While permanent residences in Michigan are concentrated mainly in the state’s southern metropolitan areas, Michiganders’ vacation homes are located primarily in more rural areas in the northern part of the state with amenities close by. And as Michiganders near their retirement, a goal for many is to own a winter home located in a warmer climate such as Florida or Arizona. A few of metro Detroit’s top designers shared their clients’ relaxing vacation homes.
"For many years, my clients enjoyed their unassuming 800-square-foot cottage nestled in the woods overlooking Grand Traverse Bay. Enamored with the Charlevoix area of Michigan since their youth, they decided that they would eventually someday retire here, but not into an 800-square-foot abode. Honoring the scale of the surrounding forest and the grandeur of the Lake Michigan, they recently replaced the tiny cottage with a custom, sprawling 3500-square-foot Prairie-style home. Halquist limestone walls flow seamlessly from the exterior to the interior. The gold and bittersweet color palette was influenced by the undulating metal wall hanging over the dining room buffet, one of the few items transferred to this residence from their home in Oakland County. This palette also echoes the famous sunsets of Lake Michigan, which are enjoyed through the floor-to-ceiling walls of glass windows facing west. " – Linda Shears, Linda Shears Designs
"This new construction condo located in Naples, Florida, is a winter retreat in a golf community. The homeowners are busy executives and are only able to visit a couple times a year, but they wanted a retreat that had a different aesthetic from most of the Florida residences. They desired a sophisticated and contemporary, yet warm environment, so we used dark porcelain floors as opposed to the traditional lighter floors in the South. It was important that the furniture pieces were comfortable yet interesting. The four woven leather and wood chairs created a separate but inviting place for them to visit with their guests, and the two chandeliers are all made of shell, which gives a nod to the Florida location." – Ann-Marie Anton, It’s Personal Design
"This vacation home sits on the shore of a quiet bay just beyond the reach of northern Lake Michigan. Purchased for its generous lot size and location, the original house that stood on the property was slated to be demolished. The homeowners wanted an open floor plan for the contemporary house, while maintaining the refined scale and intimate room sizes one would find in one of the century-old cottages nearby. Classic materials were chosen for the interior backgrounds. Walls and ceilings were covered in tongue-and-groove paneling while floors were laid with thick, hand-hewn boards. All interior millwork was to be painted white, while outside, materials such as cedar shingles, natural stucco, and chunky field stones were selected for their classic cottage appeal. With the neutral backgrounds in place, the interior could now be brought to life. Painted furniture, vibrant fabrics, and cheerful animal motifs were used throughout the house, playing to the homeowner’s primary request for bright bursts of color and whimsical creatures at every turn. " – Kevin Serba, Serba Interiors