True Blue

Sensitive updates and keeping the best of the past help a Mid-century Modern residence live in the present
Modern Makeover: The 1961 Bloomfield Hills home designed by architect William Ku has undergone a beautiful transformation
MODERN MAKEOVER: The 1961 Bloomfield Hills home designed by architect William Ku has undergone a beautiful transformation – Photography by Jeff Garland

William Ku may not be among the better-known Mid-century Modern architects, but his credentials are nonetheless impressive. Born in Shanghai, China, in 1922, he earned two master’s degrees in architecture and served as vice president and chief designer at Minoru Yamasaki and Associates, where he was named president after Yamasaki’s 1986 death.

A Bloomfield Hills residence that designer Staci A. Meyers recently renovated is among Ku’s early works, according to the homeowners.

EASY LIVING: The open living room is full of light, thanks to many large windows.
EASY LIVING: The open living room is full of light, thanks to many large windows. – Photography by Jeff Garland

Built in 1961, it’s a roomy 4,800 square feet, with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths as well as a “big, beautiful lot and a lot of glass.”

The homeowners had long admired Mid-century architecture. After living in a variety of architectural styles through the years, including soft contemporary and French Norman, they were intent on finding an authentic Mid-century Modern house when they decided to downsize.

A lower-level family room offers plenty of space.
A lower-level family room offers plenty of space.- Photography by Jeff Garland

Their dream came true in 2019, when they purchased the low-slung property on a spacious tree-lined lot. The plan was to jump in and renovate immediately, they explain, and “keep the integrity of the architecture itself and not change it, yet add light and brighten it up inside.”

What's Cookin': The team removed a wall in the kitchen to open the space to the nearby dining room, and added a long island perfect for cooking and entertaining.
WHAT’S COOKIN’?: The team removed a wall in the kitchen to open the space to the nearby dining room, and added a long island perfect for cooking and entertaining.

The couple hired Meyers, who’s based in Bloomfield Hills and runs S|A|M Interiors, to help them achieve their goals. The designer says she jumped at the chance. “The house is wonderful; it really just needed updates,” Meyers says. “The best part is the pure architecture of the structure and the windows, which are floor-to-ceiling throughout the house, so there’s a lot of natural light. There’s also a good floor plan, with the private areas being truly private. The house has an intimacy, yet also feels grand and exciting.”

True Blue: Dining Table - Detroit Design Magazine Fall 2022 -

That’s not to say there wasn’t room for improvement. “Their main focus was the kitchen. It had been remodeled within the past 10 years, but it was really closed off and had a triangle in the middle,” Meyers explains of the original space. That wouldn’t do for the new homeowners, who have a big family and love to cook. Fixing the kitchen quickly became the top priority, the designer says. She suggested taking down a wall to open the space to the nearby dining room, and adding a long island perfect for making the wife’s signature homemade noodles and cannelloni with her four children and two grandchildren. “We wanted to open it up to make the whole space feel more updated,” Meyers explains.

True Blue: Laundry Room - Detroit Design Magazine Fall 2022


The cabinetry in the powder room and laundry was also replaced. The original laundry was “shoved in the back, by the guest room,” Meyers says, so new laundry space was added to an existing wall of narrow closets that was expanded into the garage.

True Blue: Staircase - Detroit Design Magazine Fall 2022


They also borrowed space from the original guest room, to create a larger master closet. Outdated flooring throughout the house was replaced, and the team removed dated built-ins and carpet in the spacious master suite. “We left the architectural beams because they were original, but otherwise brightened everything up,” Meyers says. They left the office alone, she adds, but updated the foyer, adding a display niche for the homeowners’ Lalique glass collection.

Getting Organized: Shadows cast from the ET2 lighting fixture from Pine Tree Lighting in Lake Orion create a unique pattern on the ceiling. There’s a place for just about everything in this stylish dressing room/closet.
GETTING ORGANIZED: Shadows cast from the ET2 lighting fixture from Pine Tree Lighting in Lake Orion create a unique pattern on the ceiling. There’s a place for just about everything in this stylish dressing room/closet. – Photography by Jeff Garland

The pandemic slowed the process down, but both the designer and homeowners are pleased with the results now that the renovation is complete. The husband, who’s retired from commercial construction, served as the project manager and “loved doing it” despite the delays, his wife says. “Luckily we had ordered the appliances and everything before Covid shortages got crazy,” she explains.

The living room has space for an accommodating game table, where family and friends often gather. Another perspective of the kitchen. The bright blue tile echoes the living room’s colors.
BLUE HUES: The living room has space for an accommodating game table, where family and friends often gather. Another perspective of the kitchen. The bright blue tile echoes the living room’s colors. – Photography by Jeff Garland

Meyers says her favorite space in the house is the great room and kitchen area. “It’s such a wonderful place to entertain,” she says, adding, “elegant or casual, it fits both.”

Splashes of blue throughout — including the kitchen’s eye-catching oven area and the living room’s sofa — are a nod to the wife’s favorite hue. “We wanted a color that would make her smile,” Meyers says of their choice. “The house is now a good reflection of the owner and what she loves.”

True Blue - vibrant kitchen featured in Detroit Design Magazine Fall 2022



BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Staci A. Meyers, S|A|M Interiors, Bloomfield Hills,
s-a-m-interiors.com


FEATURED BUSINESSES

EW Kitchens, Cabinets – Kitchen, Laundry Room, locations in Troy and Wixom, ewkitchens.com. For more information on this company,

Virginia Tile Co., Backsplash – Kitchen, Flooring – Laundry Room, locations in Farmington Hills, Livonia and Troy, virginiatile.com. For more information on this company,

Wolf / Sub-Zero, Refrigerator, Stove and Hood – Kitchen, Auburn Hills, subzero-wolf.com. For more information on this company,


BEDROOM, MASTER

Armchair and Ottoman – Lazar Industries
Bed Frame – Precedent
Chandelier – ET2
Drapery – Custom, Designed by S|A|M Interiors, Bloomfield Hills, Paolina’s Custom Draperies, Sterling Heights
Flooring – Stanton

DINING ROOM

Chairs – Custom, Designed by S|A|M Interiors, Bloomfield Hills, Universal Furniture
Flooring – Viking Flooring
Table – Bontempi Casa
Wall Color – Sherwin-Williams, Crushed Ice

HALLWAY

Artwork, Flowers – Laurie Tennent Botanicals
Display Shelving – Custom, S|A|M Interiors, Bloomfield Hills
Flooring – Viking Flooring
Wall Color – Sherwin-Williams, Crushed Ice

GOOD NIGHT(S) - Soothing colors in the master bedroom ensure restful nights.
GOOD NIGHT(S): Soothing colors in the master bedroom ensure restful nights. – Photography by Jeff Garland

KITCHEN

Backsplash – Sonoma, Virginia Tile Co., Troy; Designed by S|A|M Interiors
Bar Lighting – Besa Lighting, Pine Tree Lighting, Lake Orion
Bar Stools – Vanguard Furniture
Cabinetry (White) – Custom, Designed by S|A|M Interiors, Bloomfield Hills; AYR Cabinet Co.; Fabricated by EW Kitchens, Troy
Cabinetry (Wooden) – Custom, Designed by S|A|M Interiors; Fabricated by EW Kitchens, Troy
Countertop – LumaLuxe
Flooring – Viking
Refrigerator – Sub-Zero, Witbeck Home Appliance Mart, West Bloomfield
Stove and Hood – Wolf, Witbeck Home Appliance Mart, West Bloomfield
Wall Color – Sherwin-Williams, Crushed Ice

LAUNDRY ROOM

Cabinetry – Custom, Designed by S|A|M Interiors, Bloomfield Hills,Yorktown; Fabricated by EW Kitchens, Troy
Flooring – Caesar Ceramics, Virginia Tile Co., Troy
Wall Color – Sherwin-Williams, Crushed Ice
Wallpaper – Thibaut, Rozmallin, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Washing Machine and Dryer – Maytag

LIVING ROOM

Area Rug – Nourison
Armchair and Ottoman – CR Laine
Artwork – Antonio Molinari
Coffee and Occasional Table, Sofa – Stone International
Console Table – John Richard
Dining Chairs – Precedent
Dining Table – Zuo Modern
Flooring – Viking Flooring
Occasional Table, Armchair – Universal Furniture
Sectional Sofa – CR Laine

LOWER LEVEL

Table, Console – Universal
Table, Occasional/Armchair – Hooker Furniture
Stools, Counter – Johnston Casuals

WALK-IN CLOSET

Chandelier – ET2, Pine Tree Lighting, Lake Orion
Flooring – Stanton

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTOR

Cabinets – EW Kitchens, Troy



Text by Khristi Zimmeth & Photography by Jeff Garland

Facebook Comments