Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

When Janet Vallee was contemplating purchasing a two-bedroom condominium at The Marina Village in idyllic Harbor Springs, near other family members, she called Sharon Kory of Sharon Kory Interiors in Birmingham.

Sitting on the Dock of the BayWhen Janet Vallee was contemplating purchasing a two-bedroom condominium at The Marina Village in idyllic Harbor Springs, near other family members, she called Sharon Kory of Sharon Kory Interiors in Birmingham. Kory was the designer for Vallee’s primary residence in Birmingham, and if Vallee decided to purchase the northern getaway, Kory would again be her interior designer of choice. Three years later, Vallee drops anchor regularly at the pretty northwest Michigan  home with its eclectic style that merges organic and textured with contemporary and minimal.

“Clearly, the spectacular view and setting are the focal points,” Kory says of the condominium, which is situated right on Walstrom Marine, where a variety of colorful boats bob dockside amid cerulean blue waters. “Our goal was to create an escape that’s relaxing — nothing pretentious and nothing formal; in fact, a lot like Janet.”

When Kory and Vallee set to work on the project, they decided they would keep the kitchen and all the flooring as they were. Then they painted all of the walls with Sherwin-Williams’ Pure White — a perfect backdrop, Kory says, for showcasing Vallee’s intriguing art collection. “Janet loves quality and sophistication,” Kory says. “She’s a minimalist at heart, and ‘less is more’ is how she thinks.”

The homeowner’s discerning eye was captivated by Iranian photographer Pezhman (now living in Atlanta), so she purchased several of his black-and-white photographs from the Art Leaders Gallery in West Bloomfield. In various sizes and shapes, and all framed in white wood, they hang along the living room wall and dining-area wall. “Each plays into Janet’s desire to have a natural, organic theme running through the home,” Kory says of the works.

“We knew the one long wall in the living room and dining and kitchen areas was going to be crucial to everything else,” Vallee recalls. “After deciding on Pezhman and laying out the pieces, we (selected) the sofa and white leather chairs.” A word about those white leather chairs: The designer very precisely describes a room’s often-indescribable appealing refinements as  “drops of eclecticism,”  and that would be those chairs, among other expressive elements.

“You don’t expect to see modern, white swivel chairs or, say, a cowhide rug in the living room, among the other pieces, but together they all just work,” Kory says. “These touches of modern aren’t in keeping with the rest of the space, but it’s what makes an interior eclectic and inviting.” Adds Vallee: “After we first saw the white swivel chair, we thought, why not get two? You can swivel to view the harbor, kitchen, or fireplace.”

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Guest Room
In the guest room, banana tree shades (Conrad), a Palacek bamboo bed, rattan nightstands, and a bench made of reclaimed wood from Interlude Home create organic beauty. When homeowner Janet Vallee and designer Sharon Kory first saw the colors and the title of the painting (“Morning Sail”), they knew exactly where they’d hang it. Discovered at the Tvedten Fine Art Gallery in Harbor Springs, the mixed-media piece is by Ginnie Cappaert.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Master Bedroom
The master bedroom features an iron floor lamp from Arteriors and a bench from Century. The rug is from Ghiordes Knot in the Michigan Design Center, Troy. One of its best assets, of course, is the beckoning harbor outside the window. Both rooms have bed linens from A Touch of Lace in Bloomfield Hills.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Living Room
Art to Dine By – “We chose a glass tabletop because it kept an open feel,” Vallee says. “The contemporary wooden base blended perfectly. When we found the gray leather dining chairs (Roche Bobois), we knew we had hit a home run.” On top are a Cenedese Scavo blue vase, designed by Antonio Ros, circa 1975; and a Cenedese Murano Scavo bowl. Iranian photographer Pezhman (now living in Atlanta), took the photos that line Vallee’s living room/dining room wall. A Charleston Forge rectangular coffee table in the living room is a favorite piece.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Stairs
At the foot of the stairs, an oil-on-paper painting by DeeAnne Wagner, called “Hand Stand,” draws you in; the boy in red swim trunks amid turquoise-y blues looks right at home. “It was instant love,” Vallee recalls of the first time she saw the painting, discovered at the aforementioned Tvedten Fine Art Gallery. “It adds a splash of color and a whimsical feel, but doesn’t fight with any of the other pieces.” Nearby is an old wooden oar, discovered at Judy Frankel Antiques in Troy. “We needed something vertical in that space,” Kory explains. To the right is the backside of the ledge stone fireplace.

More well-placed pieces include an oil-on-paper painting by DeeAnne Wagner. Called “Hand Stand,” the artwork hangs at the foot of the stairs. The subject, a boy in red swim trunks amid turquoise-y blues, looks right at home. “It was instant love,” Vallee recalls of the first time she saw the painting, discovered at the Tvedten Fine Art Gallery in Harbor Springs. “It adds a splash of color and a whimsical feel, but doesn’t fight with any of the other pieces.” Nearby is an old wooden oar spotted at Judy Frankel Antiques in Troy. “We needed something vertical in that space,” Kory explains. The rustic oar evokes on-the-spot lakeside appeal.

There are other hints throughout the home that this getaway is, indeed, situated on water and is just steps from one of Michigan’s prettiest beach towns. Colorful glass vases, for example, from Judy Frankel Antiques, appear like pops of sculptural sea glass on the dining room table.

A strong sense of texture mixed with raw, natural materials also plays a main role.  Sisal rugs, special antiques, grass blinds, and metal finishes create waves of stylish distinction. Upon entering the home, visitors are met with a metal desk featuring an industrial look, which is “in keeping with the natural finishes and raw style,” Kory explains. “Wood is great, but we didn’t want it to be all wood — nor did we want a formal look. That desk is a wonderful spot for keeping boat keys and things like that.” The two also did “a lot of antiquing,” Kory recalls — some items  are from Vallee’s home in Birmingham. “That changes things up; items get new life when you move them from different spaces.” (Not to mention different homes!)

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Shop Desk
The Kalamazoo Riverprint Sarreid shop desk, from RJ Thomas, is paired with a rustic drafting stool. The wood bench is an antique, purchased at the Michigan Design Center in Troy.

[caption id="attachment_24063" align="aligncenter" width="724"] Colorful ConceptA lot of natural light, a curving staircase, bold accents, and unique furnishings make the family room in this Bloomfield Hills home extraordinary.[/caption]Never judge a book by its cover, the old adage advises. That goes for houses, as well, says Bloomfield Hills interior designer Linda Powers, who recently worked with Royal Oak-based architect Tamas Von Staden on a house that proves the point.From the street, the handsome 1920s stucco-and-brick English cottage-style residence in Bloomfield Hills looks like many homes found throughout metro Detroit’s older suburbs. Step inside, however, and a surprise awaits — a curving staircase, contemporary millwork, and bold modern art. “It’s very eye-catching, and a taste of what you’ll find in the rest of the house,” says the designer, who runs Linda Powers Interiors.[gallery ids="24054,24033,24042"]That combination of old and new is exactly what the homeowners and Powers had in mind, and it’s a theme found throughout the approximately 6,000-square-foot house, which was purchased in 2016.The original part of the house was built in 1924 and the ensuing years saw many updates, including an approximately 2,500-square-foot 2007 addition that doubled the home’s original size and added a two-story family room to the back of the house. While they were pleased with some of the changes, the current owners believed the second-floor layout was awkward and didn’t live up to the space’s potential. “There were few closets and an odd master bedroom configuration,” they explain. “We gutted the second level to create a large master bedroom suite.” The couple says they brought Powers in from the beginning because “she has an amazing eye for design and detail.”[caption id="attachment_24051" align="aligncenter" width="595"] Fashion-Forward A chic office space features marble tile (Paris Ceramics) and a white leather Knoll chair.[/caption]Powers, who also worked with the homeowners on a previous residence, says: “Finally, they said if they were going to keep redoing (their former home) to get what they wanted, they might as well move.” The new master suite includes an expanded master bedroom, a relaxed sitting area, and a spacious custom en-suite bath. Another part of the second floor includes three guest bedrooms designed to accommodate the homeowners’ adult children when they visit. It’s divided from the master by a central staircase that leads upstairs from the family room, offering both areas privacy.[gallery columns="2" size="medium" ids="24066,24030"]Besides renovating the second floor, the homeowners made cosmetic changes to the main level that maintained its original floor plan but improved upon it. A screened-in sun porch was converted to an office by adding all-season windows and a marble floor. It’s now joined to the home office by a newly installed door. A large mudroom borrowed some space from the outside, and offers useful storage options near the kitchen.Saturated jewel tones and a deft mix of classic and contemporary define both the renovated and original interiors. “The whole house is unexpected,” Powers says. Examples include dramatic artwork by Alex Katz and Cassina accent chairs placed near an ornate original fireplace and grand piano in the living room, a futuristic sideboard by Piero Lissoni for Glas Italia, and a traditional dining table in the dining room. In the two-story family room, two French mirrors circa 1860, which come from a previous residence, were hung to reflect a large contemporary chandelier by Moooi Herculaneum. Most of the furniture is custom or Italian, the designer points out.[gallery ids="24039,24024,24045"]The project took about nine months to complete. While the whole house draws compliments, Powers says one of the most spectacular improvements can be found outside. A new swimming pool, deck, and mirrored pool house have been the envy of the neighborhood, Powers says, adding that the homeowners entertain outdoors in season. “The pool house looks like a piece of sculpture,” she says. “People really flip out when they see it.”[caption id="attachment_24021" align="alignnone" width="800"] DreamyThe new master suite includes an expanded master bedroom. The enchanting wallpaper is from France-based Zuber.[/caption]Future plans include redoing the kitchen — the wife is an avid cook, baker, and certified chocolatier — but until then, the couple is happily enjoying their upgraded living spaces. Their only regret, the wife says, is that they couldn’t figure out a way to add an additional bathroom to the first floor, which has just one powder room. “Unfortunately there just wasn’t space,” she says.The designer admits to being partial to the new master suite, but says she likes everything about the house and believes the renovation “makes the house the best of both worlds.” The happy homeowners say the original charm and character that first attracted them have been enhanced by the changes. “There’s a lot of natural light and beautiful views of the landscaping, and the new flow is also excellent,” they say, “but maybe the best thing is that now we really live in every room.”[gallery ids="24018,24072,24036"]BUYER’S GUIDE INTERIOR DESIGNER Linda Powers, Linda Powers Interiors, Bloomfield Hills, lindapowersinteriors.comBATHROOM, MASTER Backsplash – Mirrored Tile, Lucian Metallic, Ann Sacks, Michigan Design Center, Troy Bathtub – Marble, Paris Ceramics Chair, Vanity – Alain Clear Side Chair with Tibetan Fur, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Countertop – Custom, Thanos Marble, PMP Marble & Granite, Troy Decorative Wall – Vinyl Metalworks Collection in Lacquered Silver, Phillip Jeffries, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy Hardware – Designer Doorware Lighting, Suspension – Universe Grande, Jan Pauwels, ddc Masks – Toro Masks in Murano Glass, Aristide Najean, Leclaireur Los Angeles Vanities – Custom, Walnut Burl Veneer, Joe DeLude, Cabinet One Inc., Clarkston Wall Treatment – Chinois Palais, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, TroyBATHROOM, POWDER ROOM Sliding Door –Thomas Sebold & Associates Inc., Bloomfield Hills Vanity – Glass-top Floating Vanity Vases – Porcelain, Handmade, Hudson, NY Wall Treatment – Poppies Noir, Wayne Pate, Studio Four NYCBEDROOM, MASTER Artwork – Lithographs, David Hockney Ceiling Treatment – Custom, Venetian Plaster with High Gloss, Thomas Sebold & Associates Inc., Bloomfield Hills Flooring – Carpet, Marc Phillips Rugs Lighting, Bedside Lamps – Hinson Lighting, Ceiling Pendants – John Pomp Studios Lighting, Decorative – Ortenzia, Bruno Rainaldi, Terzani Nightstands – Manning Nightstands, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Wall Treatment – Custom, ZuberBEDROOM, MASTER, SITTING ROOM Artwork – Daniel Borden Floor Lamp – Multi-Globe, France & Son Mirrors – Custom, Chris Lehrecke Ottoman – Blue Corduroy, Romo, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy Shelving, Floating – Joe DeLude, Cabinet One Inc., Clarkston Vases – Aldo Londi for Bitossi Ceramiche, Leclaireur Los Angeles Wall Unit – Custom, White Oak RiftBREAKFAST ROOM Chairs, Dining – Saarinen in White Leather, Knoll Table, Dining – Tense, ddcDINING ROOM Cabinet, Display – Commodore Glass Sideboard, Piero Lissoni, Glas Italia Chairs, Green – “IS-A” Chairs, Isabella Genovese, ddc; Custom Upholstery Vase – Gilbert ValentinDRESSING ROOM Lighting, Pendant – New Monarch, Vermont Modern Wall Treatment and Cushion – Custom, Butterfly Parade, Designers GuildFAMILY ROOM Benches – Hadley, Oly Studio Chandelier – Moooi Heracleum Coffee Table – George in White Shell Top, Oly Studio Lounge Chair with Ottoman – Blake, Minotti Ottoman – Hive, B&B Italia Pillows, Accent – Quill, Osborne & Little, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy Rug – Tufty, Laureline Galliot, Nodus Rugs Sofa – Standard Sofa by Francesco Binfaré, ddc; Custom Upholstered in India, Velour, India MahdaviHALLWAY Artwork – Lithographs, Julian Opie Bench – Tuxedo Bench, Herman Miller Chandelier – Flush-Mount Chandelier, 1stDibsLIVING ROOM Artwork – White Roses by Alan Katz Barstools – Ochre Chair, Green Accent – Caleb, Angora Chair, White Accent – Tre Pezzi, Cassina Lighting, Ceiling – Starburst, Emil Stejnar, Rupert Nikoll Lighting, Floor Lamps – Thornton, Circa Lighting, Antiqued Brass Finish Pedestal – Lucite, Custom Rug – Pont Rug, Alexander McQueen, The Rug Co. Sconces – Triendri in Venini Green Stripe Sculpture –Granzioli X Vessel in Silver by Fabio Micucci, Ralph Pucci Table, Coffee – Paul M. Jones Collection, John Boone Table, End – Duck Bill in Stained-Black Oak, Julian ChichesterMUDROOM Chest – Ponti, Bungalow 5 Flooring – Custom, Mosaic Mercantile Hardware – Matte Black, Kartners Mirror – Mirror Image Home[caption id="attachment_24057" align="alignnone" width="800"] Mixing Old & NewThe 1920s stucco-and-brick English-style residence has lots of surprises inside and out.[/caption]OFFICE Cart – Kartell in Opaline Cobalt Blue Chair, White – Pollock Executive Chair in White Leather, Knoll Desk – 1950s Antique French Desk Desk Top – Leather, Ebury Trading Ltd., London, UK Flooring – Marble Tile, Paris Ceramics Lounge Chair and Ottoman – White Leather, Jehs+Laub, KnollPOOLHOUSE Chaise Lounges and Dining Chairs – Richard Schultz Table, Dining – Viking Table, Sutherland Furniture Umbrellas – TuuciSTAIRCASE/BENEATH Statue – Giacomo PiussiSTAIRCASE/TOP Artwork – L’Onde Bleue, Anne-Lise Coste, Susanne Hilberry Gallery Chandelier – Bug Eye Bauble, Kenneth Nilson, Profiles NY Railing – Custom, Lankton Metal Design Runner – Wallbridge Collection, Stark Carpet, TroyADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS Architect –Tamas Von Staden, Von Staden Architects, Royal Oak Builder – Thomas Sebold & Associates Inc., Bloomfield Hills Design Assistant – Christina Clark Pool – American Pool Services, Southfield

The bedroom décor is as peaceful and relaxing as the sounds of water lapping against the docked boats outside. Above the guestroom bed, a mixed-media painting by Ginnie Cappaert that highlights sky, water, and sailboats —  discovered at the aforementioned Tvedten Fine Art Gallery — draws one in to its liquid depths and pretty sails. Rattan and bamboo furnishings and grass shades that possess a unique fiber and texture create a distinctly natural look. The bench at the foot of the bed is made of reclaimed wood, and a simple starfish adorns each bedside lamp — small reminders of coastal bliss. The master bedroom also features a blend of organic textures that blend seamlessly with the harbor outside its window.

Kory loves that Vallee was such a big part of the process. “We chose items with great care and enthusiasm,” Kory says. “It’s a pleasure working with her, because she gets involved.”

Outdoors, a lovely patio beckons the homeowner and her friends and family, who gather there to take in the dockside vistas. Sitting amid terry cloth-like cushions (they’re as orange as the west Michigan sun at sunset), Vallee and her pals soak up just about every drop of Michigan’s summer.

“Every time we go Up North,” Vallee says, “we know we’re heading to a special place.”

Sitting on the Dock of the Bay - Courtyard
The front courtyard welcomes with a bistro table and chairs, plant containers brimming with color, and twinkling lights.
Sharon Kory and Janet Vallee
Mission Accomplished — Interior designer Sharon Kory and homeowner Janet Vallee take a well-deserved rest outside Vallee’s condominium.

Elements of Style

Various materials, from wood to metal to banana tree strips, come together to create an inviting — and textural— waterside retreat

Garrett Leather
Capelli specialty hair-on-hide rug in living room is in “Van Gogh Spiga Gold,” to the trade, Garrett Leather,
Conrad Shades
The guestroom shade is Conrad Shade’s “Sulawesi.” Strips from banana trees are randomly woven in hues of dark tobacco, wheat, and straw, alternating with thin, manila–colored strands, to the trade, Conrad Shades,
Warehouse table
This Warehouse table (and an end table) are similar to the designer’s picks, except she chose a distressed, whitewashed top. The table was discontinued, but it’s available through custom orders at,
"Ella" lamp
The “Ella” lamp in the master bedroom has a linen shade and hand-carved wood flowers, $540,
Indian petal stone bowl
Indian petal stone bowl handcarved of bluestone, $369, Restoration Hardware, Somerset Collection, Troy,

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