World-Class

Elements of Danish, French, Italian, and Turkish design mingle beautifully in this Ann Arbor home | Photography by Martin Vecchio
STAY AWHILE - The open family room is oh-so- inviting for family and friends with its clean, contemporary lines and welcoming color scheme.

Amsterdam residents and clients of interior designer Laura Zender needed to find a house in the United States, and they didn’t have a lot of time. “He (the husband) had taken a CEO job in the Ann Arbor area, so he and his family were looking in Ann Arbor and had a limited amount of time,” says Zender, who runs Ann Arbor-based Laura Zender Design. “It was hard to find what they wanted — a large, modern, updated home in the area,” she recalls. The couple ended up building a home in a Toll Brothers development on the edge of town, close to good schools for their two children.

“We spent just one day picking out all the finishes for a 6,000-square-foot home!” Zender says. Six months later, plans were started to make the home more suitable for the family. While they lived in a downtown Ann Arbor condominium throughout 2017, the homeowners worked with Zender and others to tweak the home’s design.

ARTISTRY IN DESIGN – An eclectic vibe fills the home. This little vignette, for example, located in the family room, features a comfy settee complemented by colorful artwork from the homeowners’ collection.

“We started with some of the standard finishes, but we knew we (wanted to change others),” Zender says. Some of the first must-do’s were to set up meetings with Scavolini, an Italian design company with a location at Michigan Design Center in Troy that’s focused mostly on kitchens and baths, and California Closets. “The couple wasn’t in a huge hurry at this point,” Zender recalls. After the year-long renovation was complete, they moved in; in 2019, they gave their lower level a face-lift. “They didn’t bring any furniture with them except their dining room set and some artwork,” Zender says.

It’s not surprising that the homeowners favor global design, as they’re originally from Istanbul. Furnishings come from around the world. Scavolini worked its magic in the bathrooms and kitchen, as well as the lower-level bar.

CONTEMPORARY CHIC – In the dining room, a large painting of the Amsterdam skyline intrigues.
CONTEMPORARY CHIC – Wood-clad countertops and matte black cabinetry in the kitchen make a chic statement.

In the kitchen and dining area, a large-scale Cercan porcelain tile installation looks like a stack of Italian newspapers. “It appears to be grasscloth, but isn’t,” Zender says. “You can read Italian words on it.” In the dining room, a large painting of the Amsterdam skyline turns heads. Smaller international touches also abound, like a tea towel from Istanbul that hangs in the guest bathroom.

With clean-lined appointments aplenty, Zender, whose own style is what she calls “eclectic and transitional, with lots of pattern and color,” says the home’s design is “about as modern as I get. The clients’ tastes truly come out in this home. This was an outlier for me, and I’m really happy with it.”

DINE IN – Sculpture, an unusual wall treatment, bright artwork, and stylish lighting pack a splendid punch in the breakfast room area.

Zender’s favorite room is the master bedroom. “There’s Moroccan-inspired tile on the bed wall and there’s a Moroccan feel that comes through,” the designer says. The bed, from Roche Bobois (French), and the Moooi light fixture (Danish) add to the exotic appeal. The wife’s favorite element in the house is the room’s tiled accent wall. “It works so well with the bed and light fixture,” she says. “It’s one of the most stunning rooms in the house.”

RIGHT AT HOME – An inviting blue accent chair in the living room makes the perfect reading spot. “I love the clean juxtaposition of the arc lamp with the traditional molding in this room,” says interior designer Laura Zender.

Another popular room is the kitchen. “The matte black cabinetry in the kitchen is so cool,” Zender says. With the Italian newspaper tile, the wood-clad countertop (which “warms up the space,” Zender says), and the copper light fixtures, the space is a mélange of intriguing materials.

The children (he’s 13 and she’s 8) adore the house, according to their mother. “They use every single corner of it,” she says. “Today my daughter picked up a book and a blanket, and sat on the blue accent chair in our family room to read. It’s so amazing to see how the kids use the different spaces in the house and what it means to them.”

Zender and the CEO’s wife worked very closely from the beginning. “She’s in advertising and marketing, and very creative. She came to the design process with a mood board, and was focused and knew the color story from the get-go. She’s talented and thinks broadly,” Zender says. For example, she wanted to do interesting things with tile, installations that you don’t normally see. Says the wife: “I loved working with Laura. She is an amazing designer and a wonderful person. We had a lot of fun together, and dealt with the unexpected surprises that are always part of the adventure.”

RIGHT AT HOME – Moroccan-inspired tile on the bed wall in the master bedroom is a standout.
RIGHT AT HOME – Scavolini’s furnishings rate as A-plus in the luxe master bath.

“At one point, the relationship turned and the homeowner would bring me samples and ask me which one I wanted to pick. I would joke, ‘You’re being the designer!’ ” laughs Zender, adding that she cherished this assignment and, in fact, has become good friends with the homeowners.

“I learned a lot about the world from my clients,” Zender says.


BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGN
Laura Zender Design, Ann Arbor, laurazenderdesign.com

BAR
Bar Stools – Emery Armless Bar Stool, Restoration Hardware
Cabinets – Scavolini Store Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Countertop – Absolute Granite with Woodgrain Finish, Pascucci Marble & Granite, Wixom
Faucet – Franke, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Ann Arbor
Lighting – Seed Design, Lightology
Ovens – Whirlpool, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Sink – Blanco, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Ann Arbor
Wall Treatment – Milieu Collection, Beaver Tile & Stone, Farmington Hills
Wine Rack – wineracks.com

TILE STYLE – ”The homeowner wanted to do interesting things with tile that you don’t normally see, like in the guest bath,” says designer Laura Zender. Here, a wall of tile is a magnificent backdrop. The wallpaper on the adjoining wall is Eskayel, Walnut.

BATHROOM, GUEST
Cabinets – MJ Kitchen & Bath, Plymouth
Countertop – Quartz, MJ Kitchen & Bath, Plymouth
Faucets – Hansgrohe, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Ann Arbor
Mirror – Scavolini Store Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sinks – MJ Kitchen & Bath, Plymouth
Towel – Mudo Concept, Istanbul, Turkey
Vase – CB2
Wall Treatment – Eskayel, Walnut Wallpaper
Wall Treatment (mirror wall) – Organic Rug Teak, Beaver Tile & Stone, Farmington Hills

BATHROOM, MASTER
Artwork – Long Branch One by Kate Roebuck, Artfully Walls
Bathtub – Kohler, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Cabinetry – Scavolini Store Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Ceiling Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Extra White 7006
Faucets – Hansgrohe, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Ann Arbor
Flooring – Linden Grigio, Ceramic Tile, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Lighting, Ceiling – Viso, YLighting
Mirrors – Scavolini Store Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sconces – Estiluz, YLighting
Vases – Ikea, Canton
Wall Stone – Stacked Ledger Stone, Glacier, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor

BEDROOM, MASTER
Bed Frame and Headboard – Fantasq Bed, Roche Bobois, Birmingham
Bedside Chests – Greydon, Restoration Hardware, Troy
Ceiling Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Gauntlet Grey 7019
Chandelier – Moooi, YLighting
Comforter – Herringbone, BoConcept
Flooring – Mohawk Hardwood, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Pillows, Accent – Herringbone, BoConcept
Sconces – RH Modern Languedoc, Restoration Hardware, Troy
Wall Treatment – Mosaic Tile, Beaver Tile & Stone, Farmington Hills
Window Shades – Allure Transitional Shades, Esquire Interiors, Ann Arbor

BREAKFAST AREA
Artwork – Regardez-moi, Mélan, Galerie d’art Beauchamp
Buffet Cabinet – White Hall, Restoration Hardware, Troy
Centerpiece – Plum Market, Ann Arbor
Chairs, Dining – Lausanne, BoConcept, Birmingham
Dinnerware – CB2
Flooring – Mohawk Hardwood, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Lamp – Fabbian, YLighting
Sculpture – Peter Nash
Table – Granada, BoConcept
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Agreeable Gray 7029
Wall Tile – Sand Strie, Cercan Tile Inc., Michigan Design Center, Troy

DOWN BELOW – Heading down to the lower level is like entering an art gallery. Stair renovations included installing tempered glass.

DINING ROOM
Artwork – Marieke Bekke, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Buffet Cabinet – Castelijn Meubelen, Hulshoff Design Centers
Chairs, Dining – Lausanne, BoConcept
Flooring – Mohawk Hardwood, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Lighting, Table – Foscarini, YLighting
Table – Castelijn Meubelen, Hulshoff Design Centers
Sconces – Foscarini, YLighting
Vases – Woonmall, Villa ArenA
Wall Treatment – Lori Weitzner, Beguile, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

FAMILY ROOM
Artwork – Chateau Frontenac, Suzanne Claveau
Chair, Accent – Athena, BoConcept
Chandelier – Moooi, YLighting
Drapery – Esquire Interiors, Ann Arbor
Fireplace – Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Floor Lamp – Roche Bobois, Birmingham
Footstool – Athena, BoConcept
Rug – Madrigal, Restoration Hardware, Troy
Sofas – Roche Bobois, Birmingham
Table, Coffee – Round Sphere, Restoration Hardware, Troy
Table, Occasional – Montèl
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Agreeable Gray 7029
Wall Treatment (fireplace) – Stacked Ledger Stone, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Window Shades – Light-Filtering Roller Shades, Cloud, The Shade Store

KITCHEN
Cabinetry – Scavolini Store Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Countertop – Zodiac, Graphite Quartz, Pascucci Marble & Granite, Wixom
Flooring – Mohawk Hardwood, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Lighting – Haleigh Pendants, Rejuvenation
Oven and Hood – Miele, Scavolini Store Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Sink – Blanco, Silgranit, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery, Ann Arbor
Wall Treatment – Sand Strie, Cercan Tile Inc., Michigan Design Center, Troy

SIP IN STYLE – Scavolini Store Detroit put the magic touch on the lower level bar, while interior designer Laura Zender and the homeowners fashioned the tile installations for the wall.

LIVING ROOM
Armchair – Otis Swivel, Room and Board
Floor Lamp – B-Spline LED, BoConcept
Flooring – Mohawk Hardwood, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Rug – Rondo Cowskin, BoConcept
Table, Occasional – Diamond Table, BoConcept
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Dovetail 7018
Wall Treatment – Lori Weitzner, Beguile, Tennant & Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Window Shade – Light-Filtering Roller Shades, Prince, The Shade Store

SITTING AREA
Artwork – African Lady, Ronald Edens, ArtFusion Galerie
Bench – Diamond Ottoman, Article
Flooring – Mohawk Hardwood, Toll Brothers, Ann Arbor
Table, Side – Diamond Table, BoConcept
Vase – Co Van Der Horst
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Agreeable Gray 7029

STAIRWAY
Artwork – Giclee Print, Gorman’s Furniture
Bench – CB2, Chicago, “Tufted Suede”
Flooring – Tuscany Home Sand Stone, Luxury Vinyl Plank, Timeless Designs
Ottoman – Wayfair
Sconces – Champeaux Sconce, Restoration Hardware, Troy
Stairway – Budd’s General Contracting, Milan
Wall Paint – Sherwin-Williams, Rainstorm 6230

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS
Builder – Toll Brothers, several locations
Contractor – Budd’s General Contracting, Milan
Closets, Master and Laundry Room – California Closets, Michigan Design Center, Troy
Photo Styling – Emily Schoen, Ann Arbor

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