The seventh stop on the 2014 Northern Home and Cottage Home Tour is located in Leland at 5827 North Birchwood Drive. This “cottage for all seasons” is a home that will inspire tour goers with the innovative details.

Visit the other homes on the 2014 Northern Home and Cottage Home Tour:

  1. European Accent
  2. One for the Ages
  3. A Plus (This home has been removed from the tour)
  4. Farmhouse Reno
  5. Barn Reno
  6. Enlightened Craftsman

The 2014 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour takes place on Saturday, September 13th from 10 am to 5 pm. Proceeds raised during the home tour will benefit Northern Michigan non-profit, Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan. Save by purchasing tickets to the 2014 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour at


Kathy Hanks was starting life over in Northern Michigan when she found her It property. Kathy knew she had the right parcel, and she knew it would define what she wanted to build. Needless to say, this is a woman who knows her own mind. Included on her long resume: philosophy major and art minor, chairman of the board of Montgomery Elevator Co., (her family business) and co-owner of Floor Covering Brokers in Traverse City—a business she transformed from off-the-shelf flooring to a flooring-design-consult center. Kathy brings style, artistry and practicality to everything she does.NHC_#7 2014


So when her then-teenaged daughter followed a For Sale sign down a dirt road north of Leland, Kathy intuitively knew it was just right. Neither too big nor too small, the property has a generous sandy Lake Michigan beach and a view of the Manitou Islands. Kathy knew she could fit a house on it and not take out any statement trees. There was a natural berm she wanted to save, as well, so she knew she’d have to make the house, as she says, “ooze north from the road to the beach.”

Once the ink was dried on the purchase agreement, Kathy went about designing her home. “I like elements from a lot of styles,” she says. “Craftsman, classic Michigan cottage … my approach is to let the house grow from the lot—planning the house first and plunking it on the lot, that’s my pet peeve,” she says.


The finished product is what Kathy calls an overgrown cottage that functions like a home. One might call it whimsical. But that implies fluff and fancifulness. And Kathy’s house is grounded in the solid Northwoods materials of rock and Douglas fir. What is certain is that tour-goers are going to come out of Kathy’s home with ideas galore for their own home. There are the old shutters turned bed headboard, the bandana curtains that tie up and down, the great room tree house for the grandkids, the shuffleboard-paddles turned curtain rods …

While you are touring Kathy’s home, be sure to notice the floor. Her newest incarnation is as a personal rug consultant. At the entry you’ll walk across a runner from Istanbul. The great room centers around a one-of-a-kind, hand-knotted creation. And so it goes with more fabulous rugs and “how did she think of that” ideas throughout this home. Kathy will be on hand tour day. Go ahead and ask her about all of them!

2014 Northern Home and Cottage Home Tour