Overnight sensation
Lakefront guest rooms makes visitors feel welcome.

By Jeanine Matlow
Photography courtesy Jeff Garland Photography

Anyone looking to freshen up a guest room might follow the lead of Mike and Martha Welch, who welcome a steady stream of family and friends to their Saugatuck retreat, especially during the peak season. Their daughter and son-in-law come frequently from Chicago for extended stays, with the couple’s grandsons in tow.

A major renovation in 2011 and 2012 put their personal stamp on the vacation home they had just purchased. “We wanted to make it a lake house, not a beach house,” said Martha. To her, that translated to the blues and greens inspired by the water and sky and giving it a relaxed, homey feel.  

Their well-appointed guest rooms offer comfortable seating, reading materials, blankets and throws, music, lighting on dimmers, ceiling fans and pieces from their art collection. Each has its own bathroom and one of the three guest rooms features brown-and-white striped window treatments that frame the breathtaking views beyond. Another, with green and yellow hues, has a bit of a Jimmy Buffet feel.


“The hope is that a guest will arrive after the mile-long drive in through the quiet woods and immediately relax and feel comfortable.” Martha said. “I wanted it to be peaceful but have some color. I wanted it to be welcoming to guests.”

Their interior designer, Gail Urso, of Urso Designs in Grosse Pointe Park (ursodesignsinc.com), suggests remodeling homeowners sleep in their own guest room to ensure it has all the amenities their visitors may need. That includes pillows and bedding, a chair to sit on and a surface for writing or their computer.

 “It can be as simple as a tissue dispenser or adding fresh flowers when company is coming,” Urso said. See the current issue for complete story.