House of Blues

Farrow & Ball’s Green Blue creates waves of tranquility in this bedroom.


Blue’s Clues:

“Soft blues remind us of water and sky. They can sweep us away.” — Kelly Slank, trend & color consultant, Bloomfield Hills

From left to right: Blue Beyond, Sherwin-Williams,; Little Boy Blue, Benjamin Moore, benjaminmoore.comAqua-Sphere, Sherwin-Williams. Denim, Sherwin-Williams.

From left to right: Hypnotic, Behr,; Swimming, Sherwin-Williams; Admiral Blue, Sherwin-Williams; Poetry Reading, Behr.

“Easy, breezy, and beautiful, blue hues from sea glass to indigo to nautical evoke the sea and bring an instant feeling of serenity.” — The Ethan Allen Design Team

Knoll Womb chair, $3,871 and Ottoman, $1,1 28, in classic boucle, Aegean, Mobili Now Furniture, Birmingham,

Le Creuset Caribbean oval French oven, $345, area Sur La Table stores,

PROMINENT DESIGN The renovation project at this Gilbert Lake-area home started with a bathroom overhaul and led to two additional large-scale phases.Nearly a century ago, this home was built in an idyllic setting along Gilbert Lake in Bloomfield Hills. Featuring distinctive Michigan split-face fieldstone, the prominent structure was designed in a grand Colonial Revival Farmhouse style on a nearly 8-acre, picturesque parcel of land. The property includes the island in the middle of the lake. Its current owners purchased this historic gem in 2007.“The home was more than we ever imagined. We’d been looking for a house, and the day before I saw the listing email, we’d decided to take a break from our search,” the homeowner recalls. “When we first saw the property, (we knew) it was magnificent. It was out of our price range, but we bought it on a whim. My husband said it would be the best real estate investment he would ever make — and he’s in real estate.”In 2016, the homeowners decided to embark on an extensive four-year, multiphase renovation and expansion project to better showcase their collective passions centered on art, wine, entertaining, and family gatherings. They also wanted to maximize the home’s stunning water views. Maintaining the integrity, tradition, and many of the historical details of the original house was challenging, but paramount to the project.Robert Clarke, president and owner of CBI Design Professionals in Bloomfield Hills, explains that the project started with a bathroom renovation and led to two additional large-scale phases. “The second phase was to add a wing to the house that included an attached garage, kids’ activity area, new mudroom and rear stairs, laundry, and updates to the family room. It was the owners’ way of seeing whether the home could be expanded in a way to look as if it had been there 100 years. The original stone on the house is much larger, a bit darker, and more squared than what you find today, but (getting a close) match to the new stone needed for the addition was critical to the project.”According to Clarke, who also runs Integrated Architectural Interiors, the masonry work involved a lengthy process, but the new stone harmoniously blended in with the aged patina of the original stone after it was cleaned and restored to its former condition. The same stonework was also used outside, for the terraces and kitchen patio area, as well as indoors for the library’s fireplace and the mudroom area archways.CUSTOM CREATIONS The library, powder room, and wine room showcase magnificent details.Due to the success of the initial work, the next phase of expansion began with a two-story library, an additional staircase, a garden room, and a master suite, along with an exercise room and a significant wine cellar and tasting room in the lower level. Ultimately, the impressive home’s total square footage across three floors increased by about 9,583 square feet, to nearly 15,000 square feet.Considering the magnitude of the transformation, the homeowners have more than a few favorite areas. “The master bedroom is my favorite. I love how the room has windows on all four sides. It’s comfortable, spacious, clean, open, and bright,” the wife says. “I also love the peacefulness of the garden room, with windows on all sides, and I love how the furniture fits perfectly.” She says her husband’s favorite room is the library, a dramatic yet “warm, comfy, welcoming space” with a double-sided stone fireplace, soft leather furniture, custom tables with intricate designs, and a well-curated selection of art.LAKESIDE NUANCES The beautiful garden room is filled with light.To accommodate the lifestyle of the homeowners, the house now has three entrances: a mudroom entrance, a main entrance, and a third entrance for larger-scale gatherings that has an interior door separating the entertaining space from the family living space. All three entrances have beautiful, unobstructed views to the outdoors.“I didn’t realize how little we could see of the lake before — the views were minimal. The changes have let in more lake. Now we live on the lake,” the homeowner says.In addition to Clarke and CBI Design Professionals, the collaborative team on this complex project included Mosher Dolan (builder), Integrated Architectural Interiors (interior design), Dana Jacob Designs (furnishings), and Richard Hass from Stewart Hass and Associates (landscape architect). The CBI Design project manager was Amanda Fox.By all accounts, this team’s efforts during the multiphase project have been a large-scale success.“These kinds of homes were prominent homes in the community when they were built, and they stood out. Over time, they become tucked away and not as prominent as they once were. We tried to stay true to the original style and bring the home back to its stately position. I think we were successful and did that with this home. The owners were thrilled and got more out of it than anticipated,” Clarke explains.“I’ve always loved this home — it’s close to everything, but you feel like you’re a million miles away. Living here has always made us feel like we’re on vacation,” the homeowner says. “It’s a larger scale than we ever imagined, but it’s peaceful, quiet, and everyone feels welcomed and happy here.”Buyer’s Guide

Valerie chandelier, $1,299, area Ethan Allen stores,


Flow Blue: In this butler pantry/kitchen in Franklin (below), designed by Staci Meyers (right) of S|A|M Interiors in Bloomfield Hills, blue recycled-glass countertops –are balanced by simple white cabinetry (Gittleman Construction), working well with the kitchen’s subway tile backsplash.

“Blue can actually cause the body to produce calming chemicals, making the choice perfect for this home and its busy residents.” — Staci Meyers

Painterly Picks: Enhancing the blue are Ice Cube, butler’s pantry, and Lazy Gray and Olympus White, kitchen, all from Sherwin-Williams.