Mad About Tea

Alice in Wonderland large tea set, $170, House of Bedrooms Kids, Bloomfield Hills.

Mini tea party set, $125, La Belle Provence, Birmingham.


MacKenzie-Childs Teatime table, $2,975, La Belle Provence, Birmingham.


Maryanne Candy dot hostess apron, $20, Bed Bath & Beyond, Detroit-area stores


Hooker Sanctuary spindle side chair, $397, Birmingham Design Studio, Birmingham.


 Hooker Sanctuary tall spindle side chair, $565, Birmingham Design Studio, Birmingham


PERFECT BLEND The designer put her heart into creating a beautiful home with a gorgeous palette, including in the living room and home office.Carrie Long has been designing homes pretty much all of her life. When she was in kindergarten, her late builder father, Robert Long, let her choose a palette of colors for her room, which he painted and admired, and her career path was set. As she grew, she enjoyed working side by side with her dad, who would take her out to job sites where she would dream up ideas that he often implemented, and always appreciated.At age 29, after working for big Birmingham names like the late Brian Killian, and Stephen Knollenberg, plus design firms in Sydney, Australia, and Tel Aviv, Israel, she started her own company, Carrie Long Interiors in Royal Oak. For the past two decades, she has been in high demand.As this romantic three-level, 4,500-plus-square-foot Tudor she designed exemplifies, Long is big on details. The house, a quick walk to downtown Birmingham, oozes with character, charm, tray ceilings, and custom moldings. Working from Birmingham architect Brian Neeper’s drawings, she detailed out the interior, all the millwork, and specified finishes for the exterior. Royal Oak’s HM homes served as the builder.“I put my heart and soul into it,” the designer says. “I wanted it to be modern classic Birmingham, true to the city’s architecture. I also wanted it to be timeless.”The residence was built to be a family home where the owners’ grown son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren could gather comfortably around the holidays. It features two master suites — one for the homeowners and another in the guest wing over the garage, which has its own special entry and stairway. Two more bedrooms and a total of seven baths guarantee privacy and deluxe accommodations for every overnight visitor.The kitchen is bright and creamy white, with a glass mosaic backsplash, quartzite countertop, stainless-strapped steel vent hood, custom cabinets, high-end appliances, and three seats at the island. LED lighting from the tray ceiling adds ambience and texture.The dining area flows from the kitchen, with dark wood cabinetry and a table for eight. Another LED tray ceiling is further enhanced with a modern rock crystal chandelier. The flooring throughout the house is dark, custom oak hardwood.The living room is clean and bright with hand-hewn ceiling beams, a limestone fireplace, light walls, and comfy neutral furnishings. A dreamy pop of pink fills one wall, which showcases a large floral painting by Italian contemporary artists Sandra Casagrande and her husband, Roberto Recalcati. Another floral by the Milan-based artists graces the office, where hot-pink chairs dazzle. Other paintings around the house include works by Peter Max and Cathy Daley; all of the art is from Birmingham’s Robert Kidd Gallery.The kitchen features a lovely glass mosaic backsplash and refreshing creamy tones.Upstairs, a large circular anteroom leads to the master bedroom, bath, and master closet. Lavish materials, custom furniture, plush Scandia bedding, a crystal chandelier, and built-ins abound. In the bath there’s a clawfoot tub, marble floor, and a long, two-sink console with loads of storage, topped with a French vanilla marble slab and illuminated by crystal sconces.In the lower level, which spans the entire footprint of the house, there’s a bar, a wine room, a game room, and a huge library — one of the husband’s favorite places to spend cozy winter days.DREAMS COME TRUE The master bedroom, a guest bath, and an exquisite vanity area sing, thanks to quality elements.The homeowners love everything about their house, and Long adores her clients. “They were the most amazing people I ever worked with,” says the designer, adding that she incorporated their ideas but was given free rein. “Pink is the wife’s favorite color, so we went from there.”Long calls her design eclectic and transitional. “That blend gives the house a little soul,” she explains. Her clients tell her the longer they live there, the more they appreciate all the details.During this particular home’s design, one detail loomed large: Long was nine months pregnant, and she hoped she wouldn’t deliver on the job site. That was three years ago. Everything turned out fine, and her 3-year-old son, Ari Sobol, recently picked out the colors for his own Smurf-themed bedroom — just like his mother did when she was a tiny girl. CHIC APPOINTMENTS The living room is clean and bright, while hot pink chairs dazzle in the home office. Winter Haven The homeowners love to curl up by the fire in the living room, where they can sink into one of their sumptuous sofas or armchairs and read a book, watch movies on the big-screen TV above the limestone fireplace, or simply commune after an evening on the town. The center ottoman is a resin piece by Canadian sculpture artist Martha Sturdy. The circular stools are from Lee Industries, the acrylic occasional tables are by Holly Hunt, and the handsome carpet below this comfy nesting area is by Stark. — PLSBuyer’s Guide INTERIOR DESIGNER Carrie Long, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak, carrielonginteriors.comBATHROOM, GUEST Bench – Brentano, Lee Industries Countertop – Caesarstone Faucet – The House of Rohl Flooring – Tile, Ciot, Troy Sconce – Visual Comfort Wall Treatment – Tile, Ciot, TroyBATHROOM, MASTER Bathtub – Victoria + Albert Bench – Global Views Cabinetry – Perspectives Cabinetry, Troy Countertop – French Vanilla Slab, Ciot, Troy Flooring – French Vanilla Marble, Ciot, Troy Sconces – Visual Comfort Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, China White Window Shades – Roller Shades, Hunter DouglasBATHROOM, POWDER ROOM Cabinet – Custom, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak Faucet – The House of Rohl Flooring – Oak Hardwood Sconces – Boyd Lighting Co. Sink – Stone Forest Towel, Decorative – Scandia Home, Birmingham Wall Treatment – Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, TroyBEDROOM, GUEST Artwork – Peter Max Bedframe – Custom, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak Bedding – Scandia Home, Birmingham Bench – Custom, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak Flooring – Oak Hardwood Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy Sconces – Ralph Lauren, Visual Comfort Table, Bedside – Global ViewsBEDROOM, MASTER Artwork – Cathy Daley, Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham Bedding – Scandia Home, Birmingham Bench – Custom, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak Chandelier – Visual Comfort Chest, Bedside – Barbara Barry Collection, Henredon Drapery – Cream Linen Flooring – Oak Hardwood Headboard – Stewart, Perennials Rug – Custom Silk, ABC Carpet & Home Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, China WhiteKITCHEN Artwork – Cathy Daley, Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham Backsplash – Glass Mosaic, Ciot, Troy Bar Stools – Brentano, Lee Industries Cabinetry – Perspectives Cabinetry, Troy Countertop – Quartzite Flooring – Oak Hardwood Hood – Venta Hood Lighting – Led Tray Detail Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, China White Window Shades – Roman Shades, Designs DesignsLIVING ROOM Armchairs – Stewart, Jim Thompson Artwork – Casagrande & Recalcati, Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham Light, Ceiling – The Urban Electric Co. Fireplace – Limestone Flooring – Oak Hardwood Ottoman – Resin, Martha Sturdy Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy Sofas – R. Jones, Perennials Stools, Circular – Lee Industries Table, Occasional – Acrylic, Holly Hunt Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, China White Window Shades – Linen Roller ShadesOFFICE Artwork – Casagrande & Recalcati, Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham Cabinetry – HM Homes, Royal Oak Chairs, Desk – Bright Chair Desk – Custom, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak, HM Homes, Royal Oak Flooring – Oak Hardwood Lamp, Floor – Visual Comfort Pillows, Accent – Pierre Frey Rug, Animal Skin – Custom, Sheared Sheep, Stark Carpet, Troy Sconces – Boyd Lighting Co. Sofa – Stewart, Sahco Table, Cube – Martha Sturdy Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, China WhiteVANITY Chair – Global Views Flooring – Oak Hardwood Mirror – Custom, Carrie Long Interiors, Royal Oak Sconces – Visual Comfort Table – Perspectives Cabinetry, Troy Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, China WhiteADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS Architect – Brian Neeper, Brian Neeper Architecture, Birmingham Builder – HM Homes, Royal Oak

Hooker Leesburg side chair, $294, Birmingham Design Studio, Birmingham.


Tea chair, $1,310, Quatrine, Birmingham.


Bulova Tristan table clock,  $50, Eurich’s Clock World, Dearborn


 Bulova Wentworth table clock, $260, Eurich’s Clock World, Dearborn

Ultra-Imaginative Décor

The Mad Hatter Bistro/Bar/Tea Room is steeped in all things Alice

Fun checks, florals, and stripes, bright patterns, items that are upside-down and topsy-turvy, mismatched tea cups, zany playing cards, whimsical timepieces, eclectic furnishings — it all awaits at the  Mad Hatter Bistro/Bar/Tea Room in Birmingham. Owner Eileen Sakko treasures each element of the décor, as it reminds her of her father. “I opened the Mad Hatter as a legacy to my father; he had a tea room many years ago and he carried a pocket watch.” The eatery’s fascinating interior features the work of renowned restaurant designer Ron Rea, who “encouraged me to design my own vision,” Sakko says. With help from her mother, her daughter, her aunts, and others, Sakko made sure the Mad Hatter reflects the family’s creativity and seems nearly right out of the pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s highly recommended that you reserve a time for tea (or lunch or dinner) at this fun and imaginative spot — and don’t be late!

Bumblebees and Butterflies: The Rendezvous with Tea shop, in Grosse Pointe Woods, sells a variety of nature-themed teapots of which the Mad Hatter and his friends would most certainly approve. 313-332-0787,

Coming in 2016: A new Alice film (Walt Disney Pictures), called Alice Through the Looking Glass, is scheduled for release in May 2016, and stars Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway. Viewers will meet the Lord of Time and some of Alice’s new friends.