sneak peek: screech owl design {cottage}


our special tuesday sneak peek comes to us by way of jacqueline and george schmidt of screech owl design. they’ll be back this fall sharing their brooklyn home, but as summer slowing is making it’s way to a close, we thought it would be fun to show off their summer cottage in Michigan (which George’s great grandparents purchased in 1915- smart people!), as the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. it’s pretty clear how this place influences their work (and it’s the screech owls behind this cottage that inspired the name of their company). check out the full set of images here. {thanks george and jacqueline!} -anne

[Above: This is a really old buffet in the dining room that is partly made of these cool old birch logs. The color is sort of a contentious point among various family members, and in the absence of any consensus on what color to repaint it it just stays the same. I like the color. The little chalkboard lets everyone know where everyone else is, and the photographs are of my grandmother and her friends, probably taken in the early 1940’s at the drugstore photo booth in town.

And yes, we are into classic cars and love our 1963 Ford Fairlane. We leave it in Michigan throughout the year and have a ritual opening of the garage where we check to see if it is still running. It usually starts. Sometimes.

Here is our constant companion in the dining room. An ancient teddy bear I found for Jacqueline at a rummage sale. He’s sitting on my baby chair, and was the inspiration for one of Jacqueline’s cards for Screech Owl. On the floor you can see a cool diamond patterned paint job that I did a few years ago. The blue and yellow have almost equal color values, so it’s nice and bright. . .Out on the porch we keep a bowl of things we find on walks. We’re both really into finding bones, and are constantly on the hunt for them. But any interesting bit of driftwood will do. I think all these kinds of things are about a search for history, and connection to a place. This place is full of objects that are embedded with this kind of significance for both of us.

It all really starts with Lake Michigan. A huge freshwater sea. The perfect place to comb the beach for drift wood, sea glass and interesting stones and to restore ourselves from the bustle of New York City. Pictured is the path off the bluff to the beach. It is a really special place for us, as it’s an old resort community, where luckily, my great grandparents bought a cottage around 1915.

This is the Studio where I work in the summer. It’s pretty much my ideal studio. I sometimes have to just slap myself, on account of how lucky I am. It’s really just a little barn down by the side of the lake. It’s got these skylights that I put in, and two big doors which face east, so I usually work in the mornings. Mornings are my best time for being creative.


really love this. reminds me of my own favourite spot up in ontario. simple, quiet, inspiring.

Miss Jess

Michigan is one of my favorite places in the whole world – I’ve been vacationing with my family on the shores of Lake Michigan since I was a bitty babe. Absolutely wonderful that a great beach cottage was featured, it seems that Americans outside of the midwest tend to forget that we have 5 large freshwater seas smack in the middle of our country. I’d rather be there than anywhere else. Beautiful place, thanks for sharing!!


I like the buffet color too! Is there any chance of me getting my hands on a yellow and white pendant like the one hanging in the kitchen?


I live in Alaska now, but I’m a Michigan girl – born & raised in Ann Arbor. I’ve spent many summers on the shores of lake michigan, there is no other place like it. I dream of having a cottage there myself. I’m dying to know what town this cottage is in.


thanks for posting this! I’m soooo into cottage style right now and I just hit northern michigan antique stores and got so many goodies. I love those old cottages!


I want to vacation in a place like this!!!! Does anyone know of cottages like this near a beach like this??? Or a starting place of a town in Michigan I might find something??


Love this! We rent a cottage on Lake Michigan, in the SW part of the state near South Haven. it’s my favorite place in the world.


Wow…Where is this on Lake MI? I”m from Muskegon, and it looks a lot like one of our beaches (although, I’m sure that there are many like this in MI)….Love it. The beach really is SO inspiring!