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A Unbelievably Light Lakeside Log Cabin

Log cabins tend to be dark. It is just often a reality when the space is wood; the inside tends to be moody. That is what Sam Wotring and Nicole Ray were expecting before they stepped within this 1920s log cabin on a calm lake nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan. Boy, were they wrong.

As a previous homeowner utilized a superlight grey paint to cover every log surface within the home, such as the vaulted wood-plank ceiling, the distance is far from dark. “We were so surprised by how light and airy it was inside, so enchanting and quaint,” Ray says. Meanwhile, vivid colors and original art — Ray is an illustrator and artist — further lighten the space, as do vintage chandeliers that hang in every area.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Sam Wotring and Nicole Ray
Location: Brighton, Michigan
Size: Around 1,600 square feet; two bedrooms, 11/2 baths

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

The light grey paint covering the ceiling and logs produce an unexpectedly bright and airy inside. Floor markings leave clues that past owners had opened up three small bedrooms and bathrooms to create larger living spaces. The homeowner who had painted the inside also left all of the vintage chandeliers.

Ray built the side sofa table at the main living space with a wooden cage from her grandfather and thighs from Hairpin Legs.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

The home is on a former golf course, and Ray and Wotring found that it once provided summer housing for golf caddies. The couple now refers to the home since the “The Caddy Shack.”

Wotring built the sliding door and worked with a local fabricator to make the hardware and slipping track.

Door paint: New Born’s Eyes, Benjamin Moore

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

2 10- by 10-foot caddie bunk rooms became one 10-by-20 principal bedroom.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

“The fireplace is one of my favorite items in the home,” says Ray. “It’s original to the home and is rumored to be the largest fireplace around the lake,” she states.

The coffee table was passed down from Wotring’s grandmother.

Rug: Green at Heart Rug, Etsy; sofa: Henry, West Elm; green sofa, armchair: Newton Furniture; throw pillows: Robin Cottage, Etsy

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Worktables: Norden; bookcase: Expedit; red drawer component: Helmer (all from Ikea)

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

According to floor markings, the couple believes there utilized to be a 6-foot-long wall or half wall that ran through the center of the present office area, maybe to shut off a dining room.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Lights over mattress: Krämare, Ikea; gray blanket: Pendleton Windowpane, Lands’ End; art: “Whale Rider,” Nicole Ray

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Wotring’s work area would be to the best of the kitchen in the living room. His desk is a vintage drafting table; the Hoosier cupboard was a family heirloom given to Wotring by his stepdad.

The lobster block-printed wall hanging is from The Sarah Elizabeth Shop at Rockport, Massachusetts.

Chairs: Franklin, Ikea

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Art of the Excellent Lakes by Marcy Davy of All Things Grow decorates the half wall dividing the kitchen from the living area. A Insufficient Ikea shelf exhibits whiskey. The butcher block table was another family heirloom passed down to the couple.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

“When we moved in, we wanted to do something new with all the kitchen floor,” says Ray. “The ceramic tile was worn out, however, a complete renovation wasn’t in our budget.” After doing some online research, the few painted above the tile with garage-floor paint. After performing two coats of primer, then they painted stripes through the hall and into the bathroom.

Paint: Behr premium one-part epoxy concrete floor paint in White Base and Silver Gray, Home Depot

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

A skylight, open yellow painted cabinets and also a wood beam pot stand contribute into the open, airy feel of the home.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

This Winans Lake embroidery art, which hangs in the kitchen on an idea plank, was custom made for Ray from Amy Cronkite of My Marigold. The heart marks where the couple lives on the lake.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Ray’s grandmother photographed her kitchen window at 1936. The shooter now hangs between the kitchen windows here.

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

The dining area faces Winans Lake and leads out to a deck.

Dining table: Bjursta, Ikea; carpeting: West Elm

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Ray made this nook near the entry where she ships and packs her art.

Rug: Downtown Home & Garden; Michigan squirrel plate: Martha Bishop, Lazy Gal; birds plate: Janae Easton, Playpus File; art by sloeginfizz on Etsy: Seahorse Nursery, Fox in Sox, Wild Spring Ride, Turtle Flight

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Ray painted the goldfish piece, now in the guest bedroom.

Plush squid: Amber Adams, Woolly Mammoth Designs

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Rug: Emmie, Ikea; lush creature: Frankenstitch Productions

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

The owners installed this tiny claw-foot bathtub.

Cabinet, stool, shelving, curtains, rug: Ikea

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Mirror paint: Dry Bouquet, True Worth; wall-mounted lights: Lowe’s; embroidered anchor, paper airplane: From J. Loo to You

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Ray relaxes in her area. Behind her is a gallery wall showcasing work from her mother, like the ’70s bird crewelwork from a kit, also from other artists.

Tree art: The Artisan’s Bench; woodpecker in trousers: Pillbug Designs; fox: Stephanie Salamone; screen-print of a woman: Kristine Virsis, Just Seeds Artists Cooperative

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

Jeff Jones Snap It Photography

The log cabin community is built around Winans Lake, which is motor free for quiet and peace.

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Magnolia Magic Breezes Into the Home

Together with the warm winter we’ve had in Alabama, all types of trees and flowers are placing buds out way earlier than normal — and now I am crossing my fingers that my favorite, the legendary Southern magnolia, will probably be one of them. Although the first thing that comes to mind when most men and women think of those towering trees is their heady, identifying scent, they are as pleasing to the eye regarding the nose: saucer-size white blossoms; glossy, evergreen foliage; and branches which spread like a welcoming hug.

Magnolia leaves are a Christmastime timeless, but they are equally as striking in the summertime, with or without their blooms. And if you do not happen to live in a area where magnolia trees grow, take heart: There are all kinds of ways to bring them in to your décor. Have a look.

Atypical Type A

This easy arrangement allows the sculptural quality of glow that is magnolias. Adding a few buds in addition to completely opened blooms is a beautiful touch to around a screen of just about any flower.

Amy Lau Design

It would have been simpler to paint magnolias in the wall and call it a day, but also taking it one step further with a three-dimensional program adds a beautiful layer of whimsy. This would turn a little girl’s bedroom into a fantasyland.

The Sky is the Limit Style

As minimal as it gets, a magnolia-leaf display highlights the sharp form of the tree’s foliage. It reinvents a traditional motif in a modern way.


For me, one of the areas of a magnolia leaf is its soft, velvety bottom. This arrangement shows that aspect off well — and also the colour enhances the tans and beiges in the room.

Michael Knowles, Architect

The color of the wall paint — Magnolia from Dunn Edwards — totally captures the creamy, soft the heart of the petals. Deep green accents would enhance the feeling of being underneath those spreading branches.

Lucy McLintic

Dainty wallpaper feels with this bedroom. Utilizing prints and patterns with a tie into a residence’s place is a fantastic method of producing a feeling of place.

Cabinet Studio, Inc..

Custom magnolia tile beneath the stove hood in this kitchen produces a pretty focal point. It’s easy to have tiles adorned with any motif which is suitable for you, be it floral, floral or something entirely different.

Stonewood, LLC

Ceramic magnolias include a pretty, feminine note to the bathroom. They are just bright enough to give a little flourish without detracting in the clean lines.

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