Join us for a premier one-day home tour featuring 13 beautiful homes, thoughtfully designed and surrounded by stunning landscapes in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. The Traverse City Area Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour is Saturday, September 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Below is a sneak peek inside home #12, a beautiful renovation on Old Mission Peninsula.

Proceeds raised during the Traverse City Area Home Tour will benefit Northern Michigan non-profit, Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan. Save money by purchasing tickets online at or by calling 800.836.0717. Online ticket sales end Friday, September 15 at noon. Tickets are also available at the door.

Address: 16674 Whispering Pines Trail, Traverse City

Directions: Beginning in Traverse City at the intersection of S Garfield Road and E Front Street: Travel north onto Garfield, continuing onto Peninsula Drive about 0.6 mile. Bear right at second traffic light and continue on M-37N/Center Road about 10.6 miles. Make a slight right onto Smokey Hollow Road and drive 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Whispering Pines Trail.

Builder: Fournier Construction and Resoration, LLC, 231.421.8002

At its essence, the story of this home set on Old Mission Peninsula is one of renewal. As the homeowner Atul Gupta explains it: “I was looking for a change in my life after my wife passed away from lung cancer in early 2016.”

Atul, a vice president for IBM, still has a home downstate in Huntington Woods, Michigan, but he’d always wanted a lake house—and more than ever after his wife’s passing, he craved that sort of a serene spot to get away. After a friend introduced him to Old Mission Peninsula, Atul knew where he wanted his second home to be. He chose Penny Herberger of Coldwell Banker (whose card read “Fresh Starts”) as his Realtor, and by the end of November of 2016 he’d closed on a home with a fabulous view of East Bay.

He loved the view and the fact that the home, built in 1995, is brick (unlike other homes in the neighborhood, woodpeckers aren’t interested in his) and he was delighted that the home had a walkout with a second kitchen for entertaining extended family and friends. But there was still plenty that he didn’t like about the place. His list of what had to go started at the dark mahogany front door and continued on to the dark wood trim, the dark kitchen cabinets, the dated granite, carpeting and tile. Atul didn’t much like the main floor layout either—specifically the way a wall between the living room and the kitchen blocked the view of the bay when you walked in the front door. “I wanted the home to feel open and beachy-modern, blended with some rustic accents,” Atul says.

He spent a couple of winter months visualizing how he would like his home to look and then hired Jason Stark of Practical Renovations Wood Floors to replace all the carpet and tile with a stained white oak. He was looking for a beach house feel—a shade that was something between smoke and whitewash. “Jason kept staining samples and showing them to me until I was happy,” Atul recalls.

Jason introduced Atul to Marc Fournier, owner of Fournier Construction and Restoration, LLC, and Atul hired him for the renovation work. It is a decision he has been very happy with: “Marc has been very flexible and great to work with,” he says. After that, dust started flying. The wall that blocked the view came down and Atul is having the traditional exterior doors replaced with eight-foot tall double glass doors that open to the view of the bay through the great room and kitchen windows.

Marc has his own Traverse City showroom for cabinetry, tile, granite (50 slabs!) and quartz (90 different colors!), which made the kitchen choices one-stop shopping for Atul. The end result, white perimeter cabinets, gray cabinetry on the island base, and new white quartz countertops make the room feel light and airy.
There are more treats in this view-filled home that will delight tourgoers as well. The exquisite paintings are by Atul’s sister Mala from New Delhi and Debra Sanborn of Peninsula Studios in Traverse City. And then there’s the windsock on the deck that helps Atul spot his house when flying over the Peninsula in his Cessna!

Preview all 13 homes on the Traverse Area Home Tour in the August 2017 issue of Northern Home & Cottage.

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman