The New Urban Cottage
WHAT TO DO WITH A VACANT LOT ON HARBOR SPRINGS’ WATERFRONT? THE COTTAGE COMPANY ANSWERS THE QUESTION WITH A MODERN INTERPRETATION OF COTTAGE THAT BLENDS BEAUTIFULLY WITH ITS GRACIOUS OLD NEIGHBORHOOD.
he white clapboard cottage, with its exposed rafter tails
and wide porches that beg for lazy days, nestles perfectly
into its neighborhood of early 19th-century Victorian
cottages on Bay Street in downtown Harbor Springs.
Only the handsome black-framed windows and doors are
a hint that something fresh and new is going on here.
A renovation perhaps?
That’s precisely the reaction that the home’s builder and developer, Rob
Mossburg of the Harbor Springs-based Cottage Company, welcomes when people
see his 275 E. Bay Street project. For years, Rob and his wife, Vee, searched for
the perfect way to develop a large, very desirable parcel in downtown Harbor
Springs that runs from Main Street to Bay Street and fronts on Little Traverse
Bay. Throughout their 20-plus year history of building and providing interior
design services, the couple has been big proponents of New Urbanism—a term
that basically means building and renovating within existing cities and neighbor
hoods to decrease sprawl and to promote old-fashioned, close-knit communities.
“Our goal was to create a project that appeared to have organically developed
over time,” Rob explains. This cottage is phase one of a plan that includes a
neighboring cottage on Bay Street and a mixed-use commercial property on Main
Street with residential condominiums above—all currently under construction. ➤
Bringing design tothe surface
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To make the cottage a reality, the Mossburgs assembled one of the most
renowned design-and-build teams in Northern Michigan: architect Nick White,
kitchen and bath designer Liz Firebaugh of Signature Kitchens and their own
Cottage Company for the construction and interior design. Rob and Vee’s
daughter, Kelly Konoske, took the lead on the interior, imbuing the home with
her innovative, young coastal style that still manages to stay true to Harbor
Springs’ vintage vernacular.
A deep front porch, six-inch-planked white oak floors, shiplap walls and
handsome black industrial windows set the stage for a home that makes the view
of Little Traverse Bay across the road center stage. Kelly’s touches shine in her
own line of soothing, neutral-toned furniture, most upholstered in performance
fabric (perfect for a vacation home’s relaxed living), a couple funky, fun mid
century modern floor lamps and two-toned chrome-and-black hardware fixtures.
“Personally, I feel that lighting and plumbing are two areas where design has
been lacking and where the boundaries can be pushed,” Kelly says.
Liz Firebaugh created a timeless kitchen that seamlessly mixes cottage ele
ments (white shiplap walls and ceiling) with a Euro-classic, La Cornue Fe range,
a sophisticated marble-like quartz waterfall countertop and transitional frameless
white cabinetry. Black industrial windows anchor one side of the space, and
opposite, flanking the island, is a stunning glass-doored hutch framed in black.
“Black doors are big for 2020,” Liz says. ➤
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The second-story master bedroom is a masterpiece of soothing natural shades and textures. “You just breathe easier when in this room,” Kelly says. The thoughtful design includes a small sitting area between the walk-in closet and the bedroom. “I imagine the homeowner enjoying a glass of wine while getting ready to go out for the evening,” Kelly says.
In the adjoining master bath, also designed by Signature Kitchens, the glassed-in shower and free-standing tub are separated from the vanity area by an industrial metal-and-glass room divider that Liz calls another 2020 design favorite. A roof-top terrace with an outdoor kitchen, fireplace and wide-open view of Little Traverse Bay is the climax to this home that harmonizes so beautifully with Harbor Springs’ past and present.
Elizabeth Edwards is managing editor of Northern Home and Cottage. email@example.com
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resources The New Urban Cottage, page 20
ARCHITECT White and Liebler, Nick White and Nick Liebler, nickwhite.com GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND INTERIOR DESIGN Cottage Company, cottage-company.com
KITCHEN AND BATH DESIGN Signature Kitchens, signaturekitchensonline.com
FLOORING J. Chattaway
MOST OF THE LIGHTING Visual Comfort, visualcomfort.com
PLUMBING Fergusons, ferguson.com/branch/ petoskey-mi-plumbing
TILE Emmet Brick & Block, emmetbrick.com Bradley J. Butcher, AIA 989.705.8400 • sidockgroup.com Novi • Wyandotte • Lansing Muskegon • Gaylord • Sault Ste. Marie • Tampa