Mixing Mid-Century Modern with Beachy Comfort in Union Pier, Michigan
When we moved to Southwest Michigan in 2012, we were immediately greeted by our next door neighbors, Betty and Marshall. They were in their 80’s, but Marshall whipped out his flip-phone to gather contact information and invited us for a glass of wine at day’s end, even though we were dirty and covered in paint, already immersed in renovations at Goldberry Woods. We adored them, and when they needed to downsize, they chose us to buy the house and included most of the furnishings. We found out at the closing that Betty and Marshall had also bought the house furnished.
While we have been actively making changes to the house every year, it was time to make the interiors truly our own. We carefully curated Pinterest boards, stalked our favorite designers, and thought about how we wanted River’s Edge Cottage to feel. We knew we needed a VERY LARGE sectional. The house can sleep up to 12 people and the living room lacked the butt space for that many people. We bought the most beautiful leather sectional and then topped it off with a 65 inch flat screen TV. A new sofa table creates even more movie theater seating to finish out this space. Now the whole gang can sit around and watch a movie together in our River’s Edge Cottage. Pop some popcorn (conveniently stocked by our staff) and snuggle up in front of the fireplace to end a perfect day of galivanting around Harbor Country or biking to the many Lake Michigan beaches.
Julie refinished the damaged dining room table and was astonished by the transformation. A quick reposition of dining room furniture made it possible to put all the leaves in, making the table big enough for 12.
Having fun focal points was a goal for our spaces. Julie found the perfect pattern for an accent wall in the dining room on Spoonflower. We were all REALLY hoping that splurging on the peel and stick wallpaper was going to be easier than pasted wallpaper…it was not…Carly and Julie were over at River’s Edge for two whole days and eventually emerged triumphant! Watch our reel below. We sped the time-lapse up 3x to make it look easy!
Overall, our favorite addition to the dining room is a wall FILLED with what we’ve deemed “Lake Michigan Dune Grass Paintings”. Most of them were collected over time by our “handyman” Alek–he asked Julie if she wanted some, and she initially had no idea what to do with them. Then she thought, what if we put every single one on the wall as a collection? And what if the collection covered the WHOLE wall? Julie made frames for many of the odd-shaped canvases, Sydney painted all the frames white, and then Julie went to work collaging them together! With a mix midcentury modern and beachy comfort, the dining room is the design we will pull through the rest of the cottage…if the new rug ever arrives…
Carrying that vibe through the rest of the house, Julie decided to paint the midcentury furniture in the front bedroom with an amazing dark green Benjamin Moore paint. She bought a Dewalt Biscuit Joiner, watched bunches of Youtube videos, and cut lumber to extend the full-sized vintage set into a queen bed. She then added floating night stands and shelf. We added lots of fun brass accents and much more lighting. The hunt continues for a great midcentury chair to finish off the space.
It is amazing to see how far River’s Edge has come since buying it from Betty and Marshall. Since 2015, we have completely repainted the interior and exterior of the building, painted the floors, knocked out a wall in the kitchen to create the perfect breakfast bar, added two FULL bathrooms (the house now boasts FOUR full bathrooms), and added a new roof. But one of our favorite completed projects over at River’s Edge is our bunk room that sleeps six with a foosball and game table.
Once we are done over at River’s Edge (let’s be honest…you’re never “done”), we cannot wait to set our sights on Creekside Cottage and more of our guest rooms in the Inn. As Julie’s dad always advised, you have to take the worst eyesore and make it the best space. Yet after eleven years of improvements, it’s more like taking a nice room and elevating it: bringing it closer to our brand and incorporating really unique items. Follow along with us as we continue to update different spaces on the property!