Twenty-two or so years ago, I spent a week in Harbor Springs, on the northern tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula. I was between magazine jobs, and a close friend of mine and her family owned a shop there, so I had decided to visit her.
Although I can’t remember as much as I would like, to this day I am left with a feeling of having been in a place paused in a gentler time. “Elaborately unostentatious” is how a July 2, 1965 Time magazine article described it, and that’s why I liked it so much. It was the epitome of understated, classic American resort style.
There was a particular neighborhood my friend and I walked through, “Harbor Point”, jutting out into Little Traverse Bay–no cars were allowed. I was completely enamored with it. It was dotted with multi-story, turn-of-the-century clapboard “cottages” with bright, deep lawns and flower beds, and porches beckoning to be gathered upon. When I close my eyes I imagine myself sitting on one of those glorious old creaking porches, drinking a steaming cup of English breakfast tea, and gazing out at the blue harbor.
Although this Harbor Springs house isn’t on Harbor Point (and it was built in 2007, not at the turn of the last century), its architectural style reminds me of the houses there. The owners clearly have removed their personal things (including some needed wall art and fireplace mantel knick knacks), but the house feels warm and cheery nonetheless because of the lively paint colors and mix of wallpapers and fabrics in chintzes, stripes, and plaids. I love the pairing of dark-stained and white-painted furniture with the rich wood floors. The view of the harbor through the front garden is very pretty,too.
Listed with Graham Real Estate, it has a total of 6,662 finished square feet (4 bedrooms, four and a half baths), and is currently on the market for $2.75 million (the furnishings are included in the price). ~Janis Lyn Johnson
All photography via Graham Real Estate.