Walloon Lake Transformation

A northern Michigan cottage undergoes a warm and inviting overhaul // Photography by Beth Singer
What a View The inviting family room boasts a large picture window that looks out over Walloon Lake.

The original cottage that once stood overlooking the west arm of Walloon Lake near Petoskey was a β€œ1970s type with very low ceilings and had probably been added on to through the years,” recalls interior designer Nicole Withers, of Jones-Keena & Co. in Birmingham.

Perched high above the lake, the original structure’s views were remarkable. Maximizing those views and reorganizing the interior spaces to make them more open and take better advantage of the lot’s scenic setting were priorities for the redo that began in 2017. β€œReally comfortable and family friendly” were touch-points for the homeowners and described the end results they had in mind when they started the project.

Team members included the homeowners, Withers, who had worked with them on a few other design projects, and builder Steve Steffes, of North Bay Construction in Petoskey. β€œWe took it down to the studs,” Withers explains. β€œWe redid the entire faΓ§ade, changing it into a charming farmhouse.”

A cozy breakfast nook is a great place to start the day.

Since the homeowners were starting over with the property, the team seized the opportunity to improve on the floor plan and the 3,800-square-foot home’s interior flow. β€œWe definitely reorganized the space,” the designer explains, adding that in addition to moving some rooms, they decided to follow the roof structure and add beams to emphasize it. β€œWe took the ceilings up to get interesting ceiling details. Doing so changed the whole feeling of the house,” she says.

A working stone fireplace was added for what the homeowners call β€œthat real Up North look.” Hues found in the stone inspired the colors used throughout the house, according to the designer.

Reorganizing the interior enabled the team to rethink the existing space and take full advantage of the views. β€œWe tried to make the spaces flow together,” Withers says. β€œThe old kitchen was closed off, but the space is now open to the view of the lake. When you walk in from the front door you can see the lake; that was important to them.”

Other priorities included creating a warm and welcoming getaway that accommodates the homeowners as well as their three boys and dogs. β€œIt had to be family friendly, for sure,” Withers says, adding that the active boys often bring friends. β€œThe house had to be able to sleep a crew,” she says. Because the family has all boys and a certain built-in masculinity, Withers made the guest rooms more feminine, ensuring a pleasing balance. β€œThere’s a lot of male energy,” she jokes. She also added whimsical touches through her wallpaper, color, and accessories choices.

Challenges included the lot, which has a steep hill and semi-rugged terrain that β€œmakes it feel like both a journey and an adventure,” especially in winter, when four-wheel drives are definitely needed, Withers says.

The four-bedroom, five-bath project took approximately a year to complete. Withers says she’s proud of the entire house, but admits to being partial to the black-and-green master bedroom, with its bold art. β€œIt’s a very interesting space; it just feels good when you walk in there,” the designer reports. The homeowner agrees. β€œIt feels like a happy room,” she says.

The homeowner and the designer were pleased that things went according to plan. β€œI have no regrets,” Withers says. β€œI feel like we really made good choices. This is one of those projects where everything aligned.”

The homeowner seconds that opinion, adding: β€œThere’s nothing I would do differently. Nicole nailed it.”

She says she relaxes the minute she walks in and sees the lake. β€œEverything slows down,” she says. β€œIt’s just a cozy, easy place.”


HEIRLOOM TREASURE

Painting the Past: Much of this Walloon Lake home may have been reimagined, but one important piece of the past remains. The previous owner started Lavender Hill Farms, a popular lavender farm in Boyne City. Local artist Kevin Barton created an original oil painting, not shown, of the farm and the surrounding rolling hills filled with trees, fields, and lavender, and she had the piece hanging in the entrance to the house.

β€œWhen she was going to have an estate sale I asked if she was selling that,” the current homeowner explains. β€œShe agreed to sell it to me. I had it reframed and now have it hanging in the entrance, as well. I like that it honors the home’s history.” β€” KZ


Taking Flight
Fun wallpaper of birds and butterflies, by Schumacher, and a peaked ceiling add life to the neutral guest bath.

BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Nicole Withers, Jones Keena & Co., Birmingham, jones-keena.com

BATHROOM, GUEST
Cabinet – Framingham Vanity, Fairmont Designs, Pointe Cabinets and Design, Grosse Pointe Woods
Faucet – American Standard, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Troy
Flooring – Virginia Tile, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Mirror – Finnick Mirror, Uttermost
Sconces – Yoke Suspended Sconce, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Shower Tile – Virginia Tile, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Wallpaper – Birds & Butterflies, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy

BATHROOM, MASTER
Artwork – Trowbridge Gallery
Cabinetry – Custom, Detroit Woodworking, St. Clair Shores
Countertop – White Princess Natural Quartz, PMP Marble and Granite, Troy
Faucet – Rohl, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Troy
Flooring – Virginia Tile, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Mirror – Custom, North Bay Construction, Petoskey
Sconces – Ruhlmann Sconce, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Shower – North Bay Construction, Petoskey
Shower Tile (decorative) – Virginia Tile, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sinks – Mirabelle, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Troy
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Eider White

BEDROOM, GUEST
Bed Frame – Amy Howard, Amy Howard at Home Furniture Collection
Bedding – Amity Home
Drapery – Kravet, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Trim, Fabricut, Designer Furniture Services and Fabrics, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lamp, Table – Harper Table Lamp, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Pillows, Accent – Amity Home
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Egret White

BEDROOM, MASTER
Armchair – Custom, Jones-Keena & Co. Upholstery Studio, Birmingham; Fabric, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Artwork – South & English
Bed Frame – Wellesley Bed, Redford House, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Bedding – Peacock Alley
Chest, Display – Greene Cupboard, Phillips Scott
Chests, Bedside – Sofia Chest, Phillips Scott
Drapery – Kravet, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Trim, Fabricut, Designer Furniture Services and Fabrics, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Flooring – White Oak, Surfaces, Material Gallery, Petoskey
Lamps, Bedside – Porter Lamps, Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Kenya Collection, Safavieh
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Egret White

BREAKFAST NOOK
Chairs, Dining – Sloan Chairs, Four Hands
Door, Barn – Custom, North Bay Construction, Petoskey
Flooring – White Oak, Surfaces Material Gallery, Petoskey
Fruit Bowl – Jan Barboglio
Light, Ceiling – Timpano Pendant, Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Staircase – Custom, North Bay Construction, Petoskey
Table, Dining – Austin Table with Zinc Top, Noir Trading
Wall Treatment – Thibaut, Fog, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Window Shade Fabric – Kravet, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Scalamandre, Troy

CLOSET, WALK-IN
Artwork – Bungalow 5
Bench – Surya
Chandelier – Flanders Chandelier, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Drapery – Kravet, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Trim, Fabricut, Designer Furniture Services and Fabrics, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Flooring – White Oak, Surfaces Material Gallery, Petoskey
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Egret White
Wardrobe – Custom, Detroit Woodworking, St. Clair Shores

DINING ROOM
Chairs, Dining – Scarsdale Dining Chair, Worlds Away, Jones-Keena & Co., Birmingham
Chandelier – Belden Linear Lantern, Visual Comfort, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Drapery – Kravet and Lee Jofa, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Flooring – White Oak, Surfaces Material Gallery, Petoskey
Sculptures, Gear – Cyan Design, Perigold
Table, Dining – New Trestle Table, Curations
Vase, Teal – Clubcu
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Pure White
Wall Treatment – Nickel Gap, North Bay Construction, Petoskey

FAMILY ROOM
Armchairs – Houston Swivel Chair, Wesley Hall, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Bench – Mansfield Bench, Bernhardt, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Cabinetry – Pointe Cabinets and Design, Grosse Pointe Woods
Drapery – Kravet, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Scalamandre, Troy
Flooring – White Oak, Surfaces, Petoskey
Lamp, Floor – Currey & Co., RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Patchwork Vintage, Creative Touch
Sofas – Emory Sofa, Hickory Chair, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Table, Coffee – Modern History
Vase – Asian Loft
Wall Treatment – Thibaut, Fog, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy

SITTING ROOM
Armchair – Deb Chair, Stafford Furniture
Fireplace – Stone, Emmet Brick & Block, Petoskey; Mantle, Reclaimed Wood, Surfaces Material Gallery, Petoskey; Masonry, Emmet Brick & Block, Petoskey
Flooring – White Oak, Surfaces Material Gallery, Petoskey
Lamps, Floor – Elena Floor Lamps, Gabby
Ottoman – Custom, Jones-Keena & Co. Upholstery Studio, Birmingham; Fabric, Kravet, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy, Zimmer & Rohde
Rug – Greta Rug, Surya
Sectional – Riley Sectional, Universal Furniture
Table, Occasional – Lucinda Table, Gabby
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Pure White
Wall Treatment – Nickel Gap, North Bay Construction, Petoskey
Window Shades – Kravet and Lee Jofa, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS
Builder – North Bay Construction, Petoskey
Drapery Fabrication – Designs Designs, Commerce Twp.

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