A stunning lot on Lake Charlevoix + one of the most skilled builders in Northern Michigan + one of the North’s most storied designers + dream clients with fabulous taste = an exquisite rendition of the new American farmhouse. Learn about the inspiration behind this stunning Lake Charlevoix home, and purchase your tickets to take a look inside eight of the North’s most incredible homes, including this one, on the Northern Home & Cottage 2021 Virtual Home Tours.
These homeowners were spending happy summers in the cottage they’d built on Lake Charlevoix in 1997, but even so, they couldn’t help noticing a couple of vacant lakeside lots they passed when out boating. The lots presented more view opportunities than their cottage offered from its location set back in the trees with only a tunnel view of the lake. When they noticed a “For Sale” sign on one of the lots a few years ago, “Boom! We grabbed it,” says the homeowner.
This would be the fifth home that the couple had built together, so they pretty much knew what they wanted. They envisioned a casual farmhouse that felt compatible with the local vernacular. Considering that the famous writer Ernest Hemingway summered on Lake Charlevoix as a teenager, in a bunkhouse behind a white clapboard farmhouse up the street from the lake—white farmhouses fit well here.
Ardent supporters of keeping Lake Charlevoix clean, the couple also knew their home would include a greenbelt of natural vegetation along the water’s edge to filter any runoff pollutants.
They contacted designer Jill Rowley of Designworks after hearing from friends about the great experience they’d had working with her—and their new farmhouse entered the conception phase. The couple brought a wish list to her that included a wide-open view of the lake, a craft room, a brick wall that looked old to place their piano in front of, a three-season porch, space to hang their fabulous collection of local art, a spare room outfitted with beds for friends and family … and above all, says the homeowner, they wanted a relaxed home where it was okay for people to come in from the beach with bare feet.
Friends also told the couple about the incredible experience they’d had working with Eric Render of Render Construction. Render and his team delivered once again. “It was definitely a positive experience— the best we’ve had in all the homes we’ve built,” the homeowner says. Needless to say, everything (and more) that the couple had on their wish list was orchestrated by Rowley and Render in perfect harmony. Nowadays, the husband rises early, makes coffee for his wife and himself, then heads out onto the three-season porch to watch a resident eagle glide over the lake and to witness the splashes of jumping fish. “It’s super quiet in the morning,” he says. “Just spectacular.”
Building Resources for Farmhouse Beauty on Lake Charlevoix
Builder | Render Construction
Designer | Designworks
Brick Masonry | ACR Masonry
Steel Supplier | S&S Welding
Windows | Old Mission Window, Kolbe Windows
Electric | Bear River Electric
HVAC | Team Bob’s Heating Cooling & Plumbing
Cabinetry | Wolverine Cabinet Co.
Flooring | Capital Floor Covering & Interior
Photo by Greg MacMaster, Eagle Eye Video Productions