Northern Michigan Events: Welcome to the first-ever Northern Home & Cottage Tour: Saturday, September 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It's Not Too Late! Purchase Your $20 Ticket at the Door at Any of the Tour Homes

Enjoy touring these eight lovely examples of vacation architecture, each designed and built for our magnificent Northern Michigan landscape. Produced by Northern Home & Cottage, the tour moves from just north of Traverse City to Leelanau County, showcasing the many dimensions of vacation living in Northern Michigan—from luxurious waterfront homes to a quarter-share condo tucked into a full-service resort.

Along the way, you’ll experience Northern Michigan in September. We like to call it our secret season—when the crowds thin but the sun still saturates the land and water in a golden glow. The tour winds past an unforgettable set of Lake Michigan vistas, from both Old Mission and Leelanau Peninsulas. Pull yourself away from gazing at that blue horizon long enough to stop at a roadside stand and load up with September’s harvest. What a day it promises to be—and you’ll enjoy it more knowing that the tour benefits Habitat for Humanity.

Ticket Information:

Tickets are available in advance for $15 at Traverse City Habitat for Humanity ReStore, MyNorth Media offices and on or by calling 800.678.3416, through September 6th. After September 6th, tickets are available at the door of any tour home for $20.

Traditionally Gracious

Contractor: Mac Luxury Home Construction and Remodeling

#1 Varga  7801 Woodward Ln., Williamsburg  //  Mac Luxury Home Construction and Remodeling, 231.935.4609,

This beautifully appointed home perched on a 17-foot bluff evokes the feel of East Coast seaside homes with its shingled siding and three gracious porticos that overlook Northern Michigan’s freshwater sea. The subtle nautical touches further play out in details including oval windows. Inside, a fieldstone entry, two fireplaces, a circular staircase and a bunk room round out this true coastal getaway home. Interior designer Rita Whaley worked with the homeowner, an artist, to coordinate an interior palette that moves from the neutral shades in the public areas to the seafoam shades of the grand master bedroom—a backdrop that works in harmony with the waterscape framed in a generous use of glass.

Driving Directions: In Acme, just north of the intersection of U.S. 31 North and M-72 E, turn west on Shore Rd. First right on Deepwater Point Rd. Stay straight to Peaceful Valley Rd. Left on Woodward Rd. House is on the left.

Dwell Here

Architect: Ray Kendra, CWS Architects 231.946.3627,

# 2  10621 Craig Rd., Traverse City

Ray Kendra and his clients, a young professional couple from Los Angeles, hiked their newly purchased acreage on a winter day in 2010. The threesome climbed to the top of the wooded ridge that looks out over West Grand Traverse Bay and plotted where the house would go, where the windows should be and basically what it would look like. The result, finished just this summer, is a soft modern home composed of cedar, cement block, oversized metal shingles and a generous use of glass. Kendra was especially attentive to the interior/exterior interfaces, creating spaces including a porch tucked under a cantilevered roof accessible through a Nano wall and a greenhouse just off the kitchen that helps to passively warm the home—while ripening incredible tomatoes. Inside, a distinctive oak floor, selective use of stainless steel and a sleek kitchen play out the organic modern theme. Expect colorful surprises, however, including bright cherry cabinets in the bathroom and a tangerine-colored game room. The homeowners are from L.A., after all.

Go to for more resources (search 2012 Northern Home & Cottage Tour Dwell Here).

Driving Directions: From Traverse City, go north (up the Old Mission Peninsula) on Center Rd. just over six miles. Left on Gray Rd. Then first right on Craig Rd. Driveway is on the left.

2012 Northern Home & Cottage Tour Soft Contemporary

Architect: Whiteford Associates, Inc

#3 Whiteford 1886 Pine Point Pvt., Traverse City  //  Whiteford Associates 231.941.8800,

This exquisite, light-filled home provides a gently inspirational backdrop for the East Grand Traverse Bay view that reads like a mural across the great room. Architect Dave Whiteford incorporated the clean-lined geometric lexicon of Frank Lloyd Wright in intriguing vaulted ceilings, a sleek granite fireplace façade and linear cabinetry. Organic materials including a dark-stained maple floor, limestone kitchen countertops and glass tiles further this early 19th-century modernist feeling. The style is punctuated by the dining room table designed by renowned midcentury architect Alden Dow, that graces the center of the great room. Meg Whiteford’s eye for understated but elegant fabrics, furniture and fixtures finishes this contemporary ode to the finest of design.

Driving Directions: From Traverse City, take Center Road (M-37) north on Old Mission Peninsula 6 miles. Turn right on Pine Point Pvt. First house on right.

Resources for Soft Contemporary:

Builder: Whiteford Associates

Interior Designer: Meg Whiteford

Windows: Anderson/Honor Building Supply

Audio/Video/Electronics: Waara, Traverse City

Window Coverings: Trend, Traverse City

Flooring, wood and carpet: Floor Covering Brokers, Traverse City

Farmhouse Redux

Contractor: Paul Maurer General Contracting  //  Project Partner: Ken Richmond, Architect

#4 Maurer  1171 Bluff Road, Traverse City  //  Paul Maurer General Contracting, 231.941.1448,

This 1881 farmhouse, one of the oldest on Old Mission Peninsula, was in humble condition when contractor Paul Maurer purchased it for his own home. The former owner made one stipulation before agreeing to sell to Maurer: That he keep the original wooden ceilings—nail holes, water damage and all. Maurer put his team to work to bring out the home’s best features, a project that entailed moving the garage to the rear of the home to open up the Lake Michigan view, building a new foundation, replacing windows and flooring, adding a dining room and renovating the kitchen. He also added a magnificent fireplace crafted from stones from the Upper Peninsula. And those ceilings? Maurer had them sanded and painted white.

Driving Directions: From Traverse City take Center Rd. (M-37) approximately 6 miles north on Old Mission Peninsula. Right on Bluff Rd. House is about 1/2 mile on left.

Village Vernacular

Architect: Robert Sears  //  Project Partner: Insignia Builders

#5 Sears  99 S. Main Street, Leland  //  Sears Architects, 616.336.8495,

When award-winning architect Robert Sears was commissioned to design two new condominiums in downtown Leland, he understood that this Leelanau Peninsula village itself would be the homes’ most powerful asset. The results of Sears’s thoughtful planning are twin chocolate-trimmed-in-white units that blend seamlessly into the charming 19th century neighborhoods that surround them. From 499 S. Main Street, it’s just a short walk to the Lake Michigan beach, to the bakery for a fresh baguette, or to historic Fishtown to browse the boutique-filled wharf and pick up smoked fish for dinner. With its hardwood floors, a kitchen that feels beautifully aged but cooks cutting edge, hearth-flanked living room and front porch on Main Street, coming home feels just right.

Driving Directions: Follow M-22 North into Leland. M-22 turns into Main St. The unit is on the east side of Main, four blocks south of the downtown (before the bridge).

Nouveau Craftsman

Contractor: Easling Construction  //  Project Partner: DargaWorks

#6 Busch   532 S. Manitou Trail,   //  Contact: Easling Construction, 231.256.9891,

With its handcrafted touches, including a reclaimed barn wood floor from Pennsylvania, custom wormy-chestnut cabinetry, extensive tilework and a copper hood fabricated by Northern Michigan metal sculptor Bob Purvis, this home defines the new Craftsman look. The owners’ family antiques, handmade furniture and a fireplace hearth built with Petoskey stones (gathered by the owner) round out the warm and sophisticated lodge feeling. But the pièce de résistance of this five-bedroom home is the expansive view of Lake Michigan’s Good Harbor Bay—a jeweled backdrop to a stunning home.

Driving Directions: From Leland, south on M-22 just over three miles. Home is on Lake Michigan.

Northwoods Luxe

The Homestead  //   Project Partner: Thomas D. Phillips, Architect

#7 Camp Firefly 2, Brook Road, The Homestead (Woodridge Rd.) Glen Arbor // The Homestead Resort, 231.334.5000.

At Firefly #2, find the rustic ambience of Adirondack camp style with the luxuries and amenities of The Homestead, a four-season resort on Lake Michigan. Follow the winding roads and boardwalks that lead up from the resort’s village area to this hill-perched enclave defined by natural materials including knotty pine and stone. Twig and leather furniture, a massive stone fireplace, oriental rugs and a sophisticated upholstered banquette in the breakfast nook all work together for a classic Northwoods feel. The Homestead’s extensive amenities begin just steps from Camp Firefly: beachfront and swimming pools, golf and fly fishing, cafes and upscale eateries, a spa and fitness center.

Driving Directions: From Glen Arbor, proceed north M-22 approximately two miles. Turn left into The Homestead entrance. Turn right at Woodridge Rd. and park in The Village where a shuttle will take you to Camp Firefly at the top of Brook Hill Rd.

New Classic

Contractor: Olde World Custom Homes  //  Project Partner: Jack Cline

#8 Hamilton  7923 W. Day Forest Rd., Empire   //  Olde World Custom Homes, Marcy Hurst, 231.929.9603,

A bold exterior color palette of barn red and white hints at the idea of a classic Northern vernacular design without being overly serious in this fabulous Glen Lake cottage. The full-on lake view that floods the great room comes through a bank of vintage-style double hung windows. Knotty pine walls, ceilings and built-in cabinetry are juxtaposed with a wide-plank oak floor to parlay the feeling of a long-loved and finely crafted cottage. Adding to the look are such details as a fieldstone fireplace, a butcher block–topped kitchen island and an old summer camp-style bathroom sink (line ’em up across three faucets) near the bunkroom. Score this beautifully executed new take on a traditional Up North cottage a win—then spell it out in the stair rail newel post with its inlaid mosaic of upcycled wooden Scrabble tiles.

Driving Directions: From Glen Arbor: South on M-22 for 2.4 miles. Right at Day Forest Rd. (just before the bridge between Big and Little Glen). Proceed 1.3 miles. Home is on the left.

It's Not Too Late! Purchase Your $20 Ticket at the Door at Any of the Tour Homes

This article was first featured in the August/September 2012 issue of Northern Home & Cottage, included in the August 2012 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. Click here to order your copy and receive both issues for only $4.95 (shipping included)!