Everyone who walks inside this Glen Arbor condo does a double-take. See it on the Traverse Area Northern Home & Cottage Tour October 13, and enjoy the sneak peek below.
Will Kleehammer, Kleehammer Construction, LLC, 231.218.9675
“‘Wow’ is the first utterance,” says the wife. The two-story view is a super stunner: North and South Manitou Islands, Sleeping Bear Point, and in the middle, the azure blue of Sleeping Bear Bay.
“We spend all day watching the weather roll in,” says her husband.
Their circa-1987 condo at The Homestead came fully furnished and very out of date. They didn’t need to tear down walls, but the electrical needed a complete overhaul and they wanted a rich nautical theme.
That’s exactly what Will Kleehammer, the general contractor, and Karen Van Nort, their designer, delivered, with tongue-and-groove ceilings, board-and-batten wainscoting, built-in cabinetry and a palate of crisp blues and whites throughout. Van Nort also incorporated the wife’s East Coast family’s antiques and memorabilia from three generations into her design.
“They moved into a very contemporary condo and wanted a coastal summer cottage,” says Van Nort, who also transformed the bland, outdated bathrooms with new vanities, fixtures and elegant wallpapers.
“The master bath was all vanilla. There was a square tub and a pet-washing station.” Now there’s a shower with a space-saving glass barn door, beautiful tile on the floors and walls that look like linen, a blue glass border of subway tile inside the shower, and navy-and-white wallpaper to complete the theme.
Another striking part of the redo is the formerly barren fireplace, now adorned with handmade blue-and-white tiles, a white wood surround and mantel and stunning sconces above. Tongue-and-groove paneling goes partway up the two-story wall, and deep blue walls on either side frame the expanse.
“We started the renovation in October of 2016 and finished in March of 2017,” says the husband. “There wasn’t a hiccup. We thoroughly enjoyed the process.”
The couple, who live in the Detroit area, say they did everything by phone, photos, email and U.S. Mail. After renting condos at The Homestead for 30 years, they decided on this three-level, 3,000-square-foot space.
Asked about their favorite parts of the redesign of what they refer to as their cond-age (condo + cottage), the wife picks the 37-inch-high marble-patterned Corian counters, because she and her husband are both tall. His faves are the 2.5-car garage and the charming courtyard with Japanese maple and hydrangeas. Both adore all the great people they’ve met since they moved in.
And that view isn’t too shabby, either.
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