Modern Love

Whole-house renovation gives a 1920s Craftsman a Mid-century spin. Photography by Laura Mccaffery.
A Mid-century look is apparent as soon as you reach the front door of this Royal Oak home.
WELCOME HOME! A Mid-century look is apparent as soon as you reach the front door of this Royal Oak home.

 In this totally revamped Royal Oak home,    the magic happens before you reach the front door. The overhaul was a team effort between Dan Davis and Paul Johnson with Dan Davis Design in Ferndale, and homeowner Jeannine Caesar, who lives with her husband, Tim Keffer, and their daughter, Peyton Keffer. The deep charcoal exterior exudes a Mid-century Modern feel that continues once you’re inside, while horizontal wood slats define the porch, which features a new ceiling, siding, flooring, and steps. “Everything down to the mailbox (was redone),” Davis says. “(And all) the little details bring it together.”

 In the living room, the TV fades into the dark gray finish of the new tile fireplace.
WELCOME HOME! In the living room, the TV fades into the dark gray finish of the new tile fireplace.

The designer and homeowner met when they worked together in advertising. Years ago, Davis helped Caesar find ways to display her collections in the home. “If you take two creative people and put them in the same room, they can clash sometimes, or they can play off each other; we played off each other. She has so many ideas, it wasn’t necessarily us leading the design so much as a collaboration,” he says. “She (just) needed help editing her ideas and making sure the big picture was always top of mind.”

Davis and Caesar agree that both projects were a joint effort. “The first time was about how to utilize the existing space; (this time), we got to start from scratch,” Davis says. Caesar adds: “Before, we tried to create (spaces for) things, but now the architecture sings more.”

Caesar says she bought the house back in 1989, before she was married. Prior to the recent renovation, she and her husband considered moving and looked at other homes, but they had no luck. “We love our house,” she says. “This was about making it more open.”

A new composite deck is perfect for gatherings.
ARTSY IN AND OUT A new composite deck is perfect for gatherings.

A new composite deck on the side of the house stretches the modest footprint. “With the glass doors opening up to that area, it makes the space feel huge (and gives a) connection from inside to outside,” Davis says. An outdoor sofa and woven chairs are arranged below a metal awning designed by Caesar, a creative-director-turned-ceramicist. “The deck is like another room,” she says. “We eat out there all the time.”

Another living room/stairway perspective.
ARTSY IN AND OUT Another living room/stairway perspective.

New wood floors on the main level start in the front room/living room, where an original beam was left exposed. “It gives it a little industrial feel,” Caesar says. Vertical wood slats along the staircase reveal a light blue accent wall. The homeowner’s inspired workspace, below the stairs, features a vintage Gehry chair and a Jack light by Tom Dixon.

A hallway features an Italian light fixture that once hung in the dining room.
ARTSY IN AND OUT A hallway features an Italian light fixture that once hung in the dining room.

In the living room, the TV fades into the dark gray finish of the new tile fireplace, where a built-in cubby highlights art with a personal connection. Special pieces include a miniature chair made by Caesar and a charcoal done by her husband.

Angled ceiling beams make a statement in the kitchen.
ARTSY IN AND OUT Angled ceiling beams make a statement in the kitchen.

Angled ceiling beams make a statement in the kitchen, which was expanded by knocking down walls and adding two sets of sliding glass doors that follow the Mid-century philosophy of bringing the outside in. “We wanted to open up the space, but also have it open to the exterior,” Davis explains.

The kitchen has white upper cabinets and gray lower cabinets that complement quartz counters.
SMART DESIGN The kitchen has white upper cabinets and gray lower cabinets that complement quartz counters.

Caesar loves the results. “I had a galley kitchen before,” she says. “It’s so nice to be organized and have a place for everything. In my other kitchen, I would put cookie sheets from the oven on top of a garbage can. The way this kitchen works is so beautiful.”

The kitchen has white upper cabinets and gray lower cabinets that complement quartz counters.
SMART DESIGN The kitchen has white upper cabinets and gray lower cabinets that complement quartz counters.

The way it looks makes a difference, as well, with white upper cabinets and gray lower cabinets that complement engineered quartz perimeter counters and a terrazzo-topped island. A dimensional hexagon tile backsplash “kind of sparkles when you walk by,” Caesar says. Metal pendants work their way around the room, and orange strikes a cheerful note on the counter stools and the stove. The pantry and fridge flank storage, surface, and display space for Caesar’s pottery and collections.

The master bedroom boasts wood beams and a stud wall behind the bed to display art. New windows were installed throughout. “When I’m upstairs and look out the window, I feel like I’m in a treehouse,” Jeannine Caesar says.
SMART DESIGN The master bedroom boasts wood beams and a stud wall behind the bed to display art. New windows were installed throughout. “When I’m upstairs and look out the window, I feel like I’m in a treehouse,” Jeannine Caesar says.

Charcoal-colored ceramic tiles with distinct finishes make a statement in the main-floor bathroom. Caesar found the floor tile first. “It’s super distressed, and I like that well-worn look against the honed tile on the walls,” she says.

“It’s a very dramatic space,” Davis adds. “She wanted a dark bathroom with a pop of the light wood seen in Mid-century Modern design. The lighting took a little effort; each fixture has its own discussion.”

Charcoal-colored ceramic tiles with distinct finishes and a floating vanity make a statement in the main-floor powder room.
ADDING DRAMA Charcoal-colored ceramic tiles with distinct finishes and a floating vanity make a statement in the main-floor powder room.

A similar pairing appears in the second-floor master bath, where another floating vanity contrasts with dark tile. “It doesn’t feel dark because of the ceiling height, the windows, and the white walls,” Davis explains.

Caesar says she enjoyed the creative process. “As a designer, Dan gets to know you. It’s not about making it his design; it’s your design, together. The team is good at figuring out your personality.”

Davis appreciates her input. “It was a unique project,” he says. “You don’t always have clients with strong ideas and a strong aesthetic. With Jeannine, that’s all there, so you just have to make sense of it and pull it together — which is fun in a different way. It’s like having a design partner instead of a client.”

A similar pairing appears in the second-floor master bath where a floating vanity contrasts with dark tile.
ADDING DRAMA A similar pairing appears in the second-floor master bath where a floating vanity contrasts with dark tile.

 


BUYER’S GUIDE

 

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Dan Davis Design, Ferndale, dandavisdesign.com


BATHROOM, MASTER

Cabinet – Wetstyle, Herald Wholesale, Troy

Cabinet, Medicine – Kohler, Kohler Signature Store, Birmingham

Countertop – Wetstyle, Herald Wholesale, Troy

Flooring – Jeffrey Court, Beaver Tile & Stone, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Sconces – West Elm

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White

Wall Tile – Virginia Tile Co., Troy


BEDROOM, MASTER

Bed Frame – West Elm

Chandelier – West Elm

Rug – West Elm

Table, Bedside – AllModern

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White


HALLWAY

Artwork – Kathleen Coe

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White


KITCHEN

Backsplash – Exagoni, TileBar

Bar Stools – The Lucy Stool, Bend Goods, 2Modern

Cabinetry – Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Ceiling Treatment – Custom, Design Scavenger, Royal Oak; Fabrication, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Chair, Decorative – LCM Eames Chair, Vertu, Royal Oak

Countertop – Caesarstone, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Flooring – Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Hood – Zephyr, Specialties Showroom, Berkley

Lighting, Island – Nuevo, Herald Wholesale, Troy

Planters – Anthropologie

Shelves, Floating – Custom, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Stove – Bertazzoni, Specialties Showroom, Berkley

Table, Wooden Occasional – Custom, Brandon Stanko, Rochester

Torso – Takaan, Ridgefield Gallery, Ortonville

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White

LIVING ROOM

Artwork, Graphic – Annie Einheuser

Door – Custom, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Entertainment Stand – Custom, Design Scavenger, Royal Oak; Fabrication, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Flooring – Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Sofa – Rove Concepts

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White

PATIO

Awning – Custom, Design Scavenger, Royal Oak; Fabrication, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Deck – Trex, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Furniture – Article

POWDER ROOM

Cabinet – Wetstyle, Herald Wholesale, Troy

Flooring – Cercan Tile, Troy

Light Fixture – Custom, Design Scavenger, Royal Oak; Fabrication, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Mirror – Ikea

Wall Treatment – Cercan Tile, Troy

 Organic touches and sculptural accents create an intriguing vignette overlooking the deck.
PLANTERS’ PUNCH Organic touches and sculptural accents create an intriguing vignette overlooking the deck.

STAIRS

Artwork, Graphic – Annie Einheuser

Artwork, Stairs – Custom, Design Scavenger, Royal Oak

Chair, Desk – Hat Trick Chair, Knoll

Desk – LumiSource

Flooring – Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Sculpture, Geometric – Tom Dixon

Stair Partition – Custom, Design Scavenger, Royal Oak; Fabrication, Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Wall Paint – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White; Accent, Benjamin Moore, Waterfall

 

EXTERIOR

Building Materials – Wood and Composite

Flooring and Deck – Trex

Paint Color – Benjamin Moore, Decorator’s White

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS

Architect  – Ekocite Architecture, Royal Oak

Builder – Kastler Construction Inc., Clawson

Extra Sourcing – Design Scavenger (Jeannine Caesar), Royal Oak

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