birch Lodge is located on the shores of Trout Lake in the Upper Peninsula. It was opened in 1912 as a resort and sanitarium. Recently renovated and modernized to provide a laid-back, on-the-water vacation experience, this historic lodge is one of several we will bring you in our new Historic Inns & Lodges department, yet another look at special places in Michigan.


Howard Meyerson – Managing Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine.

*Photography courtesy Birch Lodge

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