Fresh Start

Rochester home renovation yields a luxurious yet livable family retreat
The lower-level living room is a great place to gather.
The lower-level living room is a great place to gather. – Photography by Beth Singer


Meg Corley, interior designer and principal at Meg Corley in Birmingham, recently embarked on a full-house renovation for a couple with five grown children. β€œNow that the kids are older, we can spread throughout the house,” the wife says of her Rochester residence. β€œIt’s glamorous, but it’s a family home.”

The deluxe rooms exude comfort at their core. β€œIt’s a great space for all of us to come together. Essentially, it’s a full nest where the kids can all gather,” she adds. β€œIt has such a flow to it, with the warm colors and all the attention to detail. It’s traditional with a twist. I’m very tactile, and I wanted people to feel the warmth when they come in.”

A tiered chandelier highlights a refurbished staircase.
NICE TOUCHES // A tiered chandelier highlights a refurbished staircase. – Photography by Beth Singer

Her designer gets high praise. β€œMeg was phenomenal. She got to know us so well, and she was so professional and respectful,” the wife says.

Corley found creative ways to incorporate important sentimental treasures like photos and mementoes. β€œIt’s a family-oriented house,” the designer says. She also worked closely with the husband, who’s a local contractor. β€œHe’s meticulous, and he’s very detail-oriented, so we hit it off right away,” she says.

Wainscoting, archways, and painted details are among the fine features that enhance the house. β€œWe wanted to really hone in on those layers that the couple appreciates,” Corley says. β€œThey wanted a finished home, down to the accessories and artwork.”

Her clients also wanted a contemporary touch. β€œThey appreciate a classic background,” Corley adds, β€œso we brought in a contemporary feel through color β€” warm creams and grays, and black accents. We strived to do that streamlined contemporary that’s almost like a monotone color scheme with a high punch of contrast.”

Classic symmetry and complementary patterns play up the great room, where comfort and style rule.
PERFECT PAIRS // Classic symmetry and complementary patterns play up the great room, where comfort and style rule. – Photography by Beth Singer

Existing features include an intricate ceiling in the great room, where black grasscloth accents the insets that flank the fireplace. Custom upholstered pieces from the Meg Corley line feature a variety of patterns, while the coffee tables have antiqued mirror tops. Streamlined window treatments and a wool rug ground the space.

Photography by Beth Singer
Photography by Beth Singer

Distinctive details can also be found in the foyer, where a tiered chandelier highlights the full-height wainscoting. The gel stain on the staircase railing and treads has a black gloss finish that contrasts with the wood floors. β€œIt’s a little unusual to do the treads the same color as the railing, but we wanted to punch that black color up,” Corley says. A plush runner adds another lovely layer.

In a hallway with an arched entry, the charcoal shade that was chosen for the barrel vault ceiling was embellished with hand-gilded vines painted by a local artist. White trim provides high contrast.

A contemporary color palette combines warm creams and grays with black accents in the inviting great room.
CONTEMPO-CHIC // A contemporary color palette combines warm creams and grays with black accents in the inviting great room. – Photography by Beth Singer

β€œIt’s an experience to walk through it,” the designer says.

Glamorous details extend to the master bedroom, where a grasscloth mural framed with trim backs an upholstered bed with horizontal wood channeling. The couple also requested a comfortable sitting area where they could enjoy some quiet time. Wall-to-wall carpet and a sideboard with a mural done in muted tones suit the soothing space.

Luxurious touches define the primary bedroom. The soothing space provides some privacy and quiet time for the homeowners.
PEACE & QUIET // Luxurious touches define the primary bedroom. The soothing space provides some privacy and quiet time for the homeowners. – Photography by Beth Singer

On the lower level, a living area features built-in bookcases lined with chocolate-colored cork that includes gold metallic details. The fireplace sports a shimmery gray metallic tile with a matte finish. While the ceiling panels had to be removable for access to mechanical functions, the molding makes it look like an authentic coffered ceiling.

Artwork on the lower level is a little more modern and abstract, compared to the pieces in other parts of the home. Cushy seating includes swivel chairs and a sectional. Blackout draperies enhance the family space. β€œThis is their movie room,” Corley says.

The comfy primary suite incorporates an inviting sitting area.
FEET UP // The comfy primary suite incorporates an inviting sitting area. – Photography by Beth Singer

A lower-level kitchen incorporates two refrigerators under the counter with a dishwasher and microwave that are also tucked away. β€œThey didn’t want it to feel like a traditional kitchen,” she explains.

Highlights include a tile backsplash in an understated burnished gold, and gray velvet bar stools that make the space lounge-worthy. Porcelain tile floors stand up to foot traffic, as does the wall-to-wall indoor/outdoor carpet in the lower-level living space. Built-ins come in handy for guests who want to stash their belongings when heading to the sauna, hot tub, or pool.

A glamorous lower-level kitchen can stand up to foot traffic when the homeowners are entertaining.
PARTY TIME // A glamorous lower-level kitchen can stand up to foot traffic when the homeowners are entertaining. – Photography by Beth Singer

The wallpaper in the changing room, which features a contemporary vine design, continues in the bathroom, where glass tile has a pattern that looks like flowing water. β€œIt made sense to install it in a vertical direction,” Corley says. She wanted the shower to feel a bit more masculine, so β€œwe took that black to add more contrast,” she says. β€œWe found this really cool stone, and the floor pebbles are almost therapeutic for your feet.”

Contemporary wallpaper creates a unique backdrop in the changing room. The vine pattern weaves its way into the lower-level bathroom.
ON THE VINE // Contemporary wallpaper creates a unique backdrop in the changing room. The vine pattern weaves its way into the lower-level bathroom. – Photography by Beth Singer

With design details like these, the reactions should come as no surprise. β€œFriends say β€˜Wow, this is magnificent,’ yet at the same time it has that homey (quality) that (gives off) a welcoming feel,” the wife says.



BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGN

Meg Corley, Birmingham, megcorley.com

BATHROOM, SPA

Baskets – The Container Store
Closet – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica
Flooring – Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Light, Ceiling – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica
Wallpaper – Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy

BEDROOM, PRIMARY

Artwork – John-Richard
Bed – Century
Bookshelf – Four Hands
Carpet – Whitfield Natural Textiles
Chest, Brown – Century
Chest, Mural – John-Richard
Drapery – Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Light, Bedside – Century
Pillows – Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sofa – Meg Corley Private Label, Birmingham
Wall Mural – Phillip Jeffries,
Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

FOYER

Carpet, Staircase – Prestige Mills
Chandelier – Pine Tree Furniture & Lighting, Lake Orion
Sconces – Visual Comfort, Meg Corley, Birmingham
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Snowbound
Wall Treatment – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica

GREAT ROOM/MAIN LEVEL

Armchairs – Meg Corley Private Label, Meg Corley, Birmingham
Artwork – John-Richard
Chests – John-Richard
Curtains – Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Fireplace – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica
Light Fixture – Visual Comfort & Co., Birmingham
Rug – J Mish Mills
Sofa – Meg Corley Private Label, Meg Corley, Birmingham
Stools – Theodore Alexander
Tables, Coffee – Schnadig International Corp.
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Modern Gray

LOWER LEVEL/ENTERTAINMENT AREA

Armchairs – Bernhardt
Artwork – Soicher Marin Gallery
Cloth Inset, Grass – Thibault, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Curtains – VillaNova, Tenant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Fireplace – Virginia Tile, Troy
Flooring – Surface Designs
Ottoman – Meg Corley Private Label, Meg Corley, Birmingham
Sectional – Bernhardt
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, City Loft

LOWER LEVEL/BAR AREA

Artwork – John Richard
Backsplash – Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Cabinetry – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica
Ceiling Treatment – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica
Countertops – Meg Corley, Birmingham; Stewart Building, Utica
Curtains – VillaNova, Tenant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Faucet – Brizo, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Troy
Flooring – Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lighting – Visual Comfort & Co., Birmingham
Stools, Bar – Sunpan Trading & Importing
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, City Loft

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTOR

Builder – Stewart Building, Utica



Text by Jeanine Matlow | Photography by Beth Singer