Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

August 11, 2014

My Sliding Door: Windswept

It's been a while since I updated my Sliding Door Series and shared photos of a house currently for sale on Lake Superior.  I've been looking and, happily, I have yet to find a house (within our budget) that I love more than our little bungalow.  I've clicked on each new listing, with baited breath, hoping I won't find a house that would make me regret our rash decision to impulse buy this place.  But I'm still a poster girl for making snap decisions based on gut feelings.  We're still enamored with the lakehouse and have not found it's equal.

Today's tour, though, is a phenomenally interesting place, currently priced at more than double what we paid for our little home.  This house is huge: just over 4500 square feet, with really striking architecture.  It's too much house for us, both in size and price, but if I had the cash I could happily turn this place into a real stunner.  It's begging for some mid-century inspired simplicity, with a dash of Scandinavian cool.  Furniture tailored to the scale and proportion of the room would be a must.  This would be the kind of home in which a person could take some gutsy design risks.

It was designed specifically for the location, to complement both the gardens and Lake Superior.  Behold, the incredible exterior:

The design is definitely striking and makes for a lot of cute nooks and crannies... lots of spots from which to enjoy the view.

The interior makes me want to buy a lottery ticket so I could fund my secret desire to be a house-flipper.  The squashed pillows of the loveseat is making me sad.  He's just totally given up on life.

The dining room has a killer view, and room for a really medieval-sized dining table.  I think a large space can be just as challenging to decorate as a small one because scale is so important but it can be difficult to find the pieces to carry such a grand space. 

If this is an "updated" kitchen, I'm a curvy blond.  Telling me it's European won't make it any less 80s.  It's 80s European which negates any fanciness the European style lends it.  Painting the cabinets - both the melamine and wood accents - grey would be an easy and affordable fix.  Grey would complement the copper/bronze backsplash and help make the black granite (?) counters contrast less.  A total re-do would be ideal, but I don't think this kitchen is a total lost cause.

The sunroom, located off the living room, is definitely where I would log some serious hours thinking deep and important thoughts.  This room needs to be a library, with many leather-bound books.

This house has an atrium.

Something about the atrium, plus the stairs leading from the master bedroom, reminds me of the set of a horror movie in which the protagonist has plenty of places to elude the masked killer.  She'd flit about the house in her nightie, losing him in the convoluted floor plan, until she bumps right into the second knife-wielding killer.

The other three bedrooms are much less cinematic.

This spacious bathroom is killing me.  I think you could get a pretty good tan from the light fixture.  But the potential is too good!  So much space to work with and so much natural light.

Time for everyone's favorite dans le lakehouse drinking game!  There's a portal-type shower so everyone add a dash of Bailey's to your morning cuppa.  I'm starting to think maybe there was a tile prohibition in this city around 15-20 years ago.  Or maybe a grout drought? 

A bathroom with a killer balcony.  That's fancy.  I would paint this balcony charcoal grey (along with the rest of the wood on the exterior), and re-do the bathroom with very Scandinavian-inspired black, white, and pale grey finishes. With a teak vanity.  A tulip table and two teak chairs would be perfect out here, although I'm sure I'd never use them.

The basement is also huge, with an in-law suite and beautiful views.  Seriously - it's hard to believe this is a basement!

This house makes our little place seem boring, plus I'm a little worried about my prospects of eluding a killer.  I need a secret hatch in the bedroom.  How long would it take me to tunnel my way to the garage?  On the bright side if we had bought this beauty, with it's mind-boggling floor plan and endless, gargantuan rooms, I'd have spent the best years of my life painting out miles and miles of wood trim.


  1. Replies
    1. It's such a stunner, isn't it? Very unusual and full of character.

  2. This house just screams 1980s. Your place is much cuter.

    1. Awww, thanks! Yes, this house definitely has a very distinct 80s look to it - made much more obvious by the decor. It would have been a fun project to update, but would have taken a LOT more time/effort/money to modernize than our little place.

  3. I'm buying an apartment (today) that has almost that exact kitchen and the tile from the master bathroom. I'm glad that someone thinks they have potential!

    1. Congratulations!! That is fabulous new - I'm so happy for you. Oh gosh, I am constantly amazed by the power of paint. I'm certain you will be able to make your new apartment your style in no time at all. The European style kitchen from the 1980s has so much potential because it's a simple cabinet profile. The tile would be easy to work with too, if you have to, just by freshening up what's around it. Congrats again!!

  4. I can't understood how someone could be attracted to such a thoroughly contemporary exterior and demonstrate such different taste when furnishing the interior. I guess there are people who really haven't pinpointed their style, but this is pretty extreme split-personality decorating. The exterior is fantastic, but you're right about the interior begging for simplicity. If I bought that house, I'd probably leave the wood trim, but I'd be soooo tempted to deflate those puffy sofas before the current owner moved out. :)

    1. Haha, I can just picture you nonchalantly stabbing at them during a showing. Other than their very over stuffed sofas, they do seem to favor clean(ish) lines - albeit 80s lines. Maybe if they were decorating today, they'd pick much more modern pieces. From what my Mom says, there wasn't much choice in the 80s in terms of new furniture. She was saddled with ugly pieces too, even though she craved cleaner, sharper lines. But still, like you, I would not have guessed that interior from that exterior!! I hope someone buys it and really gives it a new lease on life. It's so unusual and really could be magazine-worthy!


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