We’re not sure what’s worse: finding yourself up a creek without a paddle or in a lakeside cottage whose walls are empty of said Up North nautical accessory. If your problem is the latter, don’t go overboard in search of an antique one. Nest of Grand Traverse carries a boatload of paddles that are prettily distressed and painted an array of cottage colors. $92, Traverse City, 231-946-0232, nestofgrandtraverse.com.
The heady, fresh-floral scent of these petite French honey soaps is lovely in the bath, but it’s also perfect for sweetly scenting your lingerie drawers. $12 set. Crystal Gardens, Frankfort, 231-352-9321, crystalgardensm22.com.
Now joining the list of people whose lives have been vastly improved by Velcro: stylish women with shoe addictions. Switch Flops boast permanent, comfortable straps topped with Velcro, upon which you can press one of dozens of removable decorative straps, transforming one pair of shoes into a veritable closet-full. Basic Switch Flops shoe, $32 a pair, includes one pair of removable decorative straps; additional straps, $12 a pair. Northern Decor, Beulah, 231-882-7371, northerndecor.com.
Elevate Your Foot
Slide this rustic lemon-colored three-foot bench against the foot of your cottage bed, and you’ll have a pretty place to keep summer quilts for cool nights or to toss your robe on steamy ones. $334, Betsie Bay Furniture, Frankfort, 231-352-4202, betsiebayfurniture.com.
Style in the Bag
The ultra summer standby, this razorback halter dress from Pine Cone Hill folds up to fit in its own clutch-size sack. Stash it in your beach bag to breeze from a Lake Michigan play day to dinner downtown. Its bamboo-and-spandex blend is soft, swingy and keeps wrinkles at bay. $44; other colors available, plus pants and tops. Crystal Crate & Cargo, Beulah, 231-882-5294, crystalcrate.com.
Sting for Your Supper
Oh, honey. No summer serving piece proves as useful on the beach party circuit as a big, unbreakable bowl. Fill this bright and lightweight beauty with a fruitful Up North bounty–try cherries, blueberries and sliced peaches sprinkled with mint leaves and lemon juice–and you’ll be the buzz of any party you attend. $20, Holiday Traditions Inc., Traverse City, 231-941-3499, holidaytraditionstc.com.