The 2015 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour–Traverse City Area  takes place on Saturday, September 19 from 10 am to 5 pm. The tour has 12 homes, each chosen for their distinctive style and/or innovative lifestyle concept. 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 2015 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour, at

The first stop on the 2015 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour is located in Leelanau County in Empire at 2746 W. Armstrong Lake Trail. The home reflects careful planning and design inspired by the surrounding Northern Michigan beauty.

Builder Jim Anderson recalls the first time he accompanied architect David Salmela to the site on sweet, placid Armstrong Lake, where Doug and Bonnie Yingst were planning to build a home. The couple knew they wanted a home with clean modern lines—a structure that would slip quietly into the wooded site—and so they had tracked down Jim, who had already made a name for himself constructing the designs of Northern Michigan’s modernist architects Glenn Arai and Roger Hummel. “David was influenced by the vertical lines of the trees,” Jim says of that first site visit.

David, whose forebears immigrated to Minnesota from Finland, has made a national name for himself as a Great Lakes modernist—an architect who pulls on the cool cleanliness of Nordic design and finds inspiration in the simple structures that built the Northwoods, such as agricultural buildings, fishermen’s shanties, woodcutters cabins.

Typical of his style, David’s design for the Armstrong Lake home reflects what is around it: those sentinel hardwoods and the view of the lake. The geometric structure is constructed with vertical columns that support four-foot widths of glass that let in generous views of the site. The interior spills down several steps from the great room into the kitchen—a waterfall comes to mind. The buildings are mostly faced in black, like an inky forest that the sun has to work to penetrate. A couple of outbuildings mimic the main house, and an outdoor freestanding masonry chimney/fireplace invites visitors to gather around the warmth.

This nationally acclaimed home is a rare treat for tourgoers—as is the pavilion that David Salmela also designed for the grounds. Shaped like a bolt of lightning touching ground, it is fabricated with the same material used to build skateboard parks.

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Northern Michigan Wineries, Breweries, Traverse City restaurants, Leland’s Fishtown and the Sleeping Bear Dunes! Our MyNorth Vacation Guide can help you plan your entire Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour Weekend!
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