“Like well-written thank-you notes, homemade treats are thoughtful.” — Martha Stewart
Kaleido trays, designed by Clara von Zweigbergk for Hay, $16-$78;
Blue Hill honey, $14.95, at Williams-Sonoma, Rochester Hills, Novi, and Troy;
St. Clair nest bowls in seashell satin, $68, at Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy; 248-643-3393,
Food 52 Cookbook: 150 Winning Recipes From Exceptional Home Cooks, $23.33, area Barnes & Noble stores;
barnesandnoble.com. Dot tea towel and spoon set in mineral, $32; studiopatro.com.
Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat bars, $10.45 each, at Astro Coffee, Detroit; 313-638-2989,
astrodetroit.com. Happy Goat vanilla-bean caramel sauce, $13.99, at Sur La Table, The Mall at Partridge Creek, Clinton Township, and Somerset Collection South, Troy; surlatable.com.
Cacharel dessert plates, $162/set of six, at Saks Fifth Avenue, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-642-9000,
Anniversary wine box, $130;
Gone With the Vin single-wine tote, $14;
Alessi parrot sommelier corkscrew, $57, at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum Gift Shop, Midtown Detroit; 313-833-7948,
Paper gem coasters, $20, at Kate Spade, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-458-2023,
katespade.com. The American Cocktail, $19.95, at Crate & Barrel, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-643-6610, crateandbarrel.com.
Canine coaster set, $18;
Skybar wine chill drops, $39.95/set of two, at Williams-Sonoma, Rochester Hills, Novi, and Troy;
Crystal orbit ornament, $50, at Kate Spade, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-458-2023,
Duke Ellington: The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1951-1958, $60, area Barnes & Noble stores;
barnesandnoble.com. Foldable star sculptures, $40-$160; dwr.com.
Mr. & Mrs. Acrobat ornament, $28 each;
Brass-shoe bottle opener, $98;
A 1960s Bloomfield
Georgian Gets a Face-LiftMariam and Alex Chapman can’t get over how much they love the kitchen and bar in their Bloomfield Township home. “I’m huge on functional spaces, and these just are so practical but just so beautiful. I’m constantly happy in this space,” Mariam says. The couple, who purchased a 1969 Neoclassical-style home in February 2020, renovated pretty much the entire house, and then moved in in September 2020.They hired Lauren Tolles, owner of Maison Birmingham, to oversee their kitchen/bar renovation. “Lauren was amazing to work with from the get-go,” Mariam says. “It was like we were saying yes, yes, yes! to (everything she) proposed. And she listened to us so well. Lauren also knew about my apprehension of colors.”Like a forest sprinkled with freshly fallen snow, the kitchen is especially pretty during the holidays. With white-as-snow quartzite countertops and cabinetry, and deep-green accent colors for the island and part of the breakfast-nook cabinetry amid solid walnut accents, it’s classic and contemporary at once.“I’m not a color person,” Mariam reiterates. “I’m black and gray and white. I was so nervous, but Lauren convinced me that the green island would be a nice neutral and would add a nice design element. It did!” Adds Tolles: “I like having something dark to ground the space.”When the Birmingham-based designer first met with the couple about the project, she knew that Mariam preferred a modern look and Alex liked a more traditional feel. “I knew that if we put super modern into what is a traditional design, it wouldn’t work. So our design walks the line of historic, but it’s modern and more transitional,” Tolles explains. “They were very much focused on function and durability.”Restained floors, light, custom-stained white oak cabinetry, brass pulls, and quartzite counters (“a natural stone featuring less maintenance than other popular materials, like marble,” Tolles says) round out the look. “The quartzite was also carried up beneath the hood, to keep things simple and easy to clean,” the designer says. One of Mariam’s favorite elements is the open shelveing near the stove. “You can change out decorative items with the seasons, and it’s fun to rearrange them,” the homeowner says.The stacked refrigerator and freezer feature white oak paneling, and to the left is an identical door that leads to the mudroom. “I really love that cool hidden design element,” Alex says. A covered patio’s space, meanwhile, was turned into a pantry. “The patio’s cement slab naturally keeps the space cool, which helps store food better and is more energy-efficient,” Tolles adds.Regarding the bar, there was a dated entertainment center right off the kitchen that was transformed into a neat little beverage spot with plenty of style. “I said, you like to entertain and don’t really need an actual space to store wine, but a place to make drinks would be great,” Tolles recalls. So they decided to go a little more modern with this area, but used walnut for the cabinetry. “Walnut is an historic material, but with the porcelain counter and backsplash, along with a ledge (for artwork), it’s got a more contemporary edge,” she explains.Also designed into the mix is a wine refrigerator, trash area, and storage. “The door panels have clean lines and we used hardware that’s modern but has texture,” the designer says. In addition, she says knurled satin brass knobs and handles don’t show fingerprints — and that’s a nice touch for those who entertain a lot or have young children. “I really like the built-in walnut-paneled bar refrigerator,” Alex says. “The whole bar is stunning.”Everything came together so easily, the couple agrees. “We used Lauren’s contacts for the installs. Everything was executed perfectly. The trades respect her; she has a great reputation in the design industry,” Mariam says. Adds Alex: “Lauren went above and beyond our expectations.”The homeowners, with two young girls ages 5 and 7, love to entertain. In fact, they’re looking forward to hosting Christmas Eve at their home. In the breakfast nook, the kids enjoy using the lower drawer, which is stocked with juice boxes and water that’s just for them. They also have their own drawer for arts and crafts items, conveniently located right next to the dining table.“We entertain a ton,” Alex says. “And, of course, everyone always circles into the kitchen.” Adds his wife: “The kitchen is always beautiful. It’s like looking at art.”
Thymes Limited Fraser Fir pine comb reed diffuser, $60, at Casual Concepts, Rochester; 248-652-1080,
Don’t Spend It Cha Ching coin purse, $78, at Kate Spade, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-458-2023,
Candy bar travel speaker, $29.95, at Crate & Barrel, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-643-6610,
PROMINENT DESIGN The renovation project at this Gilbert Lake-area home started with a bathroom overhaul and led to two additional large-scale phases.Nearly a century ago, this home was built in an idyllic setting along Gilbert Lake in Bloomfield Hills. Featuring distinctive Michigan split-face fieldstone, the prominent structure was designed in a grand Colonial Revival Farmhouse style on a nearly 8-acre, picturesque parcel of land. The property includes the island in the middle of the lake. Its current owners purchased this historic gem in 2007.“The home was more than we ever imagined. We’d been looking for a house, and the day before I saw the listing email, we’d decided to take a break from our search,” the homeowner recalls. “When we first saw the property, (we knew) it was magnificent. It was out of our price range, but we bought it on a whim. My husband said it would be the best real estate investment he would ever make — and he’s in real estate.”In 2016, the homeowners decided to embark on an extensive four-year, multiphase renovation and expansion project to better showcase their collective passions centered on art, wine, entertaining, and family gatherings. They also wanted to maximize the home’s stunning water views. Maintaining the integrity, tradition, and many of the historical details of the original house was challenging, but paramount to the project.Robert Clarke, president and owner of CBI Design Professionals in Bloomfield Hills, explains that the project started with a bathroom renovation and led to two additional large-scale phases. “The second phase was to add a wing to the house that included an attached garage, kids’ activity area, new mudroom and rear stairs, laundry, and updates to the family room. It was the owners’ way of seeing whether the home could be expanded in a way to look as if it had been there 100 years. The original stone on the house is much larger, a bit darker, and more squared than what you find today, but (getting a close) match to the new stone needed for the addition was critical to the project.”According to Clarke, who also runs Integrated Architectural Interiors, the masonry work involved a lengthy process, but the new stone harmoniously blended in with the aged patina of the original stone after it was cleaned and restored to its former condition. The same stonework was also used outside, for the terraces and kitchen patio area, as well as indoors for the library’s fireplace and the mudroom area archways.Due to the success of the initial work, the next phase of expansion began with a two-story library, an additional staircase, a garden room, and a master suite, along with an exercise room and a significant wine cellar and tasting room in the lower level. Ultimately, the impressive home’s total square footage across three floors increased by about 9,583 square feet, to nearly 15,000 square feet.Considering the magnitude of the transformation, the homeowners have more than a few favorite areas. “The master bedroom is my favorite. I love how the room has windows on all four sides. It’s comfortable, spacious, clean, open, and bright,” the wife says. “I also love the peacefulness of the garden room, with windows on all sides, and I love how the furniture fits perfectly.” She says her husband’s favorite room is the library, a dramatic yet “warm, comfy, welcoming space” with a double-sided stone fireplace, soft leather furniture, custom tables with intricate designs, and a well-curated selection of art.To accommodate the lifestyle of the homeowners, the house now has three entrances: a mudroom entrance, a main entrance, and a third entrance for larger-scale gatherings that has an interior door separating the entertaining space from the family living space. All three entrances have beautiful, unobstructed views to the outdoors.“I didn’t realize how little we could see of the lake before — the views were minimal. The changes have let in more lake. Now we live on the lake,” the homeowner says.In addition to Clarke and CBI Design Professionals, the collaborative team on this complex project included Mosher Dolan (builder), Integrated Architectural Interiors (interior design), Dana Jacob Designs (furnishings), and Richard Hass from Stewart Hass and Associates (landscape architect). The CBI Design project manager was Amanda Fox.By all accounts, this team’s efforts during the multiphase project have been a large-scale success.“These kinds of homes were prominent homes in the community when they were built, and they stood out. Over time, they become tucked away and not as prominent as they once were. We tried to stay true to the original style and bring the home back to its stately position. I think we were successful and did that with this home. The owners were thrilled and got more out of it than anticipated,” Clarke explains.“I’ve always loved this home — it’s close to everything, but you feel like you’re a million miles away. Living here has always made us feel like we’re on vacation,” the homeowner says. “It’s a larger scale than we ever imagined, but it’s peaceful, quiet, and everyone feels welcomed and happy here.”
Conversation games, $20 each;
Tradig candlestick, $8, at Ikea, Canton; 734-981-6300,
ikea.com. Coil rope vase in silver, $75, at Annex in Complex, Birmingham; 248-792-2495, complexmi.com.
Pop Fizz Clink iPhone-4 case, $35, at Kate Spade, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-458-2023,
Campbell’s Soup alphabet dice game, $16.95, at Paper Source, Birmingham; 248-594-4954,
Etch candleholder in brass, $78;
Nest Birchwood pine classic candle, $32, at Neiman Marcus, Somerset Collection South, Troy; 248-643-3300,
Styling by Taryn Bickley