The Cincinnati couple discovered the easygoing community of Northport, Michigan, in 2005, when they visited friends’ vacation home there. Within the year, the Schaefers bought two acres with a small house on the water. Protected by the bay from high waves, the property is one of the few in the area with a sandy beach, a sandy lake bottom, and a good stretch of shallow, wading-depth water. As a bonus, it’s next to the home of their friends, who offered to split the use of their dock, boats, and other water gear with the Schaefers.
“We said, ‘Perfect! We’ll take it!’ ” Betty recalls. For four summers, the Schaefers vacationed there, but the modern log cabin-style house was too small to accommodate more than one of their children’s families at a time. The style of the house wasn’t exactly to Betty’s liking either, and she and George began planning a new Nantucket-inspired house, where all of their immediate family—eight adults and 10 children—could be together at one time.
The blue-and-white palette is updated with blasts of lime green on the rug designed by Jonathan Adler. White bullion fringe accents the ocean-blue sofa, while a Sister Parish floral fabric upholsters matching armchairs.