Into the Woods

Birmingham designer works his magic on a dwelling nestled in a forest in Sylvania, outside Toledo, Ohio // Photography by Beth Singer
Day Dreams Sitting in the sunroom is almost like being outside, thanks to a perfect palette that allows the outdoors to take center stage.

This place is all about trees and nature,” says designer Jimmy Angell, owner of James Douglas Interiors in Birmingham. β€œThe homeowners found an amazing lot on a ravine.”

The interior of this newly-built 5,700-square-foot, three-level family home in Ohio is as restful as the trees that surround it. The four-bedroom, four-bath, two half-bath home with a first-floor master utilizes a timeless neutral palette with natural materials that flow from room to room.

It’s easy to enjoy a meal in this splendid space.

β€œI’m a stickler that my interiors be cohesive,” the Detroit Design Award-winning Angell says. β€œI like there to be a change, but to still use an element from one space to another.”

The homeowner, a manufacturer’s rep with whom Angell developed a friendship over the years, wanted something comfortable, beautiful, and livable that would highlight the property’s striking forest views. Angell used wood, iron, stone, and natural fabric (linen, wool, and cotton) to complete the design.

In the kitchen, two black soapstone islands and quartzite main counters gleam.

Angell says he loves to accessorize his interiors with found objects from all over the world, such as the circular barrel strap on the mantel in the living room, fabricated by Michael Barna Design Studio. On the wall next to the custom iron stairway, he hung intriguing vintage tools formerly used for testing cheese.

His design work in this home is fastidiously symmetric and elegantly minimalistic, with clean, simple lines that complement the leafy outdoor views, beautiful millwork, and stunning lighting. The dwelling is warm and cushy, and offers different areas for entertaining in an open-plan configuration. Quarter-sawn oak flooring in antique brown creates a sense of continuity throughout the house. Keeping with the darker tones, many of the interior doors and window frames are black.

In the kitchen, which has two black soapstone islands and quartzite main counters, a glorious custom hood in blackened steel with stainless straps crowns the Thermador stove. Across the room, a lighted row of stainless-and-glass cabinets echoes the straps. The dining room, on the other side ofΒ  the kitchen, features plush seating for six.

Angell designed the unique console in the powder room with accents in brass. Meant to be seen, the exposed brass drain pipe, along with sconces and a mirror, also add interest against the abstract black-and-white-striped wallpaper.

Interior designer Jimmy Angell has a keen eye, especially when it comes to patterns and materials, as seen in the living room, powder room, and den.

Off the kitchen is a screened-in room with a skylight, modern seating, and a handsome stone fireplace that keeps the homeowners snug and mellow through the changing colors and moods of the seasons.

In the den, through the steel doors, Angell covered the ceiling with a faux bois wallcovering and paired it with linen Roman shades, dip-dyed black on the edges. A modern chandelier tops it all off in a space that’s perfect for putting up your feet and reading a book.

Upon entering the home’s foyer, the eye is treated to unique adornments and peaceful colors.

The end result is everything the owners wanted, thanks to the fertile imagination of a trusted friend and brilliant designer.

Indeed, Angell made the most of the orientation of the home and its large windows for the best forest views. Says the designer: β€œWhen a client trusts their designer, pure creativity is achieved.”


Jimmy Angell, James Douglas Interiors, Birmingham,

Ceiling Treatment – Nobilis
Chandelier – Lowcountry Originals
Doors, Double – Custom, Drew Derkacz Design, Berkley
Lamp, Floor – Visual Comfort
Lamp, Table – Visual Comfort
Media Cabinet – Four Hands
Ottoman – Hickory Chair
Pillows, Accent – Robert Allen Design
Sofas – Cisco Home
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Neutral Ground
Window Shades – Trend Fabric, Holly Hunt

Bar – Tom Broderick, The Cabinetry
Bar Stools – Palecek
Chairs, Dining – Hickory Chair
Chandelier – Lowcountry Originals
Countertop, Bar – White Macaubas Marble, Cutting Edge Countertops
Flooring – White Oak
Lighting, Island – Visual Comfort
Table, Dining – Chaddock Furniture Workroom
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Neutral Ground

Bench – Roberta Schilling
Flooring – White Oak
Linear Lighting Fixture – Lowcountry Originals
Rug – Loloi
Runner – Prestige Mills
Sconce – Ralph Lauren
Staircase – Custom, Patra & Patra Studios Inc., Royal Oak
Window Shades – Cowtan & Tout

Cabinets – Tom Broderick, The Cabinetry
Countertop, Islands – Soap Stone, Cutting Edge Countertops
Countertop, White – White Macaubas Marble, Cutting Edge Countertops
Islands – Tom Broderick, The Cabinetry
Sink – Kohler
Stove – Thermador
Wall Sconces – Visual Comfort
Wall Tile – Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Window Shades –Fabric, Samuel & Sons

Armchairs – Hickory Chair
Artwork – Soicher Marin Gallery
Cabinets, Fireside – Custom, Bruce Campbell Designs
Chandelier – Cisco Home
Daybed – Cisco Home
Drapery – Fabric, Samuel & Sons
Fireplace – Raven-Honed, Capital Granite, Bridgeport
Flooring – White Oak
Lamps, Table – Visual Comfort
Pillows, Armchair Accent – Ryan Studio Home
Pillows, Daybed Accent – Lee Jofa, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Pillows, Sofa Accent – Lee Jofa, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Rug – Cavan Artisan Weavers
Sconces, Fireside – Custom, Patra & Patra Studios Inc., Royal Oak
Sculpture, Mantle – Michael Barna Design Studio, Royal Oak
Sofa – Hickory Chair
Tables, Small Four Hands
Wall Paint – Sherwin Williams, Neutral Ground
Wall Treatment – Custom, Tom Broderick, The Cabinetry

Flooring – White Oak
Light, Ceiling – Visual Comfort
Mirror – Arteriors
Sconces – Visual Comfort
Sink – Kohler
Vanity – Custom, Bruce Campbell Designs
Wallpaper – Sandberg
Window Shades – Fabric, GP&J Baker, Samuel & Sons

Armchair – Gloster
Blanket, Throw – Nobilis
Fireplace – Custom, Patra & Patra Studios Inc., Royal Oak
Flooring – Exposed Aggregate
Lantern – Visual Comfort
Sofas – Gloster
Stools, Black – Made Goods
Table, Coffee – Custom, Gloster
Wall Treatment – Boral Siding