When Justin Sharer, owner of Sharer Design Group, embarked on a Huntington Woods kitchen makeover last year, he knew he needed to get it finished in time for a special event. One of the homeowners’ children was getting married and the goal was to create a kitchen that could accommodate special gatherings near the wedding date.
Sharer’s company, whose showroom is based in Plymouth, oversees everything from kitchen and bath remodels to whole-home renovations. He works with his own team of in-house designers or, as in this case, an interior designer who’s already working with the homeowners.
“My goal was to provide a smart use of space that was functional, with modern conveniences and a personal connection to my clients’ lives and their passion for cooking, art, and entertainment,” says Carmen Segasser, owner of Casha Design in Troy. “We discussed the placement of spices, cookware, and serving pieces for entertaining to determine things like the location of drawers and types of cabinetry.”
“The former kitchen was very tight, very small,” Sharer adds. Homeowner Julie Robertson had a goal of “opening up the floor plan with a large island (the new one is 4.5 by 10 feet) for lots of seating,” he recalls. “A kitchen wall needed to come down, and we needed to redesign the entire space and make it fit their lifestyle.”
“We renovated the kitchen and added a family room several years after purchasing the house,” Robertson explains. “We loved what was done at that time, and enjoyed cooking and entertaining in it for many years.” But, she says, the kitchen began to feel dated, so the couple wanted to refresh and modernize it using lighter colors.
My goal was to provide a smart use of space that was functional, with modern conveniences and a personal connection to my clients’ lives and their passion for cooking, art, and entertainment.
— Carmen Segasser
Sharer selected Bakes & Kropp cabinetry, made in the Bakes & Kropp facility in Mount Clemens, for the project. Sharer Design Group is the cabinetry’s exclusive dealer in Michigan. The cabinetry is painted white with accents of the same walnut wood found in the island, hood, serving trays, and refrigerator panel inlays. The walnut used for the hood, island, refrigerator panels, and pull-out serving trays is stained a color called “Cabernet.”
The serving trays are designed into the kitchen’s bar area, so “when you’re entertaining, you just slide the trays out and use them to serve drinks on,” Sharer explains. The custom-designed and fabricated Bakes & Kropp wood and polished-nickel range hood also impresses.
The backsplash selection features an Egyptian design. “It was ultimately my favorite part of the kitchen,” Segasser says. “I saw the backsplash as a piece of art in and of itself.” The cut pattern on the marble has lotus flowers, which represent rebirth. “The cream cabinetry with walnut wood insets was the perfect complement, creating a traditional and timeless space. It was a true rebirth of the kitchen!”
As for working with Sharer and Segasser, Robertson gives rave reviews. “We’ve worked with Carmen in the past, and have such trust in her and her understanding of what we like, and her exquisite taste,” Robertson says. “Carmen had recommended Justin, and he and his firm were exactly as billed; they put together a great design, used high-quality materials, and worked according to a schedule set in advance, which we greatly appreciated.”
Finished in time for the wedding (“it took us about 12 weeks,” Sharer says), the kitchen meets everyone’s goals. “It has worked well through a post-wedding brunch, a holiday Sicilian Feast of the Seven Fishes, and a couples’ bridal shower,” Robertson says. “We look forward to the day when we can enjoy having another party!”