When I was in fourth grade, my parents and grandparents bought a vacation home in South Haven, MI.
My mom had been going up to Michigan every summer since she was a girl and this was a tradition that continued on into my childhood and beyond. After years of renting homes all over southwestern Michigan, they decided to pull the trigger and buy a place of their own.
The family who lived there before we owned it called it Auvergne. We renamed it Feirin De at Auvergne. Feirin De is Gaelic for God's Gift, which is truly what this place has been for our family. Each August my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and my immediate family gather for a week of laughter, swimming, biking, great food and gorgeous sunsets. Other families rent Feirin De for a week during the summer and early Fall, many returning for the same week on the calendar year after year.
Over the years, Feirin De has witnessed at least one marriage proposal, many weddings (including my uncle's) and my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration during which my grandparents renewed their vows. It is more than a house, it is a home for all those who enter its doors.
Here are a few pictures of some of my favorite nooks and crannies at the house that I took this winter while we were there. I hope you enjoy the house tour!
The fireplace in the master bedroom at the front (facing the lake) of the house. The frame has pictures of our whole family and was a gift, along with the sign, for my grandparents at their fiftieth wedding anniversary. It's hard to see in the photo but the sign says "All Because Two People Fell in Love."
A little nook off of the living room, this table is used for chess, card games, puzzles, you name it. I love the cheery chair color and the billowy curtains.
The front door of the house, with a wheelchair ramp for my grandpa and other guests. I love the ladder back chair in the corner which, along with many other items, came with the house!
This built in book shelf and the stairs leading upstairs may be the favorite corner of the house. Guests are always leaving new books for us to read and checking the shelves for new material is one of the first things I do when we arrive at the lake. The color of the stairs combined with the paneling are just perfection in my book!
Our fireplace, painted the same green as the stairs above, is my other favorite part of the house. We have had many fires and great conversations here over the years!
This large dining room is a necessity for my large family (twenty plus people when we are all together. The table can be extended further and there is a kid's (now mostly teenagers) table not pictured on the other side of the room.
A close up of the window seat in the dining room. This is a great place to read a book, take a nap or look out at the falling snow. During dinner, it is usually covered in toys as my youngest cousins play while we are eating dinner.
This is a close-up, again in the dining room, of the plate rail that is above the window seat. I just love the blue and white china plates that adorn this space!
Another shot of the plate rail. Isn't that little chandelier hanging over the window seat just perfection!
A shot of the kitchen where the magic happens. The cabinets are a little dated but I love this kitchen because it is such a great farm house kitchen and echoes back to the days when the property was a working farm. The window above the stove opens out onto the breakfast porch and even has a little ledge for cooling baked goods like pies!
Thus concludes the house tour. What's your favorite part? The staircase? The blue and white china? The kitchen? Do tell!
P.S. Stay tuned for more exterior shots tomorrow!