For this remodel project, the owners wanted to go a little retro. Now, their Glen Arbor cottage certainly has that “Wow” factor. See each room and talk with the contractor on the Traverse Area Northern Home & Cottage Tour October 13, and enjoy the sneak peek below.

6866 W. MacFarlane Rd., Glen Arbor

@Home Cabinetry & Interiors, 231.947.7040

The Quigleys loved their Glen Lake log cabin—so much, in fact, that they kept their eye on the place next door, a circa-1940 former lodge building from a long-gone cabin resort. They thought it might make a sweet family compound for all their visitors and children, as well as a potential vacation rental. “It was a bit of a defensive buy,” says owner Apple Quigley, in part to ensure the lakefront stayed cottage-y, “and that no one came along to tear it down and build a behemoth in its place.”

When at last it went on the market, they asked their designer and project manager, Liz Jerore of @Home Cabinetry & Interiors, to do a walk-through to see what it would take to remodel the 3,000-square-foot rambling building.

“It was pretty dated, with a lot of deferred maintenance…” says Liz, pausing, then blurting: “Okay, it was quite a challenge!” Mold. Mothballs. Very dark 1970s paneled walls. Dead animals in the ceilings. But the Quigleys had it firmly in mind to restore it.

Liz’s agenda? A total refresh without reinventing the wheel. “I felt like going a little retro with it,” Apple says. Liz agreed. The house, with its low rooflines, could handle a playful, mid-century vibe. Working from mood boards, Liz was able to direct the project remotely while the homeowners were at home in Brighton, Michigan.

First things first, the exterior needed siding replaced and larger casing around windows to open things up. A fresh coat of “Sea Serpent,” a dark charcoal-navy, provides a crisp contrast to the limey green doors added for a touch of fun. A new garage went in and, to break up the monotony of a “big slab of white,” she added frosted windows.

Inside, the task was to lighten everything up. “When you walk in the house you just see blue Glen Lake, you walk right in to the view,” Apple says. “We wanted it light, a modern cottage feel.”

Liz opted to keep wainscoting and oak that had been “nice in its day.” “Rather than rip it out, I said ‘let’s just paint it and let it be the texture in the house.’ We painted out everything that made sense, and replaced what was just … yucky.”

Every room has a beautiful something-special about it, whether it’s the view, the size of the room, or special custom features, Liz says.

New paint and flooring throughout freshened the whole cottage, and the bathrooms got a new lease on life with dark gray large-format tile and fun mixed-glass accents. There aren’t any light fixtures in the baths—instead, Liz used mirrors with backlit LED lighting that, she admits, creates a soft halo of light that makes everyone look pretty, even with beach hair.

The bedrooms benefitted from playful textiles to riff on the palette, and a large “what the heck is this?” space, part of an old garage at one time, got turned into a bunk room with built-in beds (“we see a lot of these lately,” adds Liz), which have cute touches like pullout stairs with storage and locally made railings.

The cottage now sleeps 12, and a downstairs beach-level kitchenette adjacent to a family room and bedroom makes things comfy for multi-generational groups and families.

Apple, whose next-door cabin is more traditional, is thrilled with the result. “It’s more of a fun house,” she says. “Not something I’d do at home, but I love having something like this to retreat to, with a little ‘Wow’ feel.”

Tickets to the Traverse Area Home Tour are available on

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman