As I was preparing for unveiling our new spring designs, I really wanted to shoot on Lake Michigan — imagine that — but the weather was not looking like it had plans to cooperate. It was, afterall, March. So I took to Airbnb to find somewhere along the Lake Michigan shore that would also provide an indoor space. And I found a gem just north of Milwaukee in Belgium, WI — the Cedar Beach Lake House.
Amanda (Moon & Wolf Co) and I absolutely adored the home, which was the perfect location for the shoot. The beach went on forever (150’ of frontage), the lake bottom was firm sand, and the grassy, flat yard (full acre) gently sloped down to the water. And while of course the shoreline is always changing, on the day of our shoot, I was walking hundreds of feet out and the water wasn't even above my knees. ALL SMOOTH SAND. Cold as heck, as March (and maybe year round ;)) water will be, but still a dream.
AND TRULY, THE HOUSE WAS STUNNING. The first floor featured a BEAUTIFUL and wide open kitchen and living space with fireplace and views of the water, large dining room, and adjoining living room with second table that doubled as pool or ping pong table. This second floor featured four bedrooms, with capacity for 10. A gym in the basement, a plethora of games. This place is OUTFITTED for any season and any crew. Did I mention TWO outdoor decks overlooking the yard and water?
And so naturally, I wanted to hear more. So I asked the owners Susan and Phil to tell me more about their newly built home.
What is your relationship with the Great Lakes / lake life in general?
My husband and I both grew up near Lake Erie in northeast Ohio. It has always been a dream of mine to have a house right on the water.
What inspired you to buy a Lake Michigan home?
A friend of mine bought a lake house in WI. I always thought it was unattainable until talking with him and then realized we, too, could make the dream come true!
What was the property like when you bought it and what was the building process like?
It was raw land. We saw it and made an offer on the property right then and there. The design and build process was an absolute labor of love! The whole house was designed around the lake views.
What do you love most about spending time at the lake?
The lake is different every single day - from calm blue waters to stormy gray waves - it never gets old gazing at the water.
Favorite feature of the home / property?
The theme I was going for was fun! Our property is a blast to stay at any time of the year, not just in the summertime. Whether it is playing bocce ball, badminton, volleyball or bags outside or darts, pool, ping pong and board games inside, there is always something to do. Of course the warm weather is my favorite to swim, stand up paddle board and kayak, but it is just as much fun to sit around the fire pit in the fall and enjoy the autumn colors.
Best advice / suggestion to guests staying there?
This is a great space for multigenerational families or a group of friends. There is plenty of communal space to hang out, but also you can find a private spot on one of the decks or in the yard if you just want to relax and read a good book.
And I couldn’t agree more with that last point Susan makes! Truly this home is meant for just about any sort of lake lover. Whether you want to park it inside and watch the sun and sky do their thing OR you want to be out on the water paddling, swimming, etc., your lake-loving heart will be happy.