It was too good to pass up. That was the opinion of the Chicago-based homeowners of this Bay Harbor property, who already had another home in the area when their dream house went up for sale. They decided they couldn’t resist, explains Kali Weber, lead designer and co-owner of Chatham House Interiors, based in Bay Harbor and Troy, who worked with the couple on the whole house. “It had everything they needed for their growing family,” she says.
After living in it for a summer, however, the owners realized they could make it even better. “The lower level was all open space,” Weber says. “They entertain a lot and have family who come up, so we decided to maximize the space and make the most of every nook and cranny.”
There was an existing bar that was too small to meet their needs, but otherwise it was a blank slate, she explains. Working with frequent partner Justin Sharer, owner of Plymouth and Bay Harbor-based Sharer Design Group, Weber designed a surprisingly light-filled, multipurpose lower level perfect for entertaining.
The glass-fronted wine room that was the result of the Weber-Sharer collaboration is clearly one of the stars of the renovated space, and took first place for Best Wine Room in the recently announced Detroit Design Awards. “The main priority for the client was a climate-controlled wine room to hold more than 300 bottles of wine,” says Sharer. “We designed the bespoke wine cabinet using our Bakes & Kropp cabinetry. To add details to the cabinet, we added some bespoke metalwork to accent the doors and drawer caps.”
Weber says the metalwork references similar designs found throughout the house, giving the home a cohesive continuity. “The homeowners like a comfortable, classic elegance,” she says, describing it as a “Ralph Lauren vibe.”
Sharer says his team approached the project as a piece of art. “We want to make sure the bottles are displayed to showcase, but also, the cabinetry we design for the wine should be a beautiful piece of furniture. We make sure the right woods, metals, and materials are used to tie in with the style our client is looking to achieve. We also make sure we have LED lighting to showcase the wine and cabinetry in the evening.” The nearby bar, also featuring Bakes & Kropp cabinetry, includes everything needed for the wine room: a sink, dishwasher, ice maker, and additional storage.
Weber counts the family among her friends, which made the process even more of a pleasure. “When they’re up here, they entertain all the time. I’ve enjoyed being part of the group they host,” she says proudly, adding that the project’s end result is a pleasure to experience firsthand. “It turned out to be a beautiful space.”