A (Very Blue) House with Moroccan Style on Lake Michigan

Blue House Lake Michigan HB 525Did you see this Lake Michigan home featured in House Beautiful recently? Gorgeous, right? It looks pretty “American traditional” from the outside, so I was surprised by all the Moroccan design influences inside. 

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (4)

The article by Christine Pittel says, “Instead of boats and buoys, designer Martin Horner added exotic elements — Moroccan tile, pillows made from Japanese obis, Balinese columns — to a Lake Michigan house. With layers of color and pattern everywhere, this house has cultural treasures from around the world in every room.”

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (2)

The tile in the kitchen is cool and unusual–they have a close-up of it in the article with source info.

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (6)

A huge window over the farmhouse sink frames the water view:

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (5)

On the HB website some readers commented that it was almost “too much blue” for them. But designer Martin Horner says, “One reason why you can have all this pattern and texture throughout the house is because the palette is so consistent.”

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (7)

“Blue is the common thread that holds it all together. It’s the husband’s favorite color. Blue is the color of the lake outside, and it winds through the house. It’s the color of the backsplash in the kitchen and the tile in the master bath. It’s in the spatterware that the wife collects.”

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (8)

Like it? Visit House Beautiful for more photos and information and read the interview with the designer. (Story produced by Doretta Sperduto, styled by Gregory Bissonnette, and photographed by Francesco Lagnese.)

Blue House Lake Michigan HB (3)

I love a house on the water! Another favorite:

dock off Emily's beach house-Revenge

Emily Thorne’s (Real) Beach House on Revenge

Flathead Lake Montana house Larry Pearson design 500
When I first saw this house on Flathead Lake in Bigfork, Montana, I assumed it had been around for a long time. So I was…
Decorating with White Country Living book kitchen
Are you drawn to all-white rooms? When Country Living's new book Decorating with White arrived on my doorstep, I immediately sat down to ooh and…

See More


  1. says

    I’ve always wondered what happens when you have a certain expectation because of the exterior, and yet do something completely different inside. I guess that the color redeems the oddity of the theme. I really love that HUGE kitchen window…

  2. calliope says

    there isn’t anything wrong with “too much blue”!
    esp when it’s done soo perfectly
    I loved the bedroom

  3. Laura says

    This is actually quite nice. I was worried when I saw “Moroccan”, because I really don’t like a big surprise inside compared to the outside. But it’s pretty understated and tasteful, as opposed to “Welcome to the Casbah”. As for all the blue, what you showed is fine, but if every single room in the house is blue that would get old for me. Now, if it was all shades of green…

  4. says

    This house is all about its architecture for me! I don’t care much about the decor… it’s beautiful, but even though I love blue, perhaps, there’s a bit too much of the good stuff. Balance is fundamental…

    But the architecture is perfect! PERFECT! I love this kind of style! This truly inspired me today, Julia. Thank you!!! :-)


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  5. Christina from Dallas says

    OMG! The outside of the house in soooo wonderful! That is the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen from the outside. As far as the inside goes, I like blue and white so that is nice. That fireplace is kind of unusual. Some of the furniture such as the dressers are not my style but overall a really nice house.

  6. 65andcounting says

    For someone who doesn’t like blue to begin with, oh my, this is so wrong to my eyes. I’m not even a fan of the exterior shade of blue. It’s a tad too “baby blue” for me, when I think it could be more ocean or lake blue to mirror the water they are on. We had this chat about exterior shades of blues a while back, in a post you did about another home that was painted blue.

    As much as I like all the round ends of the home, the porches, etc, the front gable end piece seems too tall, out of proportion. I want to lop off about ten feet, drop it down so it isn’t this giant peak that overwhelms the simple beauty of the rest of the lines.

    But hey, if someone gave me the keys to it and said here, I’d say thank you, move in, and un-blue the interior.

  7. jep says

    What an unusual style house, not my taste…but lovely. I really like all the blue, so calming and being near the water, perfect for the house. I am glad that they did not paint all the woodwork white. White kitchens are pretty, but I always wonder how easy they are to keep clean. I picture handprints all over the place. 😉 Thanks Julia, I enjoyed seeing this house.

  8. Brandy says

    That kitchen window–it almost looks like you can reach out an touch the water. Le sigh!

    I adore the blue and love (no, LOVE) homes that have a consistent color scheme throughout. I must be the only person though…I just like it when the rooms of a house all flow as one connected space, with shared decor and color palette. It even irks me when the bathrooms don’t all have the same finishes, especially if the kitchen is finished completely differently, as well. Oh, well, different strokes, right?

    Thanks, Julia!

  9. says

    I love blue too, but it’s too much of a good thing. Funny, but I don’t find it the least bit calming–it’s just buzzing with blue like flies on the beach. Even the kitchen ceiling is buzzy. I’d have to crawl under the covers just to get some rest.

  10. KellyW says

    I love it. There is nothing about this house that I would change…not even all the blue. At least it’s different shades and in such a large house it doesn’t seem overpowering.

  11. Rebecca C. says

    I think if everything was blue inside, I’d have to change it out. Luckily, it would be an easy fix since it’s just paint for the most part. Blue is such a difficult color in which to match other things. Otherwise, I love the interior. The exterior is beautiful also. Yes, you would really have to love blue to not change a thing.

  12. says

    It’s a magnificent home, both inside and out! As long as it is pleasing to those who live in it, that is all that counts. It must cost a fortune to maintain a house like this –so glad it is well loved!

  13. says

    Not a fan of the Moroccan trend that all the designers have been touting for the last few years. I find that if I don’t have a personal connection with a country, I don’t want the style all over my house.

  14. says

    I kind of only like other country themes if the home in question is in that country (God save us from Tuscan themed homes….) but this was done very tastefully. I still wouldn’t do it but hey, it is just a house and if it makes the owners happy, well who cares. The actual house is just gorgeous though and I would trade one of my children for that kitchen window and view (just kidding!). :)

  15. Neesha says

    I love the exterior but I really prefer it if the decor matched the outside. Nothing against the morroccan vibe, I actually like the way it was done it just (for me) belongs in a different house.

  16. Wendy says

    That house is stinkin’ gorgeous. Love the exterior. Always love rounded elements and that house has so many. I loved the architectural elements inside, the ceilings, the fireplaces, etc, and think they would translate well to MY stuff. I have no connection to Morocco so I wouldn’t feel l should do the whole interior of my house in that style. But I have always loved that style and if I DID do a house in Moroccan I would have the courage of my convictions and use more color. The blue is all very tasteful, but I’d have gone all the way. The only thing I didn’t like was the kitchen cabinets. I’d either have gone with something more interesting along the theme or more serene and vintage. These just say high end 21st century cabinets ordered from the showroom. But hey, I’d take it.

  17. Miss Bev says

    It’s perfect, love the blue! It doesn’t seem overwhelming to me, but I like blue. Looks clean and serene. I’d move right in and not change a thing, and live happily ever after. Yes, please.

  18. Lisa says

    As always, another wonderful post, dear Julia! I was most interested in your reader’s comments to see what they thought of the contrast in the decorating vs. the exterior. I have to admit that I prefer seeing a consistency when I walk through the front door. I even like to do a lot of research when you have a particular style home and find out what influenced it, things that were happening in the world at that time and such. Then, when I decorate I might incorporate some of those things with an “updated” or more personal preference. When a house has a really special or unique architecture I think people should play that up rather than fighting it.
    This particular home has so many different things going on with the architecture that I think it gave them a little more freedom to play. Like one of your other readers said, this one was all about the wonderful lines of the house! I am not a fan of the Moroccan touches, but always feel that the house should reflect what the owners love.

  19. Jen says

    this is so beautiful
    i did think/wish inside would match the outside but oh well still want to live there so bad
    the more i look I like the inside and love the blue
    Thank you Juila

  20. Kim says

    The exterior of this house is truly amazing! It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. As for the interior, there’s too much going on and it doesn’t match the beauty of the outside.

  21. Kitty says

    I love the Moroccan touches. It’s almost as if a sea captain traveled the world and then brought exotic treasures back to his forever home. And blue is my favorite color, so no complaints here.

  22. Destiny says

    I love the glorious exterior, and surprisingly liked the inside as well. As my best friend says, “Is there a bad shade of blue?” No, but perhaps this is a case of “too much of a good thing”. And … perhaps not, because I love it!

  23. Karen says

    I love the exterior too and those wood floors…so beautiful. I also like the color blue, although I tend more towards green and blue/greens or green/blues. I don’t really mind the Moroccan touches either because it gives the home a slight exotic flair that I think the architecture of the outside and inside can handle just fine. All that matters are the people who live there anyway and if they love it. I mean if they invited you over for a cup of tea and scones in that glorious home would you even dream of turning them down. I don’t think so.

    I think Kitty nailed it when she said that it feels as if a sea captain traveled the world and then brought exotic treasures back to his forever home or perhaps I just have a vivid imagination.

  24. Maria says

    Beautiful house, but I’m not a fan of one style on the outside and another on the inside. It’s like you teased me with beauty and said just kidding once inside. This is especially true of the “LA look”, traditional/craftsman/Spanish/vintage character in some way on the outside and super sleek contemporary on the inside. I die a little every time I see it.

    Here it’s fairly tastefully done and not extreme, just touches, but personally I’d still want to change most of that tile work as it’s a bit busy for my taste.