For anyone who loves lake living and family gatherings, this Walloon Lake home is a must visit. See it on the Petoskey Area Home Tour September 15.

4708 Lake Grove Rd., Petoskey

Jill Brecheisen, Kitchens by Design, 231.347.8400

When Frances and Anthony Jabbour were dreaming up the home they were planning to build on the aquamarine waters of Walloon Lake, their wish list contained several key items: an open floor plan that could accommodate large family-and-friend gatherings (Anthony has nine sisters!), a kitchen roomy enough for everyone to gather and cook—including their awesome-gnocchi-making Italian grandmother, and an overall relaxed beach house feel.

The Jabbours are from Canada but have raised their three children, Emma, Joey and Sam in Florida. Anthony was first introduced to Walloon Lake through a friend/business associate whose family has had a Walloon Lake cottage for several generations. “He would visit and come back telling me, ‘I have to show this lake to you, it’s so beautiful,’” Frances recalls. Eventually, Anthony was able to get his family to visit, and well, since Walloon Lake’s magnetism is irresistible, the rest is history.

After finding their ideal property, the couple assembled a build-and-design team of Jim Matthews (Matthews Construction), Jill Brecheisen (Kitchens by Design), Jana Phillips (Interiors, Inc.) and Kelly Bingham (Capital Floor Covering & Interiors). “We wanted to use all local talent—people who knew each other and knew the area,” Frances says.

Matthews, Brecheisen, Phillips and Bingham, who often work closely together made the process as smooth as possible for the homeowners. “They flew up a couple times from Florida and we would have samples perfectly staged at Jana’s showroom to achieve the overall design concept,” Brecheisen says.

The upshot is a stunning home that fits into its Walloon setting and with the family’s lifestyle. From its gray-shingled, contemporary craftsman exterior, the floor plan moves through an airy foyer into a great room with a bull’s-eye view of Walloon out a bank of glass walls and doors that lead to a deck with a screened-in porch. The dining area adjacent to the great room, is marked by a fabulous farm-style dining table that seats 10 and more when the leaves are added.

At 5-by-9 feet, the kitchen island, located just steps away from the dining table, is a cooking/entertaining dream, outfitted with seating, a wine refrigerator, a microwave drawer and storage. The island top, a luxurious 2.5-inches thick, is fabricated from Zodiaq Quartz—a product that looks like marble but is more durable. In an idea that amounts to genius kitchen design, Brecheisen incorporated the built-in SubZero refrigerator/freezer unit next to a mystery walk-in pantry door. Glossy white subway tile and a custom range hood round out this fresh and airy space that is complemented by a stainless apron sink and stainless Wolf range—a version that even sports stainless knobs, versus Wolf’s signature red knobs.

Tourgoers will see similarly well-executed details in the rest of the house, details that include a guest suite that is complete with a coffee counter to accommodate early-rising guests, luxurious Brecheisen-designed master bath cabinetry (mirrors on the door panels!) and the Matthews team’s incredible craftsmanship manifest in a variety of paneling from beadboard to v-groove to board-and-batten.

Tickets to the Petoskey Area Home Tour are available on

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Photo(s) by James Yochum Photography