Embracing Change

A pair of empty-nesters crafts a tailored Contemporary for their next act.
Exterior Front View Home in Oakland Township
Photography by John Carlson

“Fun” and “sexy” were among the goals newly-minted empty-nesters Eric and Sheila Werner set for the Oakland Township Contemporary they started building in 2019, after their youngest child graduated from high school.

Art Nook Featured in Entryway
Photography by John Carlson

The couple knew they wanted something completely different from the Tudor-style home they’d built for their family of four in 2011. That residence, designed with the help of Cranbrook Custom Homes and interior designer Cheryl Nestro, of Tutto Interiors in Northville, had “lots of gray, sparkling light fixtures, and a formal dining room,” Sheila explains. “We didn’t change anything about the layout of that home, so Cheryl just had the job of making it beautiful, which is easy for her, but not super challenging, which is where she shines.”

The homeowners wanted their new house in Oakland Township to have a grand entrance.
GRAND TIMES AHEAD – The homeowners wanted their new house in Oakland Township to have a grand entrance. – Photography by John Carlson

The couple gave Nestro a longer to-do list for their new residence, which they worked on with the designer and Cranbrook Custom Homes’ architect Stephen McKay. “Once we knew we were on our way to being empty-nesters, our priorities changed,” Sheila says. “We wanted the home to have a presence, have a grand entrance, and have some height to it.” They also wanted “a Ranch home, more privacy, something a bit more modern, and to stay in the Rochester area,” the homeowner says. “The inside of the home needed to be open, and we wanted a completely different color palette and feel than our last home.” Also on the list: “A beautiful setting, floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the views, and large areas for entertaining, inside and out,” Sheila says. “We wanted the master bedroom and a private guest suite on the main floor. We put two bedrooms, a workout room, home office, and gathering space for our adult children when they’re visiting on the lower level.”

The great room feels extra “great” with high ceilings. In fact, the home features 12- to 14-foot ceilings throughout.
OPEN & AIRY – The great room feels extra “great” with high ceilings. In fact, the home features 12- to 14-foot ceilings throughout. – Photography by John Carlson

Together, the team crafted a design that checks all the boxes. “It took longer because we had to develop the property, and this house is completely custom,” Sheila explains of the 18-month process. “Our architect was patient with our back-and-forth changing of the elevations and layout. We also ran every design by Cheryl, and she was invaluable.”

Four season great room featured in Detroit Design Magazine Spring 2022
FOUR-SEASON BEAUTY – Photography by John Carlson

Nestro says the house has many highlights, including a 10-foot art niche in the foyer and 12- to 14-foot ceilings throughout, which enabled her to use a mix of materials and pendants that look like fine jewelry and “really command your attention.” She also has a soft spot for the “swanky, moody” library, which she designed with a speakeasy vibe — the perfect spot for grown-up pleasures such as after-dinner drinks — and the “warm, cozy” great room with its dramatic fireplace, which features contrasting earth tones coupled with suede-textured tile, walnut wood, and gray accent niches. “The polished porcelain floor looks like glass when the sun shines in,” she says of the space. “Surprisingly, the Werners thought the great room wasn’t going to be used much, but they love it,” the designer says.

In the breakfast nook, kitchen, and four-season room, pendant lighting is like fine jewelry that adds just the right touch of glam.
In the breakfast nook, kitchen, and four-season room, pendant lighting is like fine jewelry that adds just the right touch of glam. – Photography by John Carlson

The homeowner calls the new build “very kitchen-centric,” adding “Cheryl gave me a kitchen she would love to cook in. We mostly eat at home, and we make our own meals, but we love entertaining. This home is so fun to entertain guests in.” While it accommodates guests well, it also works when their grown children come home. “Cheryl knew we would still have young adults around part of the time, so she chose furniture and fabrics to accommodate our lifestyle. You can’t help but appreciate the attention to detail that Cheryl and her team put into this home.”

The library, four-season room, kitchen, and outdoor seating area all are adorned with artful touches, from the curvy office coffee table to the latest in fire pit designs.
THE ART OF LIVING – The library, four-season room, kitchen, and outdoor seating area all are adorned with artful touches, from the curvy office coffee table to the latest in fire pit designs. – Photography by John Carlson

Although the couple moved in last winter, Sheila still can’t identify a favorite room. “It’s hard for me to choose because we spend time in every room of this home. Eric says his favorite is the four-season room with the beautiful tile, natural fireplace, and modern light fixtures. And I have to say Cheryl outdid herself on our great room.” Sheila also appreciates the beautiful fireplace and custom swivel chairs, where she enjoys morning coffee and watching wildlife in the backyard.

Exterior Outdoor Seating Area with Fire-pit

“We love entertaining. This home is so fun to entertain guests in.” 
— Sheila Werner


Four season great room with a view
Photography by John Carlson

The designer admits she can’t identify just one standout room. “I don’t have a favorite because the entire home is so special,” she shares.

Photography by John Carlson

The new nest has been everything the Werners dreamed of, and more, they say. “This home has exceeded our expectations. It was very well thought out, and lends itself to our lifestyle. There’s nothing we would have done differently.”

In the master bath, a Victoria + Albert soaking tub is extra inviting, thanks to woodsy views.
SOAK IT IN – In the master bath, a Victoria + Albert soaking tub is extra inviting, thanks to woodsy views. – Photography by John Carlson

BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGNER
Cheryl Nestro, Tutto Interiors, Northville, tuttointeriors.com

BATHROOM, MASTER
Bathtub – Soaking Tub, Victoria + Albert, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery, Troy
Cabinetry – Walnut Driftwood, Onyx Glaze, Millennium Cabinetry, Farmington Hills
Faucet – Levoir, Luxe Gold, Brizo, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery, Troy
Flooring – Cerdomus, Supreme, Polished Ivory, Virginia Tile, Troy
Mirror – Cranbrook
Sconces – Valencia, Aged Brass, Hudson Valley, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams, Agreeable Gray

BREAKFAST NOOK
Booth – Custom, Tutto Interiors Custom Design by Tutto Interiors, Northville; Margaret’s Upholstering, Keego Harbor; Fabric, Taurus Saddle, Brentano Fabrics and Hickory Chair
Chairs, Kitchen Nook – Miranda Side Chair, Sonder Living; Fabric, Hickory Chair
Chandelier – Custom, Hammerton Studio
Flooring – Craft, Superb Flooring & Design, Troy
Table, Dining – Caracole Furniture
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams, Agreeable Gray

FOUR-SEASON ROOM
Armchairs – Wesley Hall, Hickory; Fabric, Harrison Taupe
Artwork – Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Ceiling Trim – Custom Indirect LED Lights, Tutto Interiors, Northville; Installation, Cranbrook Custom Homes, Shelby Township
Chairs, Dining (aux room) – Miranda Side Chair, Sonder Living, Hickory Chair
Chairs, Dining (conjoined room) – Loretta Side Chair, Hickory Chair, Hickory Chair Interior Design Showroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy; Fabric, Holly Hunt and Hickory Chair
Chandelier, Glass – Custom, Blossom Fixture, Hammerton Studio
Flooring – Sassy Graphite, Polished, Cercan Tile, Cercan Tile Inc., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lighting, Ceiling – Wac LED Light Stripe, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Lighting, Table – Tech Lighting, Summit Grande Pendant, Black, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Ottoman – Union Ottoman, Wesley Hall
Rug – Masland, Serene Touch, The Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sectional – Dapper Custom Sofa, Wesley Hall; Fabric, Chess Flax
Table, Dining (aux room) – Artisan Dining Table, Caracole
Table, Dining (conjoined room) – Asher Dining Table, Hickory White
Tile, Fireplace – Kronos Nero Natural, Ciot, Troy
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams, Agreeable Gray

FOYER
Ceiling Trim – Custom Indirect LED Lights, Tutto Interiors, Northville; Installation, Cranbrook Custom Homes, Shelby Township
Chandelier – Custom, Hammerton Studio
Flooring – Craft, Superb Flooring & Design, Troy
Lighting, Ceiling – Wac LED Light Stripe, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Mirror – Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Sculpture – “The Dancer,” Vladimira Klumpar, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak
Table, Display – Linea Console Table, Bernhardt Furniture Co.
Wall Covering – Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

GREAT ROOM
Armchairs – Wesley Hall; Fabric, Melvin Natural, Wesley Hall and Theodore Alexander
Ceiling Trim – Custom Indirect LED Lights, Tutto Interiors, Northville; Cranbrook Custom Homes, Shelby Township
Chairs, Swivel – Jazz Swivel Tub Chair, TCS Designs Inc.
Fireplace, Main Tile – Sepulveda Suede Scraffito, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Fireplace, Mantle – Caesarstone, Statuario NuvAo
Fireplace, Niches – Stone Tech Grigio, Cercan Tile, Troy
Fireplace, Reveals – Chemetal, Deep Bronze Aluminum
Fireplace, Wood Accents – DuChateau Krescent Wallcovering, Brown Ash, Superb Flooring & Design, Troy
Flooring – Craft, Superb Flooring & Design, Troy
Lighting, Ceiling – Wac LED Light Stripe, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Pillows, Accent – Hickory Chair, Hickory Chair Interior Design Showroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Fabrica, Barcelona in Pyrenees, The Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sofa – Wesley Hall; Fabric, Arlee Bisque, Peretti
Table, Coffee – Auden Cocktail Table, Hickory Chair, Hickory Chair Interior Design Showroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Tables, End – Elements Chairside Table and Fusion Drum Table, Caracole
Tables, Occasional – Tri-Pod Tables, Global Views
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams, Agreeable Gray

KITCHEN
Bar Stools – Donegal Counter Stool, Vanguard Furniture; Fabric, Crypton, Jude Almond
Cabinetry, Brown – Quartered Walnut Ashen Stain, Millennium Cabinetry, Farmington Hills
Cabinetry, Tan – Textil Plata, Millennium Cabinetry, Farmington Hills
Countertop – Sapienstone, Bright Onyx, Ciot, Troy
Faucet – Franke Pull-Out Spray Faucet, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery, Troy
Flooring – Craft, Superb Flooring & Design, Troy
Hood – Quartered Walnut Ashen Stain, Millennium Cabinetry, Farmington Hills
Lighting, Bar – Il Pezzo, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Lighting, Cabinet – Wac LED Stripe Lighting, Millennium Cabinetry, Farmington Hills
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams, Agreeable Gray

LIBRARY
Armchairs – Windham Chair, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Chandelier – Modern Forms, Catalyst, Aged Brass, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Chest, Display – Chester Bar Cabinet, Sonder Living
Flooring – Craft, Superb Flooring & Design, Troy
Partition – Abacus 9-light Ceiling-to-Floor LED Pendant, Hubbardton Forge
Rug – Fabrica, Declaration in Expression, The Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sofa – Boomerang Sofa, Opulent Citrine, Ambella Home Collection
Table, Coffee – Piero Cocktail Table, Theodore Alexander
Table, Occasional – XO Table, Arteriors
Wallpaper, Accent – Set in Stone, Black Onyx, MDC Wallcoverings
Wallpaper, Main – Vinyl Kimono Silk, Tatami Taupe, Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

PATIO
Chairs – Fitz Roy, Kettler USA, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Fire Pit – Tavola 8, Ebony, Prism Hardscapes, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Landscaping – Blu 60 Techo-Bloc in Greyed Nickel, Onyx Black, Motor City Landscaping, Rochester
Pool and Hot Tub – Backyard Creations
Shelter – StruXure
Sofa – Fitz Roy, Kettler USA, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Table – Timor, Kettler USA, Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Wall Color and Steps – Raffinato Techo-Bloc, Greyed Nickel, Motor City Landscaping, Rochester

EXTERIOR
Building Materials – Masonry Brick and Limestone
Landscaping – Motor City Landscaping, Rochester
Manufacturer – Cranbrook Custom Homes, Shelby Township
Masonry – Acme Winter Park
Windows – Andersen Windows & Doors, Quaker Residential Window & Doors



 

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