This fresh take on a classic, cottage style is a head-turner. Deep blue shiplap exterior siding with black windows? Oh, yay! Enjoy the sneak peek of the home below, and see the rest of it on the Northern Home & Cottage 2020 Virtual Tour on October 30.

Builder: Ayers Contracting //

Homeowner Marcus Trombetta designed this cottage himself, while living in a 275-square-foot apartment in New York City. While that may be the inspiration for the home’s streamlined and compact efficiency, that’s where the similarity to a Big Apple dwelling stops. Set in a grove of trees and just a short walk from the public Lake Michigan beach in downtown Glen Arbor, the home is a quintessential Up North chalet—with several distinctive twists. “I knew I wanted a house that didn’t look like it came from the suburbs where I grew up downstate,” he says.

True to chalet style, the home is a perfect rectangle with a facade that “looks like home plate on a baseball diamond,” he says. Modern-rustic touches that kick up this home’s cool factor include black-framed windows and front door, cedar shiplap siding and gooseneck barn lights. But it’s the unusual choice of dark blue (Anchors Away by Sherwin Williams) for the cedar siding that really sets this home apart. Originally, Trombetta had envisioned white siding with black windows—a combination that is trending right now. But wanting to make his own unique statement, Trombetta took his color search out of the box and ended up with the blue. While he figured it would be a handsome contrast with the dark windows, what he didn’t count on, he says, is “how striking the dark blue is against the massive hardwoods and pines that surround the home.”

Photo by Speckman Photography

The modern-rustic vibe continues inside with a stunning exposed-aggregate epoxy concrete floor (in-floor heat!), a retro cone-shaped gas stove and weathered oak beams from a Michigan barn spanning the cathedral ceiling. The open kitchen is defined by a quartz-topped island with waterfall sides and the range backsplash made from white subway tiles mounted in a herringbone pattern. The eye candy doesn’t stop there. (Hint: boutique tile in the three bathrooms and nautically inspired two-toned wood floor upstairs.)

Bill Ayers of Ayers Contracting built the home. Ayers, Trombetta says, worked through even the trickiest issues (installing the weathered beams with a skytrack!) easily. Beyond that, Trombetta says Ayers shares his penchant for perfection. “He is absolutely as attentive to the details as I am.” As Trombetta was only able to be onsite five times during the entire building process, he was especially grateful for Ayers’ clear and consistent communication through texts, photos and phone calls. But best of all, Ayers finished the project on budget.

Ayers, in turn, thanks his team of ace subcontractors, including D & W Mechanical, McMartin Tile & Marble, Kasson Contracting II, TC Coatings Unlimited and Fortified Coatings, for help that made the building process seamless.

Meet Trombetta and Ayers in our Northern Home & Cottage 2020 Virtual Tour, as they walk you through this new take on an Up North vacation home.

Photo by Speckman Photography

Thank You to Our Presenting Partner, Golden Fowler Home Furnishings

Photo(s) by Speckman Photography