Join us for a premier one-day home tour featuring 7 beautiful homes, thoughtfully designed and surrounded by stunning landscapes in the Petoskey area—Elk Rapids, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and more. The Petoskey Area Northern Home & Cottage Home Tour is Saturday, October 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Below is a sneak peek inside home #7!

Proceeds raised during the Petoskey Area Home Tour will benefit Northern Michigan non-profit, Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan. Tickets (along with driving directions) are $20 until September 30 and $25 after. To purchase tickets please go to For more information: 800.836.0717. Tickets can be purchased at MyNorthTickets through October 12 and at the following locations: Capital Granite, Petoskey Chamber of Commerce, Advance Electric in Gaylord. Tickets are also available at the door of each home—cash or check only.

Address: 9101 Skegemog Point Rd., Williamsburg

Designer: Render Construction Traverse City and Petoskey, 877.656.9995

Over the course of years, Thomas and Elizabeth Borger checked out some thousand different lakefront properties from Ludington to Mackinac Island. Ten years ago, the Elkhart, Indiana, couple headed down quiet Skegemog Lake Road—a road that runs between Elk and Skegemog lakes—and fell in love with a deep, forested lot on Elk Lake. The bonus was a ridge from which they could see across Elk Lake, a view that takes in the different shades of blue stripes that mark the lake’s depth.

The Borgers cleaned up the fishing cottage on the property and used it as a summer home until it was clear the old building was beyond repair. Thomas is an architect who has built a reputation designing iconic lakefront homes from Chicago to Northern Michigan. During his long career, he’s found joy in using his design abilities to interpret his clients’ vision. So when he was his own client, he had no trouble defining what he wanted out of a new home on Elk Lake—a vision he shared with Elizabeth. The couple wanted their new home to be an expression of their own tastes and sensibilities—that meant, among other details, that it would blend into its wooded setting and have a strong connection to the outdoors. Also on their list was a great room large enough for their friends and family to gather.

In contractor Eric Render and his team at Render Construction, the Borgers found the skill and talent to put Thomas’s design into timber and stone. Cascading down the wooded slope in five separate levels, this home is truly a masterpiece in serenity and detail. Tom’s exquisite use of detail and symmetry is apparent on the exterior with its handsome stone foundation, interesting rooflines and its siding that is a textural mural of shingles, board and batten and shiplap—all stained a transparent charcoal that blends perfectly into the trees around the home.

On the inside, hickory floors, alder trim and a natural fireplace are backdrops to the dramatic Elk Lake view. And just as Thomas planned, the home transitions to the outdoors with a large outdoor room that centers around a fieldstone fireplace. Several other outdoor patios offer more connection to the outside, as do two terraces set along the slope to the beach.

This is a magnificent home that abounds with design inspiration courtesy of a brilliant architect and constructed by a talented builder. Definitely a must-see on the tour!

Preview all 7 homes on the Petoskey Area Home Tour in the October 2017 issue of Northern Home & Cottage.

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman