A bright red cottage overlooking the crystal blue waters of Walloon Lake, Michigan, gets its own happily ever after.
By Brielle M. Ferreira
1 of 6Photo: Mark Lohman, Stylist: Sunday Hendrickson
A resturn to childhood, a happier, simpler time—that's what Jonathan Borisch was looking for when he and his new bride, Mary Kay, started searching for homes in the quaint community of Walloon Lake, Michigan, back in 1987. More than 25 years and seven grandchildren later, the red waterfront cottage they purchased back then continues to provide them as much joy as ever. "It's a really special place," says Mary Kay. "I would describe it as living in a fairy-tale. We're thankful for it every single day." But of course, not every storybook ending has an equally happy beginning.
2 of 6Photo: Mark Lohman, Stylist: Sunday Hendrickson
The Living Room
When the Borisches first bought their home, it was little more than a charming Popsicle stand: The house lacked insulation and drywall, as well as forced heating and cooling, and it rested precariously on cement blocks and wood stumps. "It was almost 100 years old, and not winterized at all," says Mary Kay. To help with renovations, they reached out to designer and longtime collaborator Kathryn Chaplow. "It was easy to see why they loved coming here so much," says Chaplow. "They wanted to enjoy it year-round, but they didn't want a standard-issue cottage. We didn't want to lose its original magic."
In the living room, Chaplow layered upholstered chairs in an oversize floral print, a hot pink settee, and a gorgeous green velvet tufted sofa with custom white nailhead trim.
3 of 6Photo: Mark Lohman, Stylist: Sunday Hendricksono
The Dining Room
For inspiration, they turned to the Dorothy Draper-designed interiors of The Grand Hotel on nearby Mackinac Island. The landmark's whimsical, multicolor rooms struck a chord with the Borisches. "The hotel was built around the same time as our cottage, and we've always been drawn to its quirkiness," says Mary Kay. "There are lots of crazy colors, patterns, and Murano glass, and they all somehow work together. It's beautiful, happy, and inviting, and that's what we wanted for our home, too."
4 of 6Photo: Mark Lohman, Stylist: Sunday Hendricksono
So in a flurry of color and eclectic flair, Chaplow gave each room in the home its own unique palette—yellow for the great room, lavender and green in the bedrooms, and pops of vintage pink in the completely remodeled kitchen. "It's become an exciting characteristic of the home," says the designer.
6 of 6Photo: Mark Lohman, Stylist: Sunday Hendricksono
The Borisches' favorite place to gather is the simplest: their porch. "We spend most of our time out here, even if the weather isn't perfect," says Jonathan. And according to Chaplow, it's easy to understand why. "There's a refrigerator filled with soft drinks and at least six tubs of ice cream," she says with a laugh. "The kids love it!