In 1985 my grandparents bought a tiny cottage on lake Leelanau (you can read about their spontaneous adventure here), which coincidentally was the same year I was born. That was the start of my forever ties to Leelanau.
Time as moved forward, as it so often does. They have since left this world, leaving behind a place of nostalgia. A home that has been filled with laughter, joy, uncountable family gatherings, bonfires by the water, unfruitful fishing trips, sandy toes, wet beach towels, winter blizzards, root beer floats, raspberry bushes, and a whole slew of other memories. This list could go on for hours. When my grandparents passed, I thought those memories would leave as well. I thought that summer might just cease to exist. It was more than just a peninsula and region that I loved visiting, it was home. While I could certainly pack my bags and stay at a hotel for a little summer get away, it just wouldn’t be the same.
Photography: Samantha James Photography
Fortunately, my parents were able to keep the dream alive. They are now living in my grandparents dream cottage. But along with it came the outdated burgundy and blue wallpaper, the tacky laminate floors, the original 1970s paneling, years of additions onto the original home which left for an inconsistent flow and a bathroom that was once a closet. Yes, this place is anyone’s dream house. Classy.
It’s become a labor of love. And while I, myself, haven’t exactly been the one laboring, I have been extremely involved in the overall design of the improvements to the space. The master bedroom has been completely redone with hardwood flooring, a walk in closet and a full bathroom with laundry. The guest bath has also received an unrecognizable face lift. The guest room proudly boasts fresh white paint, a gorgeous chandelier and beautiful hardwoods as well. And the icing on the cake is the brand new kitchen, which is about 85% finished and I get to see for the first time this weekend. I haven’t been there since they unveiled the original gold linoleum floors and toile(ish) paneling that were buried beneath piles of ‘improvements” through the years.
I’d love the think that this home will be our family for generations to come, but who really knows what the future really holds? Either way, we’re going to love it while we have it.
PS – I will share some pictures soon and I know it’s annoying that there aren’t any in this post, but I just don’t have them yet. However, you can follow along on Instagram and I just created a highlight in my stories catching you up on all the goodness. Stay tuned!0