Jeptha Lake Retreat Uses Rich Finishes to Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

This small building can be found in Grand Junction in rural Michigan in the United States. The structure serves as a retreat for a family, and joins a series of other retreats located nearby.


A few years ago, the family contacted a local architecture firm by the name of Wheeler Kearns Architects. The project, dubbed Upper Jeptha Lake Retreat, was completed back in 2015.



The unassuming structure is composed of a 960-square-foot (89.18-square-meter) abode. It has two levels and is designed to facilitate the owner outdoor excursions.



The property is aligned so as to make the most of a nearby lake, soaking in the views it has to offer. The interior finishes are designed to create a calm and muted atmosphere. You’ll find warm dark Douglas fir being employed for the majority of surfaces on the inside – a stark contrast to the crisp, modern finish of the exterior.


Upper Jeptha Lake Retreat dedications just as much space to the private areas of the home as it does to the public ones. On the first floor, bedrooms flank the main living space, and each comes with its own generously-sized en suite (which can also be accessed from the closets).


The living space itself is simple, it contains a living room, a kitchen, and a dining area. Upstairs there’s another sitting room before leading to another bedroom.


From the architects: “The intimate 960 square foot cottage is all a guest could need. A small eating nook, a living/communal area, flanked by two-bedroom suites. A central wood-clad volume divides the social zones, cleverly concealing cupboards, appliances and an efficient stair. A wooden ceiling plane floats above the social spaces; clerestories wrap a light-filled working and sleeping loft, providing panoramic immersion with sky, lake and forest.The guests all leave decompressed, happy. Just as planned.”


For more retreats, check out this old Swiss chalet that gets rebuilt as an unusual getaway by Frundgallina. Or, the Canyon House, a year-round retreat set on the edge of Clearwater River Canyon. See all retreats.

Photos © Tom Harris

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

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