Escape From City Life In This Rustic Michigan Cabin

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log cabin with red trip...

The team at Jessica Lagrange Interiors was brought on to maintain the rustic feel of a centennial log cabin on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

screened-in porch with dark wood...

Benjamin Moore’s Heritage Red on the sun porch’s window trim provides a striking contrast to the lush views. The client’s wicker chairs are topped with cushions reupholstered in a DeLany & Long Ltd. fabric and custom pillows by Urban Workroom.

entry of log cabin with...

With an oil painting from Simple Life Antiques & Uniques hanging above an 1860s bench sourced from 1stdibs, the entry sets the tone for rest of the cabin. The Pendleton wool runner was handcrafted by Zapotec artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico.

living room of a log...

The living room’s RH sofa—featuring seat cushions in a Pindler linen—is paired with a Hollywood at Home ottoman covered in a Ralph Lauren Home blanket. Beside the fireplace is a Hickory White wing chair; above is an antler chandelier from Dartbrook Rustic Goods.

dining room of log cabin...

Architectural heft, plus a table the previous owners had built for the space, directed the design of the dining room. The 19th-century Windsor chairs were sourced from 1stdibs, and overhead is a Ralph Lauren Home drum pendant.

kitchen with white shiplap walls,...

The renovated kitchen looks original thanks to a Kohler apron-front sink, Rejuvenation pendants, iron sconces from Reborn Antiques and a butcher block island counter atop industrial legs from Get Back, Inc. A red Viking range adds a pop of color.

Sitting room of a primary...

The owner’s room features a generous seating area comprising a wicker coffee table by Hickory Chair, a daybed by Barron Custom Furniture covered in Pindler fabric and Lee Industries chairs. A Michael S. Smith paper wraps the walls.

Bedroom with green-and-white floral wallpaper...

A Century Furniture bed serves as an earthy complement to quietly striped Classic Cloth linen draperies made by Lakeside Living Design in the primary bedroom. The 18th-century French chestnut-and-oak side table is from Willow Creek Gallery.

small wood desk and chair...

A vintage desk and chair from Rejuvenation sit in the guest bedroom’s anteroom. Phillip Jeffries’ hemp wallcovering and linen shades made by Zirlin Interiors create texture while found accessories, such as picnic baskets from Brownstone Antiques, keep the aesthetic rooted in lakeside living.

bedroom with denim-upholstered bed, rafia...

Natural, tactile elements infuse a guest bedroom thanks to a denim-upholstered bed by Barron Custom Furniture and a Phillip Jeffries raffia wallcovering. Custom shades crafted from Ralph Lauren Home ticking denim and a rattan-and-rope Palecek wall pendant complete the look.

On a remote lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a 1924 log cabin set on over 200 acres dotted with additional buildings, such as a caretaker’s cottage, carpenter’s workshop, boathouse and garage, boasts century-old charm. The owner—a busy, young entrepreneur from a large family—wanted a vacation home to bring everyone together. There’s no air conditioning, and Wi-Fi is pleasantly spotty; they like it that way. 

“This place is really about disconnecting from it all,” explains designer Jennifer Durand. Alongside firm principal Jessica Lagrange and designer Molly Woodin, Durand worked to preserve original details, like the generous fieldstone-and-brick fireplace and terra-cotta tiles on a bathroom floor, while appointing the cozy dwelling with vintage and antique finds mixed with classic custom pieces. The designers have known this family for many years. Older relatives of the owner were some of Lagrange’s first clients, Durand says, “so we’ve worked with pretty much all of them at some point, but this was kind of the next generation.”

Having vacationed in the area for decades, the family is deeply connected to this part of Michigan, and that familiarity inspired the feel of the interiors. While the owner’s design proclivities normally lean clean and contemporary, “he really sought to embrace the history of the home and the local environment. Nothing looks too new,” Durand explains. “The family wanted things that have patina and a back story.” In addition to scouring local antique stores for special finds to integrate into the decor, such as blankets, artwork and vintage picnic baskets, the design team also sought out pieces online. From there they scored hand-forged iron sconces for the kitchen and the antique Windsor chairs that now occupy the lake-facing dining room. The dining table is an original piece built for the space by a previous owner, one so weighty it’s not going anywhere soon.

Images of Ralph Lauren’s Colorado ranch abode provided by the owner served as an early inspiration for the interiors: rich, dark woods; leather club chairs draped in colorful wool blankets; a stone fireplace; and lighting that glows. Fittingly, a Ralph Lauren Home blanket in warm tones of cinnabar and taupe became the inspiration for the downstairs color palette. Durand upholstered a large ottoman with the fabric and set it before the living room’s fireplace, rounding out the cozy furnishings with a commissioned antler chandelier, a twigs-and-birch-veneer cabinet and a leather chesterfield. To prevent the room from feeling too heavy, the designer swapped out the sofa’s leather seat cushions for a lighter linen.

Elsewhere on the main floor, a range with a vermilion door pops against the sage-gray kitchen cabinetry; red-and-white tile flooring enlivens the screened-in porch; and rugs, accessories, and window and door trim continue the warm palette. Upstairs though, in the bedrooms, “we flipped the script with neutral colors and botanicals on the walls,” Durand says. Soft prints, like the sage, sunflower-esque wallpaper in the primary bedroom, balance the visual activity downstairs. It’s a place that you could escape to and read during the summer, perhaps lounging on the comfy daybed or deep-seated armchairs next to the windows. “You get such a great breeze up there,” she notes. 

While most of the updates were to the design of the interiors, the house needed a more functional kitchen suitable for the likes of contemporary people who love to cook and entertain. Architect David Huggins, who works for Lagrange’s firm, led the reconfiguration of the room. In collaboration with builder Jeffrey Visner of Design/Build by Visner, he combined several smaller, segmented spaces into one open area. “We paid careful attention to ensure it felt as though it had always been a part of the abode, starting with the addition of salvaged wood beams to match the other first-floor spaces, as well as a beadboard ceiling and walls,” Durand explains.

The project was very much a collaborative effort, with several of the owner’s family members deeply involved in creating this departure from fast-paced work life and contemporary, glass-and-steel aesthetics. Which was entirely the point. Together with family, “this is an escape from all of that,” Durand says. 

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