One option is nestled within the bucolic landscape at the corner of Daniel and Hiscock, where Laura Sanders and Ramiro Martinez installed a diminutive "fairy hotel" below their grape arbor. Its salmon-colored, white-accented exterior and fanciful floral roofing have been drawing oohs and ahs from passersby since its debut during the Water Hill Music Festival. Winged fairy figures hang in a nearby bush, and a birdbath on the remnant of a birch tree invites feathered and winged friends alike to take a dip.
Martinez says that he found the discarded structure last year at Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off station and was told he was welcome to take it. He thinks it may have been an old birdhouse or an architect's model--but, Sanders says, "It looked like a fairy hotel to me." They repaired and painted it, with Sanders undertaking most of the roof's delicate floral design.
The couple hopes their fairy presence will translate into some tangible real estate magic; they're selling their 1924 house next door. "We'd love to see a family buy our place. It's perfect for kids with a fire pit, tree swing, and secret clubhouse," says Sanders. Fairy hotel available separately.
[Originally published in July, 2013.]