This Michigan Victorian House Built in 1886 Is Utterly Stunning After a Modern Reno

published Jun 14, 2023

This Michigan Victorian House Built in 1886 Is Utterly Stunning After a Modern Reno

published Jun 14, 2023
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“Growing up in a small tourist-driven town in Northern Michigan in the nineties was nothing short of dull for this adventure-driven soul. Thankfully I had two grandmothers with intensely different styles, stories, and homes. Spending time with each would lead to its storybook adventure,” begins Marissa Wege, who runs the vacation rental brand, Northern Migration, and the shop, Au Sable. She also wrote a field guide to Leelanau County and Traverse City; a fourth edition will soon be released including new locations.

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“My one grandmother lived on a farm in the country, while the other preferred a traditional, classic style. Where these two women converged was over their art of the find. Each of these women helped shape the thrifter I am today. They were scouring barns one weekend while picking up Victorian furniture from the alleyways downtown the next,” she continues.

The home she shares with her family in Traverse City, Michigan, is a large Victorian house originally built in 1886, and Marissa says the house was allegedly the home of the first doctor that lived in the area. “The beautiful double lot and location make you feel like you are in the country, yet you can easily walk to the water or downtown,” she explains of the house’s location. “Each room in the house tells a story itself. Some of the bedrooms upstairs have closets with false backs that can be opened to reveal secret forts and tunnels into other rooms. The boys often use the secret tunnel to sneak into my room at night and sleep in bed with me.”

The entire house captures Marissa’s design style, and she says the home often becomes a backdrop or staging area for the goodies she sells in her shop. “I often have stacks of Moroccan rugs in a corner or a stash of hand-blown glass from Paris in the kitchen,” she admits. But the kitchen is a particularly magnificent space, was a “bit of a pit” until Marissa recently renovated it with the help of a designer Kelsey Duda. “Replacing the ’80s remodel with cabinetry that fits the scale complemented and highlighted what was already there,” Marissa explains of the Wolf Wood Co. kitchen cabinets. “I had the colors for my kitchen and countertop decided before anything else. I knew I wanted to use as many vintage lights as I had in the house. Beyond that, it was a blank slate.”



  • Kitchen cabinets — Farrow & Ball “Dead Salmon”
  • Kitchen walls — Farrow & Ball “London Clay”
  • Library — Farrow & Ball “Green Smoke”


  • Womb Chair Design Within Reach
  • Rug Au Sable
  • Light Noguchi
  • Light Fixtures Moroccan Pendant (From Au Sable)
  • Black cowhide Chairs B&B Italia
  • Coffee Table (Metal Drum Table) Design within reach
  • Lights Visual Comfort
  • Baskets with Mattresses Au Sable
  • Ceramic Sculpture Re Jin Lee
  • Couch Vintage Italian
  • Rug Au Sable from Morocco


  • Dining Table Noguchi Vintage
  • Dining Chairs – Platner Design Within Reach
  • Artwork Johny Abrahams – Library Street Collective
  • Light fixtures vintage
  • Cassina Pleated Lampshade standing Lamp (Vintage Estate Sale Find)
  • Overhead Lighting Vintage
  • Shelf Lighting Visual Comfort
  • Wood Cabinetry Wolf Wood
  • Refrigerator Fisher & Paykel
  • Stove Bertazzoni
  • Coffee Maker Brevol
  • Faucets Devol
  • Pulls Devol
  • Flowers Sjvena Maitland
  • White Le Creuset Goop Edition
  • Vases AuSable
  • Salt & Pepper Mills AuSable
  • Trivets AuSable
  • Gingham Napkins AuSable


  • Side Tables European Custom Order
  • Lights Noguchi Pendant
  • Curtains Linen Tails
  • Bed Restoration Hardware
  • Chair Vintage
  • Bedside Lamps Flos
  • Books AuSable
  • Linens Linen Tales (From Au Sable)
  • Rug Stoffer Home
  • Artwork Beverly Fishman


  • Curtains West Elm
  • Bed IKEA
  • Light Stoffer Home
  • Desk Vintage (From Au Sable)
  • Curtains  West Elm
  • Linens Au Sable Sourced from Mexico
  • Bedside Lamp Flos
  • Butterflies  Vintage
  • Wall Paint Color — Farrow & Ball’s “White Duck”
  • Built-ins Paint Color — Farrow & Ball’s “Green Smoke”


  • Bed Lumineer in Chicago
  • Desk, Chair, Bedside Table Vintage Design Within Reach
  • Light Fixture Noguchi
  • Bedside Lights Vintage Artemide
  • Bedside Table Design Within Reach
  • Frog Au Sable
  • Quilt August Shop
  • Rug Au Sable


  • Light Flos
  • Rug Au Sable
  • Prints Vintage
  • Shower Curtains Target
  • Plant Darling Botanical


  • Standing Light Fixture Visual Comfort
  • Pendent Fixture Designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos
  • Books Vintage
  • Record Player Shinola
  • Bench Nelson
  • Eames Lounge Chair
  • Eames Walnut Stool
  • Pottery Antiques from travels near and far
  • Rug Stoffer Home

Thanks Marissa!

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