New beds of native grasses, hostas, and perennial flowers blend naturally into the home’s setting, with its backdrop of mature trees. Photo Gallery »

When members of one Lincoln Park family talk about summer getaways in Michigan, they aren’t kidding about the getaway part. As soon as the school year ends, the wife, an art consultant, packs up the couple’s three young children and heads off to the family cottage in Three Oaks; they stay for the entire summer, returning (grudgingly) to the city for school in the fall. The family doesn’t even have e-mail at the Michigan house, where the husband, who works as a money manager, joins the group on weekends.

After buying the ten-acre property four years ago, the couple completed a gut rehab on the house, then hired Wilmette-based designer Julia Edelmann to create a tranquil interior. Edelmann used a soothing palette of sandy neutrals and watery blues to evoke the Lake Michigan beach, just a few miles up the road; punches of white provide contrast and a cottagey feel. Furnishings are simple and spare. “There’s nothing pretentious,” Edelmann says of the house. “They didn’t want it to be fussy.”

Reminiscent of dentil molding, a plaster archway frames the entrance to the dining room, where a simple wood table, chairs freshened with glossy white paint, and a chandelier made with vintage silverware create a welcoming tableau. Photo Gallery »

That meant keeping tchotchkes to a minimum. “I’d bring accessories up and have to take them right back,” Edelmann recalls. One item that won approval was a whimsical dining room chandelier constructed of vintage forks and spoons by artist José Esteves. “Having a chandelier seems so fancy,” Edelmann acknowledges, “but this piece just fell right into place.”

Much of the family’s time is spent out back, on the screened-in porch and around the pool, both of which were new additions. Well-chosen native grasses and perennials help the house blend seamlessly into its rural setting; the landscape design is by Doug Hoerr, a prominent Chicago-based landscape architect and family friend.

“There is a visceral reaction to that place,” Edelmann says of how she feels when she arrives there. “You just don’t want to leave.” Its full-time summer residents couldn’t agree more.


Buyer’s Guide

Interior design: Julia Buckingham Edelmann, Buckingham Interiors + Design, 301 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette, 312-933-8359; Landscape design: Doug Hoerr, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, 850 W. Jackson Blvd., 312-492-6501. Dining room: José Esteves Brocante Chandelier, Intérieurs, Screened-in porch: Sofa and chairs, Pier 1, Wooden floor covering, West Elm, Pillows, Buckingham Interiors. Pool and pool house: Chaises and umbrellas, Restoration Hardware, restoration Dining table, Vincent Tables, 13650 Red Arrow Hwy., Harbert, Michigan, 269-469-1950.



photography: Nathan Kirkman
styling: Arden Nelson