The 2016 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour in the Traverse City area takes place on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Traverse City home tour treats tourgoers to 11 beautiful homes, thoughtfully designed and surrounded by stunning Northern Michigan landscapes in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

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 2016 Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour at


The third home on the Northern Home & Cottage Tour is located at 5835 Ravens Roost Lane in Traverse City. The home was designed by Scott Norris Construction, 231.218.6849.


Cedar Valley Ridge subdivision, west of Traverse City, is no ordinary subdivision. Over a decade ago, developer Dan Paulson committed to preserving 70 percent of the wooded, rolling terrain—carefully carving out only 35 home sites where there could have been 56 home sites. Simultaneously, Paulson strongly suggested that folks who planned to build in Cedar Valley Ridge should do so sustainably. With his own commitment to green building, contractor Scott Norris has built five homes in Cedar Valley, each with a varying degree of efficiency.

Welcome to Liam and Janis Wesley’s serene, artful, solar-powered home—courtesy of 42 solar panels tucked inconspicuously on the backside of the roof. The home is net zero—meaning that while it is on the grid, the panels feed power to the utility company creating an electricity credit for the Wesleys. Because the house is so well insulated that credit pretty much wipes out their utility bill each month. For the design of their home, the Wesleys worked with Scott’s son, Caleb Norris, who is as dedicated to green building as is his father.

The home sits on the rim of a deep glacial kettle—so that the view out the generous windows is of the tree canopy where songbirds, raptors and ravens flit, dip and glide. Down below, in the kettle’s grassy bowl, deer browse, turkeys strut, and one day several weeks ago, a coyote trotted by.

The home’s interior perfectly captures that natural spirit. Maple beams (taken from trees on the property), maple trim work and an oiled wide-planked white oak floor are set against white walls for a fresh, modern take on rustic. Pendant lights that feel like hanging sculpture add an unex- pected aw-factor. Carefully crafted details are everywhere, from the custom-made craftsman-style bannister to custom-made pocket doors—all designed and made by Scott’s star carpenter, DJ Schaub.house32

The master suite, an opus to relaxed country living, moves from a three-season room, through the bedroom and into a luxurious bathroom with its soaking tub overlooking the forest below. A custom walk-in closet rounds out the suite.

The open kitchen marries black and white cabinetry with pops of spring green in the backsplash tiles. A black hood and a charcoal-gray textured granite island coun- tertop pull it all together. Expect beautiful art and a careful sense of detail in this lovely, easy-on-the-earth home. Make a special point to check out the handmade, tile backsplash. The tiles are decorated with renderings of ravens. Serendipitously, the Wesleys purchased the tiles on a trip to Argentina years ago, long before they knew they’d build a home on Ravens Roost lane—just one bit of magic in a home that just plain feels magical.

Phase II: Petoskey area 2016 Northern Home & Cottage Tour Saturday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find information in your October issue of Northern Home & Cottage.

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman