Northern Michigan Events: Hard to believe that we are gearing up for our 6th Ultimate Up North Kitchen Tour! This year the tour features 12 stunning kitchens scattered along an equally stunning route that leads from Burt Lake near the tip of the mitt, down to Glen Arbor in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Our kitchen designers have outdone themselves this year, and, as always, we couldn’t make this tour happen without our generous homeowners.

The tour has become such a fact of life in my yearly calendar that I’ve come to associate it with the harvest, October and the changing season (sweaters, fires, warm apple pie …). Very fitting, I think, since gathering in the kitchen is what makes the “coming inside time of year” so special. Which brings me to a kitchen design trend that especially spoke to me this year: range hoods that are built out to look more like fireplace mantels than the industrial-vibe stainless and/or stainless and glass we’ve come to know.

My favorite take on the hood-as-hearth idea in this year’s tour is Angela Goodall’s stacked-stone masterpiece in kitchen #12. It is handsome, timeless and evokes an ancient call to gather round the fire—just like any hearth should. Stove as hearth. So fitting. So much the reason why our Ultimate Up North Kitchen Tour continues to be such a draw.

Hope to see you on the tour!

Get a preview to the 2013 Ultimate Up North Kitchen Tour in the October issue of Northern Home & Cottage & Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine.


The inside scoop on featured homes:

#1, Rustic Spirit in Brutus

#2, Old World Flavor in Conway

#3, Home On The Road in Petoskey

#4, Sophisticated Cottage in Walloon Lake

#5, Rockin' Reno in Boyne City

#6, Good Taste in Traverse City

#7, Kitchen of Many Colors in Traverse City

#8, Classic, Meet Contemporary in Traverse City

#9, Delicious Traditional in Traverse City

#10, Soul Kitchen in Leland

#11, Dune Rustic in Sleeping Bear Dunes, Glen Arbor

#12, Gathering Place in Sleeping Bear Dunes, Glen Arbor