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 the fifth home on the tour!

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: 349 W First Street, Suttons Bay

Directions: Beginning in Suttons Bay at the intersection of Broadway and M-22 (traffic light): Turn onto Broadway and drive 0.2 mile. Turn left onto S Elm, then turn right onto W First Street.

Builder: Baldwin Homes & Land, 231.271.4097

Richard and Michelle Baldwin of Baldwin Homes & Land remind us of the HGTV stars of Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Baldwins’ inner HGTV shines brilliantly in the transformation of their dated tri-level, built in 1969, into a contemporary home that is equally suited for raising their three active children and for hosting relaxed adult cocktail and dinner parties.

To really appreciate this redo, imagine what the home looked like before the Baldwins rolled up their sleeves: taupe siding with tangerine shutters and matching tangerine front door. Small windows. And that classic tri-level shape: single-story rectangle attached to a two-story box. Front stoop just big enough for the mailman to slide some letters in the mailbox. Got the picture?

Now substitute a generous covered porch, large and handsome black-clad windows and cement board siding painted in Sherwin Williams’s sophisticated shade, Wool Skein. Same house; totally smart new look. Once inside, tourgoers will have the opportunity to view the clever way the Baldwins kept the old and added new. On the lower level, the couple added an office off the den and a reclaimed brick fireplace to the rec room. They left the upstairs nearly untouched—those just-right-sized bedrooms tucked around a shared bathroom still work perfectly for kids.

The main level saw the biggest transformations—fresh spaces that are as functional as they are sophisticated. Among the changes were reconfiguring a galley kitchen and tiny dining area into a master suite. The fabulous new kitchen—part of an addition that includes a mudroom and the downstairs office—is at the back of the home, a few steps from the living area. To design the new kitchen, Michelle culled from her vast knowledge of home products to add features including a marble tile backsplash, double ovens, handsome creamy cabinetry with sleek stainless pulls, an inset stainless sink, and a large island topped with a creamy gray Corian counter. But the pièce de résistance in this room is a bar outfitted with a wine refrigerator, an inset bar-sink, and open shelves made from reclaimed lumber that hold glassware, shakers and other entertaining essentials. Michelle says it functions perfectly as a coffee bar in the morning, and for parties it’s a buffet and place where guests can help themselves to drinks and socialize while she cooks.

This home is about ideas, ideas, ideas—so among the touches tourgoers should keep an eye out for are reclaimed elements Richard and Michelle have worked into the home, including hand-hewn beams Richard salvaged years ago and a tin ceiling from a historic building in Detroit.

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