Today marks the final stop in our Northern Michigan Cottage Homes tour series and it’s a little bittersweet because while this stop on the tour is my favorite for totally biased reasons, I’m sad to see this series go! But based on how much you guys have said you’ve enjoyed this series, I‘m pretty sure that another Northern Michigan Cottage Tour is in our future. Besides, we find new cottage gems or see new charming cottages pop up in Northern Michigan pretty much ever summer, and they all deserve their day in the sun!
Missed Posts 1 and 2 from our Northern Michigan Cottage Tour? Have no fear! Just hit the links below.
Northern Michigan Cottage Tour: Petoskey, Michigan Cottages
Northern Michigan Cottage Tour: Harbor Springs, Michigan Cottages
Today’s stop highlights none other than my fam’s Northern Michigan home base, Walloon Lake and it’s charming neighbor, Charlevoix (well, actually only one of these homes is in Charlevoix, but it was so darling that it just had to be included, ya know?). Now I feel like I should disclose that this probably isn’t even 20% of the snaps I took of the adorable cottages scattered around Walloon’s shoreline and in the enchanting town of Charlevoix, but I just wasn’t super impressed with some of my shots when I was combing through them in post. I always want to make sure I’m representing these homes properly, and when a shot I take doesn’t capture a home’s beautiful or clever details the way that home deserves, it hits the cutting room floor. Also, as you can probably tell most of Walloon’s shoreline is heavily wooded which means that you really can’t get a good look at all of the details of so many of the most stunning abodes on the lake. Taking these snaps from the water is actually the best way to capture them because so many of these homes aren’t visible from the road, but still… it’s just downright tricky. What’s more is that I’ve actually done a Walloon Cottage Tour before, and so many of those snaps give a really good look at a lot of the cottages my mom and I have long loved around the lake, so I felt like you guys could just jump over to that post if you want to dive deeper into the cottage design delight that is Walloon Lake. There’s so much more where this came from in that post, so these snaps felt like a good compliment to that.
Michigan Cottage Homes Tour
In that previous Walloon Lake Cottage Tour post I talked all about this really magical slice of Northern Michigan and what makes it so special, including all about our family’s connection to and history on Walloon. For those of you who are new around these parts, though I’ll give you the abridged version here so you have some background on this idyllic lake. I’ve spent my entire life living, loving, learning and making memories on this lake, in all seasons, in and around my family’s home that’s perched on what’s known as the North Arm of this paint-splatter-shaped, 9-mile-long lake, which is nestled right in the heart of the incredible little Eden we Michiganders so lovingly refer to as “Up North”. Not sure where that is? Here’s a fun trick – just hold your right hand up with your palm facing you, touch the tip of your ring finger with your left hand and you’re there! Walloon is a part of me, the best part of me (and generations of Wallooners who love it as much as my family does), and now after countless visits, our loved-up lakeside wedding and his own set of Walloon memories made, it’s become a part of Chris, too.
Each cottage on Walloon Lake is so incredibly unique and special. Some old. Some new. And they all tell their own special story. Stories of families like mine, friendship, the relaxed, carefree, indoor/outdoor lifestyle and so many amazing memories made. From classic Victorian cottages like “Windemere”, Ernest Hemingway’s childhood home that still holds so much of its original character and charm to the more palatial, contemporary “cottages” that have started to pop up all over the lake’s shoreline, there are just so many cool, creative cottage design details to love here, both interior and exterior. As we’ve traversed the lake in the boat over the last few years, I’ve been so inspired by the cozy-cool, character-packed cottages around Walloon and have loved sharing all of that cottage style inspo with you guys. Especially because the homes on Walloon have heavily informed my design preferences and sensibilities and in turn, so much of the style you see here on the blog!
And because I’ve featured so many of the homes my mom and I have swooned over for many a year in that previous Walloon Lake Cottage Tour post, in today’s post I decided to include kind of a mashup of some really fun, classic older cottages that showcase so many charming cottage details I love, as well as some new builds I hadn’t seen before that made us immediately stop the boat and stare. One of the design details that genius homeowners of Walloon do really well and seem to enjoy showcasing is a matching cottage/shore station/boat garage situation, and upon reflection I really wish I’d captured more of those creative pairings this year! It’s such a fun, intentional design trend around the lake and one that always puts a huge smile on my face. Sometimes they’ll match the home’s shutters to the shore station, sometimes it’s the entire exterior paint color with a matching boat garage that looks like a little mini version of that cottage and sometimes it’s the home’s trim or window color or roof paired with a fun striped shore station that incorporates that hue. I captured a little bit of that today, but I really wish I’d been able to include more to give you guys the full effect because it just fills my heart with all of the cottage design feels!
I also have to say that I’m so glad you guys have enjoyed coming along with me to Walloon whenever I go, especially this summer when I got the chance to head to Walloon for a little over two months and by way of Insta Stories you guys got to come along for the ride, too so we could experience all of the the sherbet sunsets, antiquing, raccoon wrangling, boating and power washing together. Your messages this summer expressing your love for our Up North adventures and your sadness when I left were the highlight of my summer! And to say that my time in Walloon this summer was the silver lining of my 2020 is an understatement. I hadn’t been back home for that long since college, so the fact that this year presented the perfect opportunity for me to hunker down at home in Northern Michigan is pretty incredible. Who woulda thunk it? It also meant that I really got to dig in, discover and enjoy all of the beautiful new cottages that have popped up around the the lake in recent years, taking in every delightful detail and not missing a thing. Seriously… this lake isn’t small, and because I had so much time up there I was able to take a slow boat ride around the entire lake and take in every single cute cottage, every adorable shore station, every vintage Woody and sailboat in all their glory.
This summer also happened to be a banner summer in general Up North because temps were so unusually warm that Walloon and even typically chilly Lake Michigan felt like bath water, making the fresh water even more inviting than it usually is. I think I spent about 70% of the summer actually in the water morning, noon and night and took quite a few lunch breaks lounging on the SUP board reading a book with my legs dangled in the waves. It was heaven.
I hope you guys have loved the Northern Michigan Cottage Tour as much as I’ve loved sharing it. I’m also kind of dying to know if you had a favorite cottage that really spoke to you through the three stops on our tour. Was it one of the pink cottages? The lovely lavender Victorian from the Petoskey post? A classic Harbor Springs cottage stunner? A blue and white beauty? Shoot me a note on the ‘Gram and tell me all about it so we can drool over these adorable abodes together all over again!
Which of these cottage homes is your favorite? Let me know in a comment below!
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