Home Tour features homes on Crystal River, Lake Michigan bluff, Fisher Lake, Homestead

Photo: The Surber Home

From staff reports

The 2019 Biennial Home Tour is sponsored by the Friends of the Glen Lake Community Library. The tour includes five residences encompassing diverse styles and locations: two homes on the Crystal River (one a warm lodge style and the other an artful contemporary style), an expansive home on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, a beautifully designed home on Fisher Lake, and a charming Homestead duplex. You won’t want to miss a single home on the Home Tour held on Thursday, July 25 from 10 am-4 pm. Tickets can be purchased from members of the Glen Lake Garden Club, the Cottage Book Shop, and the Glen Lake Community Library in Empire. The tour costs $25. Tickets will not be available on the day of the tour. Join the Friends of the Glen Lake Library for a beautiful day full of beautiful homes.

The Surber Home 

11788 Watch Hill Drive, Storm Hill, Empire 

Nearly 20 years have passed since Nancy and Don Surber’s home was first featured on the library home tour. Attention to detail, beautiful furnishings and updates have only enhanced this New England-style home designed by Traverse City architect Robert Holdeman and built by Easling Construction. Perched above Lake Michigan, the home affords stunning views. Every aspect of this elegant and spacious home is designed to welcome family and friends. 

A vaulted great room, featuring a large dining area, seating nooks and massive fireplace, is the center of the home. The south wing features an office, a cozy reading area nestled behind the fireplace and the master bedroom suite with woodland flowers-inspired décor. The north wing features a dream kitchen with maple cabinetry and two huge work islands designed for large- group entertaining. All the wood in the house was milled from Leelanau timber. As you go upstairs, note the vintage photographs, antique Evinrude motor and fun “Salty” Surber soft sculpture. Upstairs you’ll find three charming bedrooms with custom designed built-ins, plus a large dorm room. The lower level family room is a Chicago and sports fan’s mecca. 

Outside, the spacious lawn sweeps from the house to the lake overlook. An outdoor kitchen and fireplace, spa, expansive cedar decking and seating areas complete the lake side of the home. Throughout the property, plantings, wildflower gardens and stone walkways create a verdant background for this beach classic. 

The Ihme Home 

5865 Fisher Road 

Ranae and Bob Ihme know houses. As owners of Leelanau Vacation Rentals, LVR Realty, and Glen Arbor Outdoor & Home Services, they knew they had found “Shore Thing” when they discovered this property on Fisher Lake. Melding two house designs they admired, Ranae and Bob worked with Sheffer Construction to design and build the house in 2004. Two additional renovations have resulted in a beautifully detailed home on an idyllic lakeside location. 

The 2014 renovation added a den, complete with pickled oak tongue and groove ceiling, board and batten walls, and a dry stacked stone fireplace shared with the outdoor living area. The 2018 renovation by Glen Arbor Outdoor & Home Services added the finishing touches. The remodeled kitchen has a hand-hammered farm house sink, cherry cabinets, African rosewood flooring, gently distressed black cabinetry and “to die for” appliances. Nearby is the ultimate wet bar area with hand-hewn wood shelves. The new lakeside entertainment area features a kitchen and grilling station, secluded family garden spa, and IPE wood decking. Be sure to stop by the delightful child’s play house, too. The master bedroom suite saw the addition of a walk-through closet, laundry room and a master bath with custom tilework, soaking tub, and walk-in shower. 

The upstairs houses the children’s bedrooms and the family’s play and workout space. Shiplap paneling and a basketball hoop denote their son’s room. Their daughter’s room also saw the recent addition of shiplap, walls in sweet sage green, and a hanging reading swing. 

The Vintzel Home 

43 Willow Park, The Homestead, Glen Arbor 

A flair for interior design and a strong color sense transformed this early 1990s duplex, designed by architect Tom Phillips, into an updated and charming small home. Kleehammer Construction extensively renovated the interior beginning in 2013. Skylights and tall windows bring the outdoors in, creating a sun-filled living space. The living and dining room windows look out on The Homestead Resort’s signature Brook Hill waterfall which tumbles into a trout pond steps away from the back deck. 

The redesigned fireplace wall features interesting wood trim which sets off a large abstract landscape by Grand Rapids artist Jeff Condon. Nearby is a lovely five-foot baby grand piano that fits perfectly in the living room space. Throughout most of the house, white interiors provide a light and airy feel with pops of color from art work and interior decoration. As you walk into the master suite off the front hall, however, the color palette shifts to warm earth tones. The den features creamy wainscoting and a grass cloth wall covering. The adjacent bedroom is a cozy retreat with rich brown-gold walls. The paint color, aptly named Maple Sugar, sets off the warm wood furniture and coordinating bed linens. Window walls in both rooms look out on a private deck and brick paved courtyard. The sunny bedroom and bath on the second floor welcomes visitors with windows that let in both breezes and soothing sounds of nearby Lake Michigan. 

The Anderson Home 

Faculty Row, Glen Arbor 

(Faculty Row is closed to vehicles. You must park at The Leelanau School. See Map.) 

Vicki and Bill Anderson purchased this riverfront property, nestled alongside the Crystal River, from The Leelanau School 20 years ago. Using the architecture of the old Inn at The Homestead as inspiration, they worked with Ann Arbor architect Lorri Sipes to design a unique riverside retreat. Easling Construction Company built the home. 

A charming walled garden entry welcomes visitors. As you step inside, you will immediately feel at home with soothing warm tones, comfortable living spaces and banks of windows that look out on the river. The open concept design from the cheery red kitchen cabinets through to the stone fireplace in the living room is perfect for family gatherings. The main floor master bedroom also faces the river and you can just imagine waking up to a view of early morning mists and sunlit glints on the meandering water. Taking your eyes off the river might be hard, but do so and you will be treated to their outstanding art collection. Their eclectic collection includes paintings, fiber art and sculptures by Leelanau artists. In the living room, note the wall- hanging quilt titled “The Library”, fitting for the library home tour. 

The Anderson’s favorite room is a large screened-in porch off the dining area. From this vantage point they see visiting wildlife: eagles, deer, bobcats, otters, herons, bear – and kayakers paddling by. Please feel free to wander outside and enjoy the river views. 

The Gietzen Home 

Faculty Row 

(Faculty Row is closed to vehicles. You must park at The Leelanau School. See Map.) 

You might say Jeff and Georgia Gietzen rescued their Crystal River home on Faculty Row when they purchased it in 2016. Left unattended for several years, it was in need of an architectural vision and much attention. The Gietzens provided both and today this contemporary home shines. Walls were removed, rooms reconfigured and cabinetry and countertops repurposed. A gray and green palette completes their design intent to have the interior compliment the surrounding riverfront environment. 

Entering under a new outside pergola, the front hall gives a hint of their love of collecting art, both from their travels and from finding works by Leelanau artists. The large kitchen is perfect for entertaining and the charming pantry has been updated with sliding barn doors and beadboard paneling. The dining and living room are linked with a double-sided fireplace. Georgia’s favorite spot for morning coffee and writing is a sitting area as you enter the light-filled family room. Throughout the house, long rows of windows overlook the river. As the owners of Northwoods Hardware Home & Garden stores in Glen Arbor, the Gietzens have found unique decor touches and objects made with natural materials. The bedroom wing features a guest bedroom and bath, and the master suite. The master bedroom, paneled in barn siding, is a quiet oasis complete with a pair of study chairs beckoning to linger and relax. A door from the master bath leads to an extension of their expansive deck made complete by a spa.