Northern Michigan Home & Cottage: Make a day of touring these six beautiful homes, each designed with our unparalleled Northern Michigan setting in mind. This year’s tour moves across both Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas with stops in Long Lake and downtown Traverse City. Look for a robust gamut of styles from cutting-edge modern to classic cottage.
September in Northern Michigan is a spectacular time for a home tour. At Traverse Magazine/Northern Home & Cottage we like to call it the secret season—when the crowds thin but the sun still saturates the land and water in golden glow. The tour winds past an unforgettable set of Lake Michigan vistas and rolling vineyards.
So come on and gather your friends for this two-peninsula, six-home tour. You’ll have a wonderful time—especially knowing that the tour benefits Child & Family Services of Northwest Michigan. Established in the 1930s, this organization provides crucial services to the children and families of our region.
Starting point: Tom’s Market in the West Bay Shopping Market at the intersection of M72 and M22 on West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City:
#1 Crafter’s Dream
6850 S Rolling Hills Dr, Suttons Bay
Travel north on M22 (S West Bay Shore Dr) for approximately 7 miles. Turn left onto S. Rolling Hills Dr (just south of Bingham Rd). The house is on the right.
#2 Symphony of the Elements
10008 Leeward Shores, Traverse City
Backtracking on M22, travel south approximately 3.5 miles. Turn right onto E Leeward Shores Rd (private road). If you reach S Western Hills Dr you’ve passed it. The house is on your left.
# 3 Storybook Cottage
2 Deer Park, Glen Arbor
Continue traveling south on M22 towards Traverse City for 4.3 miles. Turn right onto M72 (Tom’s West Bay, the tour’s starting point is on your right) and drive for 14 miles. Turn left at the blinking light and continue on M72 for another 5 miles. Turn right onto S Benzonia Trail/C677 (at the directional sign for Glen Lake) and follow for 3.4 miles. Turn right onto M22 (which jogs immediately left to cross the bridge over the Glen Lakes). Follow M22 into Glen Arbor (approximately 1.9 miles). Turn right at the four-way stop (intersection of M22 and M109)—you will still be on M22, which is called Western Avenue through Glen Arbor. Make the next right, S Lake St and continue approximately ¼ mile to the Woodstone residential community (watch for sign and gatehouse) on the left. Enter the development at the gatehouse and turn right. The house is in the first cul-de-sac on the left.
#4 Cottage Classic
8169 S Outer Dr, Traverse City
Leaving Glen Arbor as you entered, return to M22/Western Ave and turn left. Remain on M22 (turning left at the 4-way stop) for 2.9 miles. After you’ve crossed the bridge over the Glen Lakes, jog right and then make the immediate left onto Benzonia Trail/CR677. Follow to M72, about 3.4 miles. Turn left onto M72. Remember to turn right at the blinker heading back to Traverse City. Turn right onto Goodrick Rd (the intersection of M72 and CR651), then left onto Cedar Run Rd, approximately 1 mile. Take the second right onto Church Rd and drive about 0.9 miles. Turn left onto N Long Lake Rd and continue 2.5 miles. Just past Moomer’s Ice Cream, turn right onto E Long Lake Dr. Continue for about 2 miles then turn right onto Secor Rd. Take the third right (about 0.4 miles) onto Outer Dr S (Long Lake Peninsula Association). Bear left and drive about 1 mile. The house in on the left.
#5 Beauty is Therapy
800 Cottageview Dr, Unit 219, Traverse City
Head into Traverse City by turning left onto Secor Rd and driving approximately 3 miles. Turn left onto W Silver Lake Rd and continue for approximately 3.5 miles. At the traffic light, turn left onto Silver Dr at then turn left onto Cottageview Dr. Enter at the south door (across from the fountain) and use elevator B.
# 6 The Doctor’s House
13722 Peninsula Dr, Traverse City
Turn right onto Cottageview Dr then right onto Medical Campus Dr continuing past the parking deck on left. Turn left onto S. Elmwood Dr and then right onto 7th St. Turn left onto S Division St/M37/US31. Continue about 1 mile, turn right on W Grandview Pky/US31 N/M72 E. and follow about 2 miles. Turn left onto N Garfield Ave/M-37for 0.7 miles. Turn left onto Peninsula Dr at the traffic light. Continue on Peninsula Dr for about 8.8 miles. You will pass Mission Table/Jolly Pumpkin Restaurants. The house, on your right, is about 0.4 miles past Harbor Reach Dr.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the tour. Purchase them at MyNorthTickets.com. For more information: 800.836.0717.
#1 Crafter’s Dream
6850 S Rolling Hills Dr, Suttons Bay // Contractor: Grand Bay Building and Remodeling, 231.995.9057, grandbaybuilders.com
The owners of this lovely home overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay have created a lifestyle around their art. Stephen and Rainette Palmer began their careers in education, simultaneously pursuing their art and sophisticated crafts projects as hobbies. You’ll find their work throughout this home, including Stephen’s whimsical found-object fish sculptures that are sought after by galleries all over the country—so much so that he now makes them full time in his home studio. The studio and the Palmers’ artwork will both be on display for the tour. Before you descend into this arts and crafter’s dream space, however, you’ll be treated to a tour of this beautifully constructed craftsman-esque home. Note the spacious kitchen with its granite countertops and cork floor, the great room that centers around a stacked stone fireplace and the bedroom outfitted especially for an aging parent.
#2 Symphony of the Elements
Earth, wind, fire and water define this magnificent home built on a bluff overlooking West Grand Traverse Bay and beyond. Earth: Handsome Chilton stone from across the lake in Wisconsin forms the structure of the home. Polished concrete throughout the home grounds it further. Wind: Feel it sailing off Lake Michigan, and watch it from plate glass windows so huge they had to be shipped from overseas—we just don’t make them that big here. Fire: Suspended fireplace makes the hearth magical. Water: You’ll see Lake Michigan from almost every room in this house. More water? A waterfall cascades down the entry wall nourishing three bamboo trees, and twin infinity hot tub and cool plunge pools form the center of the in-home spa.
You’ll also want to know that this home quietly boasts its own (cutting-edge) hydroelectric power system.
#3 Storybook Cottage
2 Deer Park (Woodstone Residential Community), Glen Arbor // Cooley Contracting, 231.933.4336, firstname.lastname@example.org
This lovely home, tucked into a wooded development in downtown Glen Arbor, feels secluded but is within walking distance of shops and restaurants. Working with Cooley Contracting, the homeowner customized a set of plans permitted for this residential community. Among her changes was enlarging the footprint several feet to make room for a formal dining room—generous enough for her cherished dining room set, complete with chair seats that she needlepointed herself. The added footage also allowed for a larger screened porch, which then morphed into an all-season sunroom that overlooks the development’s wooded Deer Park. Accessed from the living room through a lovely arch, the sunroom feels like an extension to the living room—where the slate fireplace surround matches the slate sunroom floor.
A kitchen designer helped the homeowner turn the blueprint for a simple cottage kitchen into a gourmet cook’s dream. Highlights: stunning granite countertops, pullout spice racks flanking the stove and an island for prepping and casual meals outfitted with storage for two sets of dishes and the homeowner’s extensive cookbook collection.
Upstairs, the homeowner used space that was designated for a closet to form a micro-library for her own use and for her visiting grandchildren. A schoolhouse light fixture and newel post clad in Scrabble tiles make this a sweet niche. As you tour the home, keep an eye out for the homeowner’s handmade quilts that make this cottage in the woods feel as though it were lifted from the pages of a storybook.
#4 Cottage Classic
8169 S Outer Dr, Traverse City // MAC Custom Homes 231.935.4609, maccustomhomes.com
A handsome vinyl shake and board-and-batten exterior encloses an upscale traditional cottage-style on the main floor and a more casual Up North cottage feel on the lower level. Among the must-see features of this home are an octagonal sunroom, handsome stone fireplace, blue and white Utopia granite kitchen countertops that look like the sky, corrugated metal wet bar, built-in beds and entertainment center and an inlaid compass rose in the foyer floor. Set on Long Lake on the picturesque Long Lake Peninsula, this home is a trip into Northern Michigan’s classic cottage country.
#5 Beauty is Therapy
800 Cottageview Dr unit 219, Traverse City // Marsha Minervini, 231.947.1006, marshaminervini.com
This unit in beautiful, 19th-century Victorian-Italianate Building 50 was once the men’s dining room in the former Traverse City State Hospital. The philosophy that guided the design of the old state hospital grounds—now known as the Village at Grand Traverse Commons—was known as “Beauty is Therapy.” Every attempt was made to make the grounds and architecture as lovely and healing as possible.
When the current homeowners moved in over a century later, they were blessed with the remnants of that philosophy as manifested in a terrazzo floor, 13-foot ceilings, 8-foot-tall windows and handsome cream-brick walls. The homeowners carried on the theme with Mission-style furnishings and kitchen cabinetry and trim to match the Craftsman-era burnt red and sage green tiles in the floor. A creative use of space (the old dumbwaiter shaft that once brought food up from the kitchen is now a bathroom) and build-outs for privacy and storage turned the historic hall into a family home. Take a moment to stand on the deck of this lovely unit and admire the view of the surrounding buildings, the wooded grounds and the hustle and bustle from the wineries, shops and restaurants now housed in the Village and you’ll have the complete picture of this one-of-a-kind community.
#6 The Doctor’s House
13722 Peninsula Dr., Traverse City // Cedar Creek Interiors, 231.933.4321, cedarcreekinteriors.com
If you’ve stopped at home #5 on the tour, then you’ll already understand the concept of “beauty is therapy,” as pioneered in Northern Michigan by Dr. James Munson, the first superintendent of Traverse City State Hospital (the present Village at Grand Traverse Common development) and the namesake for Munson Medical Center. What kind of house did this man who believed in beauty build himself? Welcome to the gracious former Munson residence, built in 1880.
Under the guidance of Cedar Creek Interior’s Kim Hooker, the Munson house has recently undergone a tasteful renovation that has resulted in a high-end home that preserves the home’s authentic core. Located on Bowers Harbor, this quietly sophisticated house still features elements from Munson’s time, including a glazed brick foyer, fieldstone fireplace and built-in buffet. Later owners added a beautifully landscaped pool and a charming sun porch. The new owners have given Cedar Creek Interiors carte blanche to update the home in keeping with its history. Watch for new period-style lighting, floor and wall covering and a completely updated kitchen.