Home sweet home

GWFC prepares to host annual area home tour on Oct. 6

MECOSTA COUNTY — Mecosta County residents will open their doors to their neighbors next Saturday as part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ annual Home Tour.

The tour will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 6. Tickets are available from any GFWC member, as well as at Patterson’s Flowers in Big Rapids for $15 (children under one are free). Sponsors for this event include Big Rapids Realty, Blue Cow Cafe, Chemical Bank, Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors, P&J’s Plantiques and Silvernail Realty.

GFWC is part of an international women’s organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. All money raised from this event is distributed back into the community for various projects. Last year’s event raised $3,400.

The women’s club has hosted the tour since the 1980s, said home tour chair Linda Telfer. The event is their largest annual fundraiser, selling about 200 tickets each year.

For more information on the tour, contact Telfer at (231) 250-2088.


Dan and Carma Burcham
230th Avenue in Big Rapids

Thirty-eight years ago, Dan and Carma Burcham purchased 60 acres and built a ranch home with 1,728 square feet of living space. This same home has gone through many major renovations to become the current 4,282-square-foot home designed for entertaining up to 175 guests.

As you walk up the black concrete walk, you pass through a grand entrance with a beautiful hanging chandelier. You immediately see how spacious this home — the great room has exposed beams, cathedral ceilings, and a view of the in-ground pool and deck. The stone fireplace with a large metal clock is the focal point of the all-white living area. Even though the home is open, it is tiered to offer areas for private conversations or to enjoy Carma playing the black baby grand piano.

The newly remodeled kitchen and dining room have a gray tile floor resembling wood. The new kitchen incorporates many windows overlooking the rolling landscape and two large vegetable gardens. This kitchen was carefully designed to include as much storage and counter space as possible. The black cabinets and gray Silestone counters with mirrored flecks set the kitchen off.

The secluded master bedroom over the garage is an added treasure. The floor to ceiling windows with a glass banister allows for un-blocked views. This home reflects Carma’s creative design touches throughout as well as their love for entertaining.


Cindy and Denny Lerner
230th Avenue in Big Rapids

Tucked back in a wooded acreage, Cindy and Denny Lerner’s home was built in 1980 and totally remodeled three years ago. This log home houses a majestic stone fireplace in the open living area with many windows overlooking the beautiful landscape. Kendall Lighting designed contemporary lighting throughout the house.

The kitchen contains many interesting items, including honed wood kitchen cabinets, a granite countertop, a hammered nickel sink and hidden appliances. The refrigerator cabinet handle is a “fun” feature. The unique hutch was specially designed for this kitchen.

The dining room overlooks the surrounding woods as well as a garden. You also will see many family items throughout the home which bring back memories of years gone by.

The master bedroom on the second floor has an attached bathroom with a large mirror. A walk-through closet leads to an island for folding clothes and a handy washer and dryer.

The lower level houses a guest bedroom that displays a special wall mural painted by a close friend. The bathroom has a concrete sink and shower, as well as a dyed concrete floor. The screened-in porch has a painted lattice garden scene on the walls. One can sit either on the porch or patio and enjoy the serene surroundings of this home.


Jim and Wendy Samuels
West Blue Lake Drive in Mecosta

Driving through the wooded trail to Jim and Wendy Samuels’ home, you will find this beautiful log home, built in 1998, has a magnificent view of Blue Lake. As you enter the home you will feel the warmth of the hand-cut and peeled logs, which Jim and Wendy carved themselves with Wendy’s grandpa’s saw. The stone fireplace is a must for those chilly fall nights. Items of particular interest are the many handmade tables and the kitchen bar, hand-cut by Amish, finished by Wendy and painted by a friend. A unique ox yoke light hangs over the bar in the kitchen. One will find many Native American accents throughout the home, including the bathroom, which has many turquoise accents and houses a specially designed vanity.

As you go up the stairs, you will find an office area in the loft. You will see specially finished walls and a log bed in the master bedroom made by the Samuels. The bedroom window allows you to view the lower level as well as the beautiful view of the lake.

The lower level is designed to entertain family with a covered patio overlooking the lake, perfect for large gatherings of friends and family.

The original cabin for this property sits next door. Wendy’s grandfather built the cabin and most of its furniture during the war. Of special interest are the cabinets with wooden hinges, also built by grandpa. The cabin is well-preserved in its original state and is currently used for extra guests coming to enjoy this beautiful setting.


Jeff and Suzie Pierce
14 Mile Road in Big Rapids

As you travel the winding driveway to the Pierce home, you approach a secluded home with a breathtaking view of the Muskegon River Valley. The home has many features, including detailed work of Italian stone and marble flooring. One will notice the ample closet and storage areas throughout the home. Special lighting is installed in the built-in china hutch. The open formal dining room displays an antique buffet shipped Europe.

A must-see, cook’s dream kitchen is the center of the home and is host to ample counter space, a river rock granite countertop and an island perfect for entertaining.

The master bedroom has a spectacular view and an attached master bathroom with two sinks, the taller one for the man and the shorter one for the woman. A skylight adds to the airiness of this room. The “Jack-and-Jill” bedrooms on the main level share a bathroom adding to their guests’ privacy.

The 2,600-square-foot basement recently was completed to include a kitchen, exercise room, game tables and a large TV area perfect for family and friends. The specially designed bar provides more seating for friends watching that special football game. Of special note are the angled walls that provide an interesting look. This home is a true treasure.

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