This rustic farmhouse on the Leland River is, quite simply, perfect for its site. See it on the Traverse Area Northern Home & Cottage Tour October 13, and enjoy the sneak peek below.

2333 S. Penwood Trail, Leland
(This is a new housing development. Penwood Trail isn’t listed on Google Maps yet. The road is off M22 before you head into downtown Leland before Reynolds Street.)

J. Peterson Homes, 231.994.2168

As one of the region’s preeminent builders, Joel Peterson could have built about any style of home one could imagine on his lot on the Leland River—a parcel that is enviably within walking distance of Leland’s charming downtown, beaches and historic Fishtown. Fortunately for those of us who are passionate about Leland’s riverscape, Joel and his wife, Kris, built a home that is just right for its site.

The couple worked with the Grand Rapids-based firm J. Visser Design on the style they call California rustic—which it indeed is. But with the home’s basic cabin/farmhouse design, its shake-sided exterior, and its sage trim, sage shutters and even sage window casings/mullions (thanks to this builder’s ability to source the coolest products) the home feels as though it has graced this river-side property for decades.

The relaxed contemporary interior with its muted-palette is by Missy Walters of Studio M Interiors based in Grand Rapids.

White oak floors, recycled barn beams and a white oak fireplace mantel parlay that last century-feel into the interior. But underneath its timeless aura is an easy-to-care-for, completely modern home.

The open floor plan that is flooded with light and views of the river from two banks of French door/window systems make the not-so-big home feel airy and generous. The small but extremely efficient open kitchen exudes style and function with a Wolf range, Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Cambria Quartz topped island with waterfall sides. Modern melamine cabinetry looks like wood but won’t suffer nicks and scratches.

Four bedrooms and a game room above the garage round out the home.

The exterior landscaping is as meticulously thought out as is the home’s interior. The Petersons took the extra effort to get a DEQ permit for a permanent dock—which is more handsome and will hold up better than a temporary one. And if you have ever dreamed of having gas piped right to your outdoor fire pit and outdoor lanterns, this is where you will see that efficient and dramatic touch in 3-D.

Tickets to the Traverse Area Home Tour are available on

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman