This Traverse City home had good bones. Now it has great style, too. See it on the Traverse Area Northern Home & Cottage Tour October 13, and enjoy the sneak peek below.

1502 Wayne St., Traverse City

Northwood Kitchens, Traverse City, 231.941.1470

Sara Tucker purchased this home, tucked away at the top of Traverse City’s Wayne Hill neighborhood, about a year ago. Built in 1952, the house possessed plenty of the drawbacks from that era’s design—the most blatant being a tiny kitchen largely cut off from the living area and blocked from the horizon-view of Grand Traverse Bay out the living room windows.

That said, the home is also blessed with some of the charms of late mid-century modern architecture including natural touches like pine beams, pine floors, a sky-light in the bathroom’s cathedral ceiling, and a site-setting that spills down the wooded hillside like a waterfall—making the home feel a bit like a tree house. Sara knew that all those organic elements would cohabit harmoniously with her fondness for Asian design.

To polish the diamond-in-the-rough she’d purchased, Sara turned to the able help of Laura Brudzinski at Northwood Kitchens. Working closely with Sara, Laura came up with a plan to remove the drop ceiling in the kitchen and widen the entrance into the living room—creating a more modern connection to the living area. She also altered the original window pattern to make space for a much-needed countertop, all without losing the gorgeous tree-filled view out the window.

Up came the old linoleum floor and down went cork. Out went the tiny island and in came a generous island with bamboo cabinetry, a quartz countertop with a waterfall side and walnut countertop inset that doubles as a casual-meal spot and serving space. Bamboo cabinetry and quartz countertops are carried through the perimeter where the backsplash is a combination of grass-colored tumbled travertine tile and glass-look-alike ceramic tile that speak to this Asian-accented room.

There are other brilliant touches in this home that tourgoers will find inspirational—especially for anyone looking to renovate an older home.

Tickets to the Traverse Area Tour are available on

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman