Fresh Start – Worldly and Whimsical

A couple discovers their preferred aesthetic by starting new with design firm Cloth & Kind
With 10-inch hand-hewn wood beams, a bubble-motif light fixture, and worldly accents, this living room represents Cloth & Kind’s signature design philosophy.

When you know you want a certain look for your home, it’s often about starting fresh and pinpointing your personal style. That was the case for a Northville family who worked with Cloth & Kind, an Ann Arbor-based interior design firm owned by Krista Nye Nicholas and Tami Ramsay.

“Our clients didn’t bring a whole lot with them. They wanted a warm, inviting, and cozy feeling,” says Nicholas, whose design studio is 11 years old and includes a 5-year-old showroom of highly curated, artisanal textile and wallcovering lines from around the world.

“They didn’t want what everyone had, which was neutrals and grays and tone-on-tone. They wanted more color and unique applications,” Nicholas says. The couple also knew that when you’re building a dream home, it’s a good time to figure out your design aesthetic.

INDIVIDUAL CHARM – Cool tones of gray-blues define the office which features a custom live-edge floating desk.

The clients’ house was originally intended for the home’s builder, but he decided to sell it to the Northville family. With two daughters, the new homeowners wanted more family space and a theater, a game room, and a backyard with options for entertaining.

Nicholas and the team, including Guidobono Building Co. of Northville, made many interior architectural changes, most of which involved removing existing details like half-walls, tray ceilings, and interior columns.

The kitchen, for example, was open to the family room, but it was visually separated by curved half-walls and curved ceiling details. A new ceiling treatment features the addition of hand-hewn wood beams, and the charming banquette’s built-in bench makes use of the tall windows as frames for custom upholstered backrests. “It’s one of the family’s most popular places to lounge and hang out,” Nicholas says.

DISTRESSED DETAILS – Above: Upper cabinets with a rough-sawn finish add to the home’s rustic appeal. Left: The kitchen takes on a custom look with Calacatta Gold marble counters, Ann Sacks tiles, and an intricate range hood from St. Udio. Right: The banquette’s built-in bench features a whimsical David Sutherland fabric.

The designer was glad the clients were game for the kitchen’s wood upper cabinets and their rough-sawn finish. “They hadn’t seen anything like that,” Nicholas says. The island has the same wood finish, while a custom hood and wall tile with a beautiful diamond-relief pattern make the gathering spot special. “It’s my favorite kitchen of all the kitchens we’ve done,” Nicholas says.

A deep tray ceiling was reworked in the primary bedroom to include pecky cypress, finished with a soft wash to mellow the tone while still allowing its warmth to come through.

Cool tones add drama in the office, which is bathed in deep gray-blues. “We knew that our clients weren’t afraid of dark colors,” Nicholas explains. “Guidobono, who was wonderful to work with, helped source some great custom elements that we came up with, like the office’s live-edge floating desk.”

The firm’s signature design philosophy — which typically evokes age, charm, tradition, whimsy, warmth, detail, and worldliness — is evident throughout the home.

TEXTURE PLAY – Above: From the pecky cypress ceiling to a custom rug overlay and glimmering drapes, the use of contrasting materials and textures gives the primary bedroom grand sophistication. CURATED POLISH – Left: Hand-painted terracotta tiles and sheer drapery tiebacks sourced during the designers’ global travels add an international touch to this elegant primary bath. ELEGANT RETREAT – Right: A vintage-inspired clawfoot tub set against large windows looks effortlessly at home under a silver geometric pendant.

Nicholas’ passion and global aesthetic likely stem from the time she lived in India with her family when she was in third grade, while Ramsay’s passion comes from her days traveling and living in Argentina. “Spending time in India is where my love of color, pattern, and patina come from,” Nicholas says. “We like things that aren’t so new and precious.” The two designers source from the world over, including Europe, Africa, and India. When they travel, they intentionally look for vintage art and items with patina.

“Tami and I are also mad-passionate for details,” Nicholas asserts. She notes that an unexpected detail in the back powder room is the trim, painted in a cheerful turquoise hue. Vintage art, a customized mirror, and Katie Leede & Co. wallpaper add to the appeal.

In the primary suite, the drapery (Seema Krish’s Glitterati linen) has a gold glimmer to it. “It’s quietly elegant,” Nicholas says. She prefers to have a seating area in a primary suite and was excited that these clients truly use it. “They sit, read, or talk, and get away from the kids,” she says. A custom-designed rug overlay — featuring greens, blues, and ochers — was inspired by an antique Oushak rug. Bunny Williams Pheasant lamps are “perennial favorites of ours because of the unique sancai (tri-colored) glaze process,” says the designer.

In the primary bath, the design team selected shimmery gold tile (hand-painted, terracotta), while sheer drapery tiebacks were picked up in Morocco during Nicholas’ and Ramsay’s travels. Other mixed-in international pieces include a large antique Kuba cloth from Africa that hangs in the lower level.

COLLECTED SPACES – Above: Bold art, like the Kuba cloth in the lower-level game room, can be found throughout the home Left: A live-edge counter and Phillip Jeffries wallpaper add style to this powder room. Rght: A dramatic lower-level bar features a soapstone counter and classic brick detailing.

The art of the mix is apparent throughout the home. Consider the second powder room, where Phillip Jeffries wallpaper, a marble Maitland- Smith mirror, and an off-center sink create a distinct look. “I fell in love with the mirror at High Point Market (North Carolina),” Nicholas says.

“It was never put into production; luckily I was able to score the sample, because I had designed the whole bathroom around it!” The live-edge counter is made by the same outfit that crafted the office desk. In the family room, a multi- bubble-motif light fixture adds eclectic appeal. “She likes the idea of something dressy and he wanted casual, so the light fixture is her and the beams are him.”

In the end, the family was thrilled to make a fresh start in the design department. “They had a melting pot of things that he had, and she had, but they had never really articulated their style together as a family,” Nicholas says. Now their home reflects not only their newfound passion for personal style and beauty, but it accommodates all their needs as a busy, fun-loving family.


Krista Nye Nicholas, Cloth & Kind, Ann Arbor,

Brick – Reclaimed Brick Veneer, Brick Floor Tile
Cabinetry – Design Classics Cabinetry
Countertop – Soapstone, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Hardware – Larkin Bin Pulls and Finger Pulls, Rejuvenation
Lighting, Pendant – Small Industrial Pendant with Snap-In Shade, 1stdibs
Shelving – O&G Stirrup Shelf Bracket 10-inch, Rejuvenation

Bathtub – Existing
Cabinetry – Design Classics, LLC
Countertop – Carrara, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Drapery – Linen Panels with One-of-A-Kind Moroccan Tiebacks; LouLou Designs, Dexter
Faucet – Purist, Polished Nickel, Kohler, Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co., Walled Lake
Flooring – Rue D es Rosiers 3, Charcoal & Oxford on Lavan 6”x 6”, Tabarka Studio, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Light, Pendant (Over Bath) – Cannes Pendant, Polished Nickel with W hite Glass, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Lighting, Sconce – Camille Sconce, Polished Nickel with Natural Paper S hade, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Mirror – Malena Mirror, Made Goods
Sink – Caxton, Kohler, Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co., Walled Lake
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, W hite Dove

Bed Frame – Sonder Living
Bench – Ryan King Size Storage Bench, Duralee, Troy; Fabric, Eddy, Neptune, Rose Tarlow; Trim, Italian Leather Piping, Commodore
Blinds – Waterfall Woven Wood Shades, Montauk, The Shade Store
Ceiling Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White
Chair, Accent – Three Chairs Co., Ann Arbor; Fabric, Katie’s Ikat, Indigo, Katie Leede
Drapery – Glitterati, Gold/Natural, Seema Krish, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor; Trim, Wonky Key, Indigo, Kravet, Kravet | Lee Jofa | Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Lamp, Floor – Lilian Floor Lamp, Gild, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Lamps – Pheasant Feather Lamp, Bunny Williams Home
Light Fixture, Ceiling – Cubist Small Chandelier, Gild, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Rug, Overlay – Custom, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Rug, Underlay – Torrell,Chestnutwith Linen Binding, Stark, Troy
Table, Accent – Bart 3-Legged Accent Table, Bradley USA
Tables, Bedside – Demian Bedside Table, Oly Studio
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Sterling

Art, Over Fireplace – Castelli Framed Silk Panel, Blue, Villa & House
Columns – Hand-Hewn Wood Columns; Installation, Guidobono Building Co., Northville
Fireplace – Concrete
Flooring – Seagrass Straight Woven, Stark, Troy
Lighting – Molten Chandelier, Regina Andrew, Wyandotte
Pool Table – Breckenridge, Olhausen Billiards
Rug – Extra Long Vintage Turkish Kilim, Lavender Oriental Carpets
Shuffleboard Table – Rustic, Olhausen Billiards
Tapestry – Vintage, Kuba Cloth Tapestry, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, White Dove

Backsplash – Nottingham Ceramic Diamond, Icecap, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Beams – 10-inch Hand-Hewn Wood Beams; Installation, Guidobono Building Co., Northville
Chairs, Bar – Jordan 24” Counter Barstool, Grey, Palecek; Cushions, LouLou Designs, Dexter; Fabric, Ink Blot, W hite Sands, Perennials
Countertop – Calacatta Gold Marble, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Faucet – Traditional PLP Extended Reach Pull Down Faucet, Waterstone, Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co., Walled Lake
Hardware – Sun Valley Bronze, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Lighting, Island – Neo Triple Bar Fixture, Polished Nickel, O’Lampia Lig hting, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Roman Shade – LouLou Designs, Dexter; Fabric, Waverton Blue, Penny Morrison, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Cabinetry – Design Classics Showroom
Refrigerator – 42-inch French Door, Sub-Zero, Witbeck Home Appliance Mart, West Bloomfield
Sink – Shaws Original Lancaster Single Bowl Apron Front Fireclay Kitchen Sink, Rohl, Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co., Walled Lake
Stove – 48-inch Professional Series Pro Grand Commercial Depth Dual Fuel Steam Range, Thermador, Witbeck Home Appliance Mart, West Bloomfield
Vent Hood – St. Udio
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, White Dove

Bench – Upholstery, LouLou Designs, Dexter; Fabric, Elements, R hino (Reverse), David Sutherland, Perennials
Chairs – Hadley Chair, Silver Mesh Metal, Made Goods; Reupholstered, Fabric, Elements, Rhino, David Sutherland, Perennials
Lighting, Pendant – Benit Medium Sculpted Pendant in Plaster, White and Gild, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Pillows – Custom, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Shades, Roman – LouLou Designs, Dexter; Fabric, Taro Strip, Nagata, Zak+Fox
Table – Echo Dining Table, White, Nuevo Living
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, White Dove

Beams – 10” Hand Hewn Wood Beams; Installation, Guidobono Building Co., Northville
Chairs, Swivel – Sullivan Swivel Club Chairs, Highland House, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor; Fabric, Pazura, Snow, Zak+Fox
Drapery – LouLou Designs, Dexter; Fabric, Libeco, Oyster, McLaurin & Piercy, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor; Trim, Basket Weave Jute Loop, Spa, Fringe Market
Fireplace – Soapstone, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy
Flooring – Original, American Walnut
Lamps, Table – Armato Small Table Lamp, Porous White Ceramic with Oval Linen Shade, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Light, Ceiling – Muriel Chandelier, Brass & Clear Cast Resin with Bubbles, Oly Studio
Paintings – Vintage, Gillian Bryce Gallery
Rug, Hide – Hide Rug, Lig ht Brindle Tan, Saddlemans
Rug, Underlay – Bombay, Birch Manali, Linen Binding, Fibreworks, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Sconce – Leather Wall Sconce, Lostine, Michele Varian Shop & Design
Shades – The Woven Woods, Montauk No. 3, The Shade Store
Sofa – Alston Sofa, Graded in Fabric, Highland House, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Table, Coffee – Serrano Coffee Table, Dovetail Furniture
Table, Side (Sofa) – QS Zimmerman Side Table, Old Wood, Noir Furniture
Table, Side (Swivel Chair) – Large Ari Side Table, Frost White, Oly Studio
Wallcovering – Sherwin-Williams, Decorator Grasscloth II

Chair – A meri Counter Stool, Nuevo Living; Fabric, Turkish Step, Ivory, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Curtains – LouLou Designs, Dexter; Fabric, Novelty Weave, Lino, Travertine/Ebony, Opuzen
Desk – Custom, Live Edge Floating Desk,Tree-Purposed, Farmington Hills
Lamp – Custom Shade, Etsy
Light, Ceiling – Danish Brutalist Pendant Lamp, Patinated Blow Torched Brass, Svend Aage, 1stdibs
Ottoman (Fabric) – Sikar Embroidery, Flax, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sconce – 18-inch Cabinet Maker’s Picture Light, Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Dragon’s Breath

Faucet – Paris 206 Two-Handle Faucet, Waterstone, Advance Plumbing and Heating Supply Co., Walled Lake
Lighting – Melange Elongated Sconce, Antique, Burnished Brass with Alabaster, Visual Comfort, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Mirror – Odin Circle Mirror, Maitland- Smith, Cloth & Kind Showroom, Ann Arbor
Sink – 81 12-NoHole Planet Ceramic Vessel Sink, Scarabeo, eFaucets
Wallcovering – Fade in Sienna on White Manila Hemp, Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Builder – Eric Guidobono, Guidobono Building Co., Northville