Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Michigan Summer Home

In just a couple of weeks, Harry and I head North to spend the summer in our new home on a small, private lake in Southwest Michigan.  The building of this house was a journey we had not anticipated until it began to take shape late last summer.  We have been looking for a way to escape the brutal Texas summers for many years.  During a visit in August to see Harry's sister Esti and her husband Art, they told us about this beautiful piece of property on a gorgeous lake that had been for sale for quite some time.  They were convinced the guy who owned it just wanted to sell it.  We looked at the lot and immediately thought, "This is it."  We made the guy a low-ball offer, he came back with an equally low-ball counter, and we took it.  And the journey began.  And what a journey it has been.  The lot is 11 acres with gorgeous lake frontage, incredible views and lots of wildlife.  But the most attractive part about this property is that Harry's family all lives in this general area of Michigan, and my brother and his family live an hour's drive East.

This is what the property looked like when we bought it late last summer.  The foundation and footprint were already built (A long story which I won't even go into).  The septic tank and water hookups were in place.  We simply had to design the house around the existing foundation.  The designer our builder contracted with did an amazing job of working with what was there.

Here's Harry and Art right after we bought the lot...already designing the house :)

These 2 shots are of the property from the lakeside.

Construction begins

I took these next four shots of the lake in November. 

The lake has families of geese and several swan couples

And here's the house as viewed from the lake

As viewed from the Northwest; the garage and side entrance

The lot is gorgeous...even in the winter.

There is a little brook that traverses the North side of the property.  Lots of wildlife here.  I can't wait to see the birds that inhabit this place in the spring, summer and during the fall migration.

The lake was so still the morning I took this photograph.  
I believe I took this one when we visited in February.

Sandhill cranes migrate through this part of Michigan.  I was able to get a couple of photos of them.  

The lake is gorgeous; it doesn't matter the season or time of day. 

My husband's nephews and their families sledding at our house this winter.  I so wanted to be there with them!  It's been years (years!) since I've been sledding.  

The granite for the downstairs wet bar.

The granite for my kitchen and master bath!

My beautiful front door!

And here's the finished house!  I took these a couple of weeks ago when we visited in mid April.  No landscaping yet, but the house is 98% done!

View of the front of the house

The East porch

Yes, more of the lake :)

Great room as you enter the house

Our office

To the downstairs rec room, wet bar and 2 guest bedrooms, each with a full bath.

Rec room (and wonderful husband :)

Wet bar (fridge to follow)

Wet bar

 Dining room chandelier 

 Great room/kitchen/nook

My kitchen!

 The three-season porch where I *know* we will spend lots of time!

From the Great Room, view of the main entrance

View of the deck and the 3-season porch

View of the lake from the Great Room

Cool accent window as you go down the stairs

Yes, another shot of the lake.  This one from the deck and the master bedroom.  I just never get tired of looking at the lake!

My husband and I are so excited about this next stage in our lives!  I keep pinching myself to see if this is real...  
...and if it's not, please don't anyone tell me...


  1. What a gorgeous house and view!! WOW! You might not want to come back to Texas! I can just imagine it planted with lilac, hydrangea, rhodies, peonies, lupines, foxglove, painted daisies, viburnum, ... I could go on and on!!

  2. I forgot to add: blueberries, delphiniums, heliotrope, brunnera, phlox, monarda, rudbeckia...

  3. Oh, it's beautiful! I can just imagine your excitement at moving in! You know I'll be living vicariously through you this summer so I expect lots of posts :)

  4. WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you both! What an absolutely gorgeous home and piece of property. How blessed you are! Best of both summers in MI and warm winters in TX. What more could you ask for :-) Please keep us posted on your landscaping additions. How fun to start from scratch! How about having a Garden Bloggers Getaway weekend this summer at your new house! :-) Just sayin'....

  5. I like Toni's idea. ;-) Gosh, Diane, your new place is absolutely spectacular and the views from outside and inside are incredible! You are going to love it this summer! No better place in the world to spend May-October than the Midwest. And then you can have a pleasant winter in Texas! Cheers!

  6. Your house and property are so beautiful. I can see why you are so excited. That view is to die for.

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