Earthly Delights

A look at a landscape architect’s practical-and-pretty kitchen and baths // Photography by Werner Straube
This home features a kitchen and powder room that reflect its botanical-loving owner perfectly. Nature-related touches include floral fabrics and wallpaper, a twig-and-berry backsplash, and wood accents.

Amy and Jason Squires and their three children needed more space after enjoying several years in a quaint Heritage Hill-area home in Grand Rapids. Construction began on a new family home in Ada in 2019.

“She’s a landscape architect and this home provides a great space for gardening, raising chickens, and for her to expand and enjoy her sense of creativity,” says interior designer Deidre Remtema, right, of Deidre Interiors in Grand Rapids. “The homeowners didn’t want it to look brand-new because they love historic homes, and they didn’t want anything matchy-matchy or contrived.” The astute designer mixed different wood tones, metal finishes, and countertop materials to create a very eclectic look. “It’s warm, inviting, and comfortable,” Remtema says. Lorenz & Co. of Grand Rapids handled the architectural duties, and they were the “masterminds behind the home’s architecture,” Remtema says. TruKitchens of Grand Rapids also created magic aplenty.

“We set out to build a home that felt like it belonged where it stood and told a story,” adds Amy Squires, who owns Amy Squires Landscape Design. “Every room has a purpose, is used on a daily basis, and feels homey.”

Because kitchens and baths are some of the most important spaces in a home, we asked designer Remtema to share some of her insights on these rooms’ appointments.

“They’re big cooks and love to bake, so having an island where the kids can help works out great. The windows over the kitchen sink look out to a beautiful garden chock-full of vegetables; it’s very much an inside-outside type of kitchen and home,” Remtema explains, adding, “Different tones of wood bring the outside in.” Of note are two barn beams across the range hood and at the ceiling between the kitchen and dining room. The color for the kitchen island was a custom mix, created to match the twigs-and-berries-themed tile behind the range. “The berries have this bright coral-red tone and the stools are slipcovered with a treated material in a botanical print because, as a landscape architect, Amy loves anything botanical,” the designer says.

“Where (Deidre) found the patterns she presented to me are beyond wizardry,” Amy adds. Like the backsplash, the kitchen rug (not shown) features elements of red. Cookbooks fill iron shelves that were hung from the ceiling.

A mudroom off the kitchen showcases pretty blue tones, while a powder room has a blue door that plays off the mudroom. “We put in an arch door and wanted it a deep blue, to make it pop and give the space a different feel,” Remtema says. Wallpaper and lacquered brass fixtures give the space a cozy appeal.

In the son’s bathroom, not shown, open vanity shelving provides a unique look, while a vinyl wallpaper evokes a watercolor-y feel. “The custom vanity was made to be a little more casual, with the open wood shelves,” Remtema says. The refreshing blue tile (by Ceramic Tile Co., in Army Blue Glaze, from Genesee Ceramic Tile Co.) is reminiscent of watercolors, as well.

Pretty blue tones adorn the mudroom.

As for the master, the homeowners wanted it to feel light and airy, “so the vanity has more of a furniture look, elevated, but it still has feet,” Remtema explains. A quartz countertop provides a chic touch, while the wood floor runs from the bedroom to the sink area, “to create more warmth.”

The couple’s two daughters enjoy a bathroom replete with gorgeous green vanities and floral wallpaper. “It’s large-scale paper; we had fun creating that space and knew they would delight in something like this,” Remtema says. Ceramic tile that looks like marble caps the beauty.

Wood flooring runs from the master bedroom to the master bath, creating a warm feel

“The bathrooms add spark and highlight our personalities,” Amy says. “Our powder room hints at our love of antiquity and my love of flowers. The master bath has so much functionality, and space was used smartly. It’s sleek and modern, yet warm and handcrafted. My son’s bath has a fun twist, but still feels sophisticated and natural. The girls’ bath is feminine and pretty in an ageless way.”

“We had a great relationship,” the designer shares. “There was a high level of trust between everyone. My goal was to really pay attention to how this family functions day in and day out, and recognize how that relates to the look and feel of their home.” Goals met!

The daughters’ bath charms with femine touches.


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