Second Act

A designer and Birmingham homeowners team up to finish what they started

Good things are worth waiting for. That’s the patient philosophy embraced by Nicole Teifer, who recently teamed up with Boca Raton, Fla.-based designer Jamie Herzlinger to finish her Birmingham home.

The pair had joined forces with great results on earlier projects, Teifer says. The first was a former seasonal home in Arizona; the most recent focused on the main-floor spaces in the four-bedroom Colonial (featured in the Fall 2021 issue of Detroit Design) Teifer and her husband purchased in 2020. “Jamie just gets me,” Teifer, who shares the 1989 home with her husband, Steve Milot, and West Highland terriers Lily and Spike, explains. “When I was searching for someone who did things that were unique and special, she definitely stood out.”

ORDERLY OPULENCE  The office’s opulent allure makes it easy to want to spend time working there. Opposite page: Homeowner Nicole Teifer’s closet is not only attractive and welcoming, but orgnized to a T.

The first part of the project proves it, she says. Together, the homeowners and designer transformed the entry, breakfast room, living room, and master bedroom with new wallpaper, chandeliers, drapes, and other décor. Herzlinger incorporated a variety of influences, tweaking tradition and incorporating elements from artists and artisans worldwide. Creative combinations include Donald Sultan poppy prints and a black suede Chesterfield sofa in the living room, a marble dining table on a gold base paired with velvet chairs in the dining room, and a monochromatic primary bedroom with a capiz shell bed table and a custom leather bed.

“How to make old new was a major part of the philosophy” in the first part of the project and continued into its second phase, Herzlinger explains. “As with the first time, we kept asking ourselves, How do we make classic fun?”

PRETTY TIMES TWO Gorgeous, upscale, modern, and classic are the attributes that interior designer Jamie Herzlinger was after when planning this guest bedroom’s sleeping and sitting areas.

Because Teifer’s style is “gorgeous, upscale, modern, and classic,” according to the designer, the pair wanted a fashion-forward feel. “Nicole is glamorous and wanted a glamorous interior,” Herzlinger says, comparing the homeowner’s overall signature style to “wearing a Chanel jacket with sneakers.”

That philosophy also drove the project’s second phase, which included the upstairs guest room, office, powder room, and walk-in closet. Teifer says she never intended to do the house in two sections, but logistics dictated how they proceeded.

Once the first part of the house was complete, the rest of the home seemed lacking. “It was fab, fab, fabulous,” she says of the first phase. “But after it was done, the part we hadn’t worked on felt like it was another house. We wanted to make the rest of the house just as fabulous.”

EMERALD CITY  Green bedside tables from Grafton Furniture Co. exude a gem-like presence.
EMERALD CITY  Green bedside tables from Grafton Furniture Co. exude a gem-like presence.

Herzlinger quickly came to the rescue. The pair started planning “as soon as we installed the first part,” in the spring of 2021. “I told Jamie I wanted the house to feel cohesive and go together,” Teifer recalls. Other than that directive, she let the designer lead the way. “I said, you do your thing; you know my style.”

FLIGHTS OF FANCY Butterfly art by Donald Sultan (from the David Klein Gallery) makes a cheerful statement in the office.

Once again, the designer went with the glamorous look she knew Teifer loved. She upgraded the window treatments in the walk-in closet, adding a fun pair of bright lips by Jane Waterous, an artist whose work Teifer had seen at the Four Seasons in the Bahamas. Herzlinger added an unusual wallcovering in the powder room that “reminded her of Louboutin,” Teifer says, adding, “Jamie loves to take things back to shoes and fashion.” Both are examples of the designer’s endless creativity. “She definitely came up with some unbelievable pieces,” Teifer says of Herzlinger’s ideas, including the large butterfly art that graces a wall in the office that’s (technically) used by Milot. “He let the butterfly stay because it was Michigan colors,” Teifer jokes.

THE CURATOR  One of interior designer Jamie Herzlinger’s gifts is the astute ability to come up with unique pieces, such as the ones that adorn the office. One of the homeowners’ West Highland terriers certainly enjoys the space.

As in the first part of the renovation, the pandemic messed with the scheduling. “We had some residual slowness,” Teifer explains. “It took longer to get things than we expected; a few things took about nine months.”

Now that it’s done, the house finally feels cohesive. “It’s absolutely perfect,” Teifer says. “It’s unique and very functional.” While she says she likes everything, she admits to being partial to the guest room, with its vibrant emerald green palette. “It feels like the swankiest boutique hotel,” she says, pointing out the mirrored bed frame and an antique table from Paris.

SPECIAL TREATMENT THE home’s window treatments are luxurious, especially the ones in the guest bedroom.

Doing the renovation in two phases wasn’t ideal, the homeowner admits. “We had to have the trades out twice, which can be inconvenient. If I had to do it again, I’d have done it all in one round — but life got in the way,” she says.

Still, she says it was definitely worth the wait. “It was an amazing project and I really enjoyed working with Jamie again,” Teifer says. “She even asked me if I was going to move now that it’s complete!”

Teifer insists that’s not part of the plan. She and her husband are enjoying their home, which finally feels finished. “There’s nothing left to do,” she says, “and that’s a reassuring feeling.”

A LOVELY LOOK. The hand-painted wallaper in the powder room makes a stunning backdrop. Inset: A detail of exquisite keepsake boxes



Jamie Herzlinger Interiors,


Art – Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham
Bed – Custom, Grafton Furniture Co. with Dualoy Leather
Bedding – Scandia Home, Birmingham
Chairs, Accent – Black and White Boucle, Dedar
Chandelier – Bella Figura
Drapes – Mariella’s Custom Drapery, Southfield
Lamp, Clear – Vintage, Karl Springer
Lamps, Bedside – Sirmos
Mirror (Gold) – Wüd Furniture Design
Pillows, Silk – Mariella’s Custom Drapery, Southfield
Rug – Art and Loom
Table, Accent – Alexander Lamont
Tables, Side (Green) – Grafton Furniture Co.
Votives, Rock Crystal – Jerry Pair
Wall Treatment – Filigree Linen, Porter Teleo, Schumacher; Installation, JCC Interiors


Art (Lips) – Jane Waterous
Bench (Zebra) – Mariella’s Custom Drapery, Southfield
Rug – Sheepskin Wool, Stark Carpet, Troy
Window Treatment – Mariella’s Custom Drapery, Southfield


Art, Butterfly – Donald Sultan, David Klein Gallery, Detroit
Chair, Desk – Eames Executive Chair, Herman Miller
Chair, Wingback with Ottoman – Grafton Furniture Co.
Lamp, Desk – Polished Brass, Jerry Pair
Light, Ceiling – Pagani Studio
Paperweight – Loveknot, Gucci
Rug – Cowhide, Kyle Bunting
Sconces – Holly Hunt
Table, Accent – John Lyle Design
Vase (Bubble) – Sevres
Wall Treatment – Grasscloth, Phillip Jeffries; Installation, JCC Interiors
Window Covering – Mariella’s Custom Drapery, Southfield


Boxes – Antiques
Sconces – Hector Finch Lighting
Wall Treatment – Studio E Hand-Painted Wallpaper, Jerry Paid; Installation, JCC Interiors


Installation – Designer Furniture Services, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Contractor – Thomas Sebold & Associates, Bloomfield Hills

Text by Khristi Zimmeth | Photography by Jeff Garland