The home’s interior floor plan is what the Wilkins wanted for their senior years: a home where they could age in place, as well as space generous enough for their entire family – their two children and spouses and their six grandchildren – can come together for Mullett Vacations at the Lake. These objectives are achieved with a master suite on the ground floor and a guest bedroom en suite, three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs and a bedroom with bunk beds. “Everyone has their space, even the dogs,” says Mary Jean. When not on the beach – on rainy days and evenings – the family gathers in the great room where there is a huge floor-to-ceiling natural stone fireplace, beautiful pine trim and built-ins (all made by Jamie) and Mary Jean’s lovely traditional decor makes the great room warm and inviting.
Working with just one friend who pledged to help, it took Jamie just over a year to build the house. The experience was invaluable to his growth as a builder. “It was my first full facing and trim job where I had a lot of control,” says Jamie. “I could really solve problems myself, not just do what someone told me,” he adds, citing the construction of the coffered ceiling as an example. “Laying out where the lights go is never as easy as it looks on the drawings.” Where the fireplace met the ceiling beams was another tricky spot which meant Jamie had to reduce the width of the fireplace to fit between the beams at right angles.
Since building his parents’ home, Jamie has built Trillium Shore house by house (new construction and renovations) at one of Northern Michigan’s most prestigious residential construction companies. Jamie specializes in a boutique approach, building custom pieces for his clients (furniture, architectural components including corbels and brackets and even wooden boats) at his side business, Wilkins CraftWorks. As his parents might say, you can take the boy out of the carpentry shop, but you can’t take the carpentry shop out of the boy.