Graying Power

Floors throughout the house were given a darker stain. In the foyer, Great Lakes Flooring Inc. (248-672-4600) replaced the existing surface with wood planks set in a herringbone pattern. The grandfather clock is a Swedish antique; the wrought-iron bench is the designer’s own. The woodcut on the staircase wall is by Alex Katz. Powers used two shades of gray paint: Farrow & Ball “Lamp Room Gray” and Pratt & Lambert “Granitine.” // Photographs by Justin Maconochie

On the exterior, it’s an early 1970s-era home set in a leafy and exclusive American suburb.

Inside, the feeling is quietly pristine in color, European in feel. Working with the homeowners’ simple request to make it fresh, interior designer Linda Powers says she had the advantage of working with a strong architectural foundation. The house had good bones, ample spaces, fine proportions, and a layout that flowed well, she says.

For her color palette, she chose white and gray, which she had seen in her travels. “In Sweden, they use gray and white,” she says. ”It has more dimension than just white. But it has to be the right gray, not cool, not a lot of blue in it.”

To create a European feel, she wanted the home to look “collected,” with furnishings of different ages and from different places. “European style is almost offhand, not so perfect, so you don’t feel that you’re walking into a showroom,” she says.

Despite her affection for that sort of look, Powers is very much a metro Detroiter. As she spoke with Detroit Home, she was preparing for a trip to Berlin arranged by MOCAD, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. (She’s an original member of the museum board.) “Berlin is the art center in the world right now,” she says. “We’re looking at art and architecture, the scene, and how it can be applied to Detroit” — which is how she approached this home in Bloomfield Hills.