So how has MyNorth’s Petoskey Area Home Tour shaped up? One word: Amazing. Here’s a look inside Home #2. See more on September 14. 

The story of this cottage begins with a glass of wine on a boat on Pickerel Lake at sunset. At least that’s how homeowner Barbara Belfore remembers it. Barbara and her husband, John Hartman, were visiting friends on Pickerel Lake when that scenario prompted them to think: “This is so perfect, why don’t we do this too?” As fate would have it, several lots were for sale down the road from their friends’ house. Not long after that, they were owners of one of them.

What to build? Barb and John wanted their getaway cottage to be completely different from the 1920s English Tudor they call home in Grosse Pointe. “We wanted a contemporary cottage with clean lines,” Barb says. “Very minimal, natural and very relaxing.” She also knew she wanted the exterior to be white and the roof blue—her favorite color—she wanted plenty of blue on the interior as well.

The couple took their ideas along with a hand-sketched floor plan to Petoskey architect Elaine Keiser who helped refine them. The core of the finished product is a stunning, light-filled great room with a vaulted ceiling and a catwalk on the second floor. Three bedrooms and a bunkroom round out the plan.

On the exterior, Keiser helped the couple translate their vision into a board-and-batten contemporary farmhouse look with a stone foundation and a blue-steel shed roof over the front porch. Touches, including navy blue mullioned windows and wood-accent cladding on the upper story, make this home sing.

Barbara calls builder Nick Fettig of Harbor View Custom Builders “awesome,” for his responsiveness to any issue that came up, including doing a masterful job of stabilizing the foundation in wet soil.

Dawn Whyte of Petoskey Kitchens worked with Barbara in the kitchen and baths to implement her vision. The kitchen’s focal point is a pale blue glass tile backsplash that looks as fresh as a wave against white cabinetry and subway tile. Dawn coordinated brass fixtures and cabinetry handles with the brass pendants that Barb selected to hang over the black-walnut island countertop—a countertop that sits over striking blue cabinets.

Indeed, brass and bronze make a subtle vintage-nautical presence throughout the home, including the aged bronze door hardware and the stair railing painted to look like aged bronze. Another gotta see is the handsome but oh so functional dog bath in the laundry room designed by Dawn.

The couple is thrilled at the way their home turned out. Barb especially loves how the great room is flooded with light and lake views.

Her husband’s and grown sons’ favorite thing? That would be the man cave over the garage with its barnwood-like paneling (it is actually weathered wooden fencing from the couple’s home in Grosse Pointe that John and son, Cooper, repurposed) and bar fashioned from brick, topped with a reclaimed-wood bartop. Tourgoers are going to love it too!

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Photo(s) by Dawn Whyte