A Note from the Editor
Nature wreaked havoc on HomeLife this issue.
Spring is notorious for its slow arrival in Northern Michigan, but this year it seemed particularly obstinate. It just kept snowing and snowing, days that were supposed to be “warm” (in the 40s) barely crested 30, and we kept pushing back photo shoots hoping to get at least some brown in the landscape instead of white.
So here it is May, and some of our photos are going to have snow in them. That’s a big challenge of putting out a magazine in this climate.
Fortunately, finding remarkable homes and properties is much less difficult a task.
When HomeLife set out to find charming stables, picturesque pastures and beautiful breeds for our cover story on horse enthusiasts, we were fortunate to connect with Larry and Nancy Beck and their Birchwood operations and personal horse collection; Ann Trufant of Harbor Springs, the Waldrons of Burt Lake and Dr. Kim Aikens of Bay Harbor, not only a horse owner and longtime rider but also a talented artist.
Our impetus to pursue the horse-and-stables route was spurred by the beautiful farm and land owned by Paul and Melissa Keiswetter, which we first visited last spring and stopped by again a few weeks ago. Their love of the land, stewardship of natural resources and conservation of wildlife at their Maple River Farm is another prominent feature inside.
As a followup of sorts to our previous issue, which featured historic homes on our cover, Larry and B.J. Shawn opened to HomeLife their downtown Petoskey home, a century-plus house on Bay Street. Larry, a builder and restoration pro, recently completed a 1,400-square-foot addition while restoring and renovating the historic character of the existing spacious home.
We also found two spectacular projects along Channel Road, the breathtaking and elegantly appointed Gadowski home, built by Jim Knibbs of Petoskey, and a new spec house built by John Plichta that boasts “all-green” construction alongside attractive features and accommodating layout.
Spring-into-summer also means we are nearing the end of our series following the Crotty remodel on Crooked Lake. Since last fall, we’ve watched and photographed as the endearing, longtime family cottage received a new look inside and out and everywhere in between. In this second-to-last installment, the focus is on the interior design, guided by Laura Gray of Plum Tree Interiors in Boyne City.
In our next issue, we’ll feature the completed home — which means that summer will have arrived, and HomeLife should have considerably more green inside to welcome the North’s most glorious months ahead.
Beth Anne Piehl