Kitchen No. 1
FROM GALLEY TO GOLLY!
WHAT // A Huntington Woods Kitchen Serves Up All Things Modern
Homeowners Judy and Brian Bell of Huntington Woods were strolling the streets of Birmingham one night when they happened to walk past the beckoning windows of Scavolini by Cucina Moda. “There was this red kitchen in the window and we loved it, so we filed it in our heads,” Judy says. Eventually they worked with Scavolini by Cucina Moda to transform their gutted space (once a galley kitchen, built in 1967) into the clean, sleek, and modern oasis it is today. The couple, who worked with owners Alisha Serras, Niki Serras (the two are sisters), and Alisha’s husband, Brian Gamache (installation), now adore their new kitchen/bar area. “We didn’t have the guts to do red, so we went with a gray, but we’ve added lots of bright pops of orange,” says Judy, who also worked with Morgan-Heller Associates of Pontiac to design and reconfigure the new space, and builder Marc Rosenblatt of Huntington Homes.
The glossy lacquer cabinet finish, in Tundra Gray, features a rich, beautiful reflection. “There are seven layers of paint on the cabinets so it’s not wavy; it’s like a car,” Niki Serras says. “There are no seams.” And instead of a traditional bridge handle, an integrated channel system allows users to grasp and open the doors. The two cabinets on either side of the hood are a tempered glass with an aluminum frame, and luminous bottoms; the light is built into the bottom of the cabinet to give an internal-glow effect.
The base cabinets (doors and panels) in the bar are made of tempered glass, as are the upper cabinets in the kitchen.
LIGHT OF HER LIFE
Judy went to allmodern.com to shop for lights, and often would send links to the Serras sisters for their opinions.
CUSTOM WITH A CAPITAL C
“Each of our kitchens (and baths) are custom-made per order in Italy; Scavolini does not keep stock,” Niki Serras says.
IF WALLS COULD TALK
The couple hired a Sherwin-Williams paint consultant to choose a wall color, which made the selection process simple — but this was “after I purchased six or seven samples and blew through a lot of paint trying different hues,” Judy says. The Bells finally landed on a gray called Crushed Ice (#7647) and an orange called Carnival (#6892), which is “perfect, because it doesn’t look like ‘circus,’ ” Judy says with a laugh.
“I love all the materials — the cabinets, the glass, and the stainless steel bar-area countertops,” says Brian Bell, shown on these pages with his wife, Judy. So do Heidi and Fozzie, the couple’s two super-big rescue dogs (tile floors are scratch-resistant). Adds Judy: “I love the storage and the fliptop cupboards. I love, love, love the lacquer finish; it’s so easy to clean and maintain. And I love the Cambria quartz countertops.”
“The trend is to incorporate kitchens into the living space so you have access to guests, and parents can see their kids or dogs,” says Niki Serras. “Today’s kitchens are the heart of the household, unlike decades ago.”
Sometimes on a Sunday, the couple plays their version of Food Network’s Chopped. “One of us will buy random ingredients the other has to use to make a meal,” Brian explains. “But we’re kind and reasonable, because we want the meal to be good.”
Kitchen No. 2
TAKING TIME FOR TEA AND MORE
WHAT // An Ann Arbor Kitchen with a British Edge
Interior Designer Margaret Presti of Margeaux Interiors of Birmingham worked with Prestige Design & Build of Birmingham to create a bright and functional kitchen for homeowners David Collins and Christina Anderson. You’ll often find Collins, who grew up in England, and Anderson preparing a quick cuppa (tea) and enjoying toasty fall flavors from Fortnum & Mason and Yorkshire Gold. “They start their day in a space they love — a space that has a bit of England in it,” Presti says.
“The former kitchen was quite dark and old-fashioned,” says homeowner Christina Anderson. “We wanted a bright, modern kitchen that looked beautiful but was also functional. The layout is perfect for cooking and for socializing with guests in the dining room whilst working in the kitchen. The bar, with a wine fridge, is also great for entertaining.”
GOTTA HAVE ART
The large piece of art that hangs near the dining table depicts London in the 1500s. “The city (in England) where we worked looks very similar — even 500 years later,” Anderson says. The painting in the butler’s pantry/bar area is from TRA Art Group at the Michigan Design Center.
Along with the bar area, the island, with its wood countertop, was custom-made by Cole Wagner Cabinetry in Rochester Hills. It replaces the former cooktop/cabinetry island. “We created an open feel without compromising on function,” Presti says. “It’s a great area for food prep, and allows guests to gather while the homeowner cooks. Its finish ties in with the bar area, as well as the chandeliers and the vintage bronze bridge faucet. The warm wood tone is a perfect mix for the space’s ivory and gray tones.”
“Having the doors open to the deck allows us to host great summer parties,” Anderson says.
TRICK OF THE TRADE
A soffit that had to stay due to plumbing and structural issues was custom-colored to match the ivory cabinetry, making it less noticeable.
Kitchens by Richards of Birmingham installed ivory-inset cabinetry, “to give a bit of an unfitted kitchen look,” Presti says. Bar cabinetry is also from Kitchens by Richards.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
The unique chandeliers, from Crystorama, add another layer.
The bar area off the kitchen was once was home to “awkward cabinetry,” Presti says. Underfoot: a rug, not shown, from Ghiordes Knot at the Michigan Design Center.
The walls are painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Repose Gray (#7015), “a light gray tone,” Presti says. The trim is in Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster White (#7008), “a slightly warm white that tied the ivory cabinetry and appliances together with the gray walls, countertop, backsplash, range hood, and pewter hardware,” Presti adds, “so that one (the gray or the white) did not overpower the other, but complemented it.”
ACCENT ON APPLIANCES AND MORE
All the appliances, from the British company Aga (Legacy series), have an ivory finish. The fireclay apron-front sink, similar to what you’d find in England in the 1800s, was crafted by Shaws in England and purchased through ROHL. Walker Zanger riverstone-honed tile was procured through Virginia Tile Co., while the countertops — from Dwyer Marble and Stone Supply in Farmington Hills — are made of soapstone. Various kitchen accents, like the green teapot from Teavana, shown on this page, look splendid against this backdrop.
“As the (primary cook),” Anderson says, “I love the functionality of the area around the stove. All my cooking tools are easily within reach and, with the island between the fridge and the stove, I have plenty of counter space to work with.”
Bath No. 1
MURAL, MURAL ON THE WALL
WHAT // A Bloomfield Hills Powder Room that Tells a Story
Interior designer Paul Feiten of Bloomfield Hills-based Paul Feiten Design had a mural in mind for this pretty powder room. “We had already done wallpaper in three of the rooms in the house, and used a lot of paint in the others, so I said to the lady of the house, ‘For the powder room, let’s cool it with the wallpaper and instead do a wonderful hand-painted mural depicting a countryside scene, and we can even personalize it with images of your two dogs, the old church where you grew up in Pennsylvania, and a vintage truck from the family business.’ ”
Cave paintings are the earliest form of mural-making, depicting everyday life and the objects and creatures that early man came across. Later murals were painted on church walls to educate those who could not read, and they became a way to inspire and rally people in times of war. Nowadays, murals primarily function as decorative tools utilized to add an additional layer of interest to a room.
Muralist Kate Paul of Paul Studios in Livonia created a charming pastoral scene complete with a flagstone-bordered pond containing lily pads and goldfish, plus wildflowers, butterflies, coral Icelandic poppies, and coral geraniums in terra cotta pots.
“We wanted to incorporate coral because it’s accented throughout the home,” Feiten says. “And the azure blue of the mural’s sky is repeated in both the wallpaper and the mohair sofa fabric in the Great Room, located just a few steps away.”
It took Kate Paul 13 days to complete the mural. “I probably bring 20 different colors of acrylic house paint (to the) site and then, by blending, I make many more colors out of that,” she says.
PAINTING A DREAM
“Doing a mural is really creating a dream,” the painter says. “It’s very theatrical; you’re creating illusions.” She painted faux drapery on the wall behind the sink to create a more dramatic feeling.
A striking onyx vessel sink rests on a hand-carved wooden demi-lune console table from Hickory. Feiten chose a gold-leaf Gothic Twig-framed mirror from Carver’s Guild because it “beautifully relates to the forest and garden.”
“While years from now we might not be here, it’s nice to know the mural with my dogs still will be.”
Bath No. 2
ANGLING FOR SOMETHING COOL
WHAT // Siblings’ Spaces in Birmingham
Designer Kristen Armstrong of Birmingham-based KCID Design, a member of the collaboration Forest Avenue Design, worked with a variety of angles, sloped ceilings, and small original footprints to create stunning bathrooms for a teenager and his tweenage sister. The siblings, who live in a 1920s-era classic clapboard colonial, wanted spaces that reflected their tastes and that they would appreciate for years to come.
Armstrong used a great deal of glass and Carrara tile from Bliss (called “Iceland Blend”) on the shower walls and beyond, to tie the angles of the boy’s space with a horizontal, linear look. “It’s geometrically fresh,” Armstrong says. “The glass adds a glossy touch, like a shiny paint finish on a car.”The shower’s charcoal-hued porcelain floor tile is the same as the tile on the bathroom floor (the bathroom floor tiles are larger). “It’s an aggregate color, like a road.”
“His bathroom features a transitional look that will grow with him but also is accommodating to guests.”
A luxury sports car interior.
BEAUTY IN THE DETAILS
Riftsawn oak cabinetry was stained a handsome gray-brown tone, “like a wood-grain console inside a car,” Armstrong says. Shower details include body jets, while plumbing fixtures are “like a fine-running engine.”
“We went with a wall-mounted faucet that was high enough to meet the boy’s specific request to have enough space to fill up his water bottle,” Armstrong explains. “That’s thoughtful design.”
Bath No. 3
The sister’s en suite bathroom charms with Osborne and Little’s washable “Komodo” wallpaper. “She loves exploring and science, so this totally reflects her,” Armstrong says. “It’s luxed up and looks bejeweled but is really just flat wallpaper with a holographic foil,” she adds.
The vanity covers the entire length of one wall and is offset with full-height, pantry-style cabinetry that features pull-out shelves and a lower laundry area. “We floated two cabinets (below the exposed chrome piping) with an open shelf in between,” Armstrong explains. “The vanity is less imposing with the open space between.”
A swing door was replaced with a barn-style door to increase mobility.
An asymmetrical bowl sink with a water chute-style faucet adds quirkiness. “It’s common to center a sink on a vanity, but the room doesn’t call for that, due to all its unique angles.”
The glass and ceramic mosaic of whites and pale grays is reminiscent of a relaxing spa. The floor and wall tile is of Carrara, while the shower floor features a hexagon mosaic of Carrara and black marble. A special glimmer glass tile (tiny mosaic) was used in the backsplash above the vanity and to detail shower walls.
Bath No. 4
SLEEK, CHIC, AND OH OS ARTFUL
WHAT // A Bloomfield Township Master Bathroom
“The owner is a minimalist,” says interior designer Jodi Caden, principal of Caden Design Group of Birmingham. “She wanted to simplify her life and wanted everything to be clean and put away. I got her taste and her style, and it worked.”
DESIGNER’S INSIDE SECRETS
“Put a refrigerator drawer in your bathroom for morning fruit and juice,” says Caden. “Also, use large tiles, so you have fewer grout lines.” As for lighting, “We placed the sconces at head level to avoid shadowing the face.” And for the unsightly, Caden says to “hide things like hampers and trash cans by putting them inside tall cabinets that have pull-out drawers.”
MAKING A SPLASH
“My favorite thing in the bathroom would have to be the soaking tub,” says the homeowner. “I originally pictured an egg shape, but the rectangular form fits better in the room. I do not take baths — not yet, anyway — but it is a joy to watch my grandkids frolic in there, splashing water everywhere.”
“It’s more like a living space than just a bathroom,” Caden says. “I made the custom cabinetry the star of the show. And to make the space feel larger, we designed custom mirrors, framed in quarter-sawn walnut, just like the cabinets, to reach all the way up to the 10-foot-high ceiling.”
“The picture of the lady with the plant was the first painting my mother bought,” says the homeowner, who likes to display her compact collection nearby.
“We floated the Wetstyle tub like a piece of art,” says Caden, “in the middle of the bathroom. It’s like an island; it doesn’t touch any walls and we centered it on the long windows at the end of the room.”
This bathroom — and the rest of the home — will be featured as one of several stops on the The Community House’s Birmingham Home Tour Sept. 19. For more information, visit tchserves.org/events/2013-tch-events/page/2/.