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 area 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 Traverse area 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 sixth home on the Northern Home & Cottage Tour is located at 1639 South Maple Bluffs Court in Suttons Bay. The home was designed by Baldwin Homes & Land also in Suttons Bay, 231.271.4097.

Northern Home & Cottage_Photo by Dave Speckman

Janice and Jeff Fulton were sold on life in Leelanau County the first time they visited friends who lived in Suttons Bay. The short, scenic drive to fabulous beaches, quaint small towns and intimate eateries was a welcoming respite from their busy life in their then-home, Westchester County, New York.

On a second visit several years ago, the Fultons found themselves with spare time on their hands and began exploring the county, looking for property. Their adventure took them to Knorrwood Bluffs, a rolling subdivision just over three miles south of the harbor village of Suttons Bay.

Once a cherry orchard, the large lots at Knorrwood come with shared access to 700 feet of Lake Michigan frontage that looks across West Grand Traverse Bay to Old Mission Peninsula. The corner piece that the Fultons were curious about backed up to a wooded trail that led down to the beach. It even had a partial water view. They called the phone number on the For Sale sign and talked to Richard Baldwin, the subdivision’s developer and builder.

In typical relaxed Leelanau style, Richard told them, “I’ll come right down and talk to you.”

Northern Home & Cottage_Photo by Dave Speckman

The Fultons’ new life in Leelanau is starting in a lovely traditional home with cottage- and mission-style accents. To get the look and layout that they wanted, the Fultons found a plan they liked in a magazine and worked with Richard to tailor it to their needs—changes that included the addition of a basement. At just short of 3,000 square feet, the efficient layout is perfect for this family of four.

Richard, a third-generation builder who has built homes all over Michigan, has a favorite saying: “The beauty of a home is in the details.” Indeed, this colorful, comfortable home is filled with sweet details that begin on the exterior with its cottage-style shutters, cedar shake and cement board siding, matching window flower boxes and a handsome mission-style front door.

Northern Home & Cottage_Photo by Dave Speckman

Inside, expect to find inspiration in elements that include the soft sage color palette, a free-standing soaking tub, the perfectly appointed kitchen and even a wine refrigerator with a light that turns on when you walk past it (we’ll drink to that!). Dog owners will especially appreciate seeing the vinyl floor that is as striking as wood but also stands up to anything your canine family members can dish out.

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.

More Northern Home & Cottage Tour 2016: Traverse Area Home Tour

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman