French Accent

Modern meets touches of Old-World to create European beauty in this kitchen and master bath | Photography by Martin Vecchio
IN THE DETAILS This Birmingham home’s butler’s pantry has top-notch cabinetry, a collaboration between the designer and Maison Birmingham.

Mais oui, why not imbibe your home with a feeling about which you’re passionate? That’s what this family did when they planned their new French-inspired home. “The family travels quite a bit to France, and love everything French — the cuisine, the architecture, the culture,” says interior designer/architect Barbi Stalburg Kasoff, owner of Birmigham-based Stalburg Design. Kasoff joined Northville’s Joseph Mosey Architecture Inc. and Birmingham’s Brandywine Construction to turn out this design pièce de résistance.

Lovely French nuances wend their way through the custom-built Birmingham home. Those include exterior gas lanterns and aged bricks; honey-toned white oak flooring (custom-stained); oversize, large paneling (similar to old chateaus in France); high ceilings; a large photograph showcasing the family in front of the Arc de Triomphe; French doors; and honed white marble. “The homeowners, who have three children, wanted to emulate the design sense that they’ve seen and experienced in France,” Kasoff says. It’s pleasantly coincidental that Kasoff worked with Maison Birmingham (with its perfectly French name) as the cabinet designer of choice for much of the home. Entering the kitchen, the first thing one notices is an overwhelming sense of calm. Crisp white cabinetry, together with the white marble countertops and backsplash (from Ciot) provide a serene setting for elegant brass details and dollops of rich charcoals on the island and in pendant lighting. “Throughout the first floor, everything’s a palette of white with touches of black,” Kasoff explains. Kitchen details include a built-in Miele coffeemaker that’s flanked by a refrigerator and freezer.

OPPOSITES ATTRACT Newport Brass (kitchen faucets, pot filler, and hot/cold dispenser), a Blanco stainless steel sink, and Top Knobs Hardware (from Herald Wholesale in Troy) adorn the kitchen.

The cabinetry features a touch-latch option. Two sinks, two dishwashers, a head-turning hood, Lutron smart shades, and more round out the design. “We do more ‘kitchen zone’ planning than ‘kitchen triangles’ these days,” Kasoff says. “There’s a cleaning, prep, and cooking zone.” The pendant lighting’s charcoal color plays off the dark shade of the alder wood island. Century chairs pull up to the island, which includes plenty of storage for French candles and fine serving trays.

The master bathroom features “layers of privacy,” Kasoff notes. With a large dressing area, his closet, her closet, a linen closet, and a long hallway, it makes for quite a retreat area. In the bathroom, a freestanding soaking tub and an oversize shower room with two shower heads add a luxurious feel. A toilet room, a double vanity with deep drawers, Hudson Valley Lighting torches, heated floors, oversize marble tiles, a huge mirror concealing large medicine cabinets, and wallpaper by Fabricut (it’s a textured vinyl that “looks like a million bucks,” Kasoff says) create a stunning look. The space is “experienced like you’re in a regular room. You don’t see the toilet or the shower,” the designer says. The paint color is aptly called Moonshine (Benjamin Moore). Like this space, it’s simple, quiet, and Old-World fresh. Just as if you were in a very special French hotel.

MAGNIFIQUE! The master bath’s California Faucets are dreamy. They’re sourced from Universal Plumbing Supply in Oak Park. The torches are by Hudson Valley Lighting. Much of the lighting is from the Lighting Resource Studio at Michigan Design Center in Troy. The peaceful space overlooks Quarton Lake.

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