Beauty in the Details

This lakeside Nantucket-style home is a knockout, thanks to distinctive custom touches throughout. // Photography by Martin Vecchio
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The master suite’s cozy sitting area overlooks a beautiful Oakland County lake.

If you really want a quality home, the professionals say you should never skimp on the details. Interior designer Lisa Petrella, of Petrella Designs in Troy, certainly didn’t skimp when orchestrating the interiors for a Nantucket-style new-build project on a beautiful Oakland County lake. She and a skilled team of experts — including her then senior designer, Kourtney Shammo (now with Kourtney Anne Studios); builder Eric Vogler, of Eric Vogler Construction in West Bloomfield; and architect Tom Holloman — turned out perhaps one of the highest-quality homes Petrella has ever had the pleasure of working on.

The foyer’s custom-made mirror is stunning.

The project began after the homeowners purchased a lot on which they could build their dream home. After the existing structure was torn down, the team rolled up their sleeves to create a haven that would be classic and traditional. The couple wanted a place where their three grown children (and, potentially, their future families) would be comfortable when visiting. Their goal was to make it 100 percent smart, with energy efficiency playing a starring role.

Although the home is new, it feels cozy and lived-in, partially due to the exterior details. The granite steps leading to the front door, for example, are some of the original steps from the Detroit Institute of Arts’  Woodward Avenue entrance. (The DIA’s steps were renovated in the 1980s, and the homeowners purchased several of the originals.) In addition, the Belgian block pavers in the home’s car court area had long ago been reclaimed from a bridge in Europe. (The bricks had been brought to Warren, to use to test tanks on the Chrysler tank test track.  “It was to simulate what our tanks would face in WWII,”  the homeowner says.)

The airy living room’s palette is grays and creams, with touches of pale blue in the rug.

Petrella worked on the designs for the kitchen, dining area, great room, foyer, lower-level sports room, cigar room, master suite, and powder room. She also oversaw the guest bathrooms, bedding, and more on the second floor, and was involved in a great deal of the design in the lower level, including a unique full bath with a gardener’s touch.

In the kitchen, the designer and homeowners selected marble counters and a beveled-edge marble backsplash. “We saw something similar in Chicago and thought we’d try it here,” Petrella explains. “The kitchen’s new, but it doesn’t feel new,” she adds. To achieve a lived-in appeal, Petrella used nickel hardware throughout the kitchen, but not on the island, which has brass hardware. Too much matchy-matchy and you get what looks like a cookie-cutter new home, she explains. The island, which has a beautiful marble top and handsome slate-gray legs and cabinetry, looks like  “it’s been there a while.” Some of the cabinets, with their seeded glass, evoke an Old-World feel. Beadboard cabinet backing creates a classic ambience, while the double pulls on the drawers are standout details.

To achieve a lived-in appeal, designer Lisa Petrella used nickel hardware throughout the kitchen, but not on the island, which has brass hardware. Some of the cabinets, with their seeded glass, evoke an Old-World feel.

An adjoining dining area with windows that look out to the lake is inviting, and features a banquette and a long wood table crafted by Woodland Furniture. A chic light fixture from Visual Comfort (Linear Branched, in hand-rubbed antique brass) adds warmth to the vignette, as does a collection of tramp art frames that hold photos of the couple’s parents on their wedding days.

The living room flows from this space, and its Schumacher gingham drapery enhances the gorgeous lake vistas. The airy room’s palette is grays and creams, with touches of pale blue in the rug and accent pillows. Just behind the sofa is a beautiful wood table with an accompanying chair in the same gingham fabric as the draperies. Atop the table are charming antique postcards of local country clubs and hotels; nearby, a console holds a collection of antique candlesticks behind which hangs a painting of birch trees in autumn.

While the couple enjoys their together time in the great room, they each cherish their own private in-home retreats, too. The  “Lazy Moose” cigar room, located beyond a secret passage that’s behind a bookcase on the top floor of the home, is one of the husband’s favorite spots. Here, he gathers with friends to enjoy cigars and beverages, and to watch sports on a large-screen television, all beneath a huge antler-style chandelier.

The family enjoys gathering around the dining area’s beautiful wood table, crafted by Woodland Furniture.

The wife has her fun place, too. Located outside the home, her golfer’s heaven is situated on the top floor of a charming carriage house. A golf simulator (she can play a full round of golf here, electronically), golf-ball collections, and places to relax are highlights of her getaway.

The octagonal master bedroom, meanwhile, is wrapped in gorgeous drapery that’s controlled via remote access on the homeowners’ phones. A television pop-up console at the end of the bed, designed by Petrella and created by Vogler, keeps unsightly electronics out of sight until the homeowners wish to use them. French doors provide access to a Romeo and Juliet balcony, and side doors lead to the back deck.

Above it all is a ceiling that features hub-and-spoke millwork, with the flat part of the ceiling painted in a custom color — a pale green that echoes the draperies.  “It’s hard to not like the great view of the lake from almost every room in the house,”  the husband notes. In the adjoining bathroom off the his-and-hers closet area is a gorgeous combination of Schumacher wallpaper (Chenonceau, in Charcoal), quality millwork, dark gray tile, and Carrera marble.

The “Lazy Moose” cigar room, located beyond a secret passage on the top floor of the home, is one of the husband’s favorite spots.

The shower features a marble herringbone pattern inset that almost looks like a piece of art, and the marble floor bases and crown moldings are impressive and elegant. “Rich Horn, of RJH Tile, isn’t just an installer; he’s a true craftsman,” Petrella says of her installer.

More attention to detail is apparent in the foyer, where a custom-made mirror takes center stage.  “We made the mirror so that it drops below the console piece, rather than hanging just above it. I wanted the console in the mirror, so we made it extra-large,” Petrella says. In the lower level, colorful antique signs are the first things one sees when descending the stairs. The lower level’s rustic full bath would make a gardener feel right at home, since it features garden shed-style reclaimed wood for the vanity, a stained limestone countertop that’s evocative of a garden fountain, lantern-style sconces, and pebble flooring. The bathroom’s shower is unexpectedly lined with brick; its centerpiece is a terra cotta tile installation of flower shapes, dragonflies, and honeybees by artist David Ellison. “When we finished the shower, we all stood back and said, ‘We don’t think we’ve ever done a brick shower,’ ” Petrella recalls with a laugh.

There’s always something to do in the lower-level game room.

The home’s sports room houses a vast collection of baseballs, baseball cards, hockey jerseys, signed pucks, and more. Nearby is the couple’s wine cellar, complete with mosaic artwork by Holloman that says “In Vino Veritas.” Holloman also created the mosaic backsplash in the lower-level kitchen — a familiar scene of pine trees, a lake, and sailboats, just like you see when you’re looking out the windows. The kitchen and gathering area lead outdoors to an inviting patio, complete with a compass rose inset, a gorgeous fountain, and a fireplace.

“When you consider all the details — the fine base moldings, the crown moldings, the tile work — every level of detail is amazing,” Petrella says. “This was a real collaborative group of people, and everyone worked well together. I’m most proud of the substance of this home.”


BUYER’S GUIDE

INTERIOR DESIGNER 

Lisa Petrella, Petrella Interiors, Troy, LLP Construction Services, Detroit, petrelladesigns.com 

BEDROOM, MASTER

Armchairs – Paris Club Chair, Hickory Chair, Petrella Interiors, Troy; Fabric, Schumacher, Troy

Drapery – Custom, Pindler and Kravet, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights

Flooring – Hickory Wood, Property Care Inc., Bloomfield Hills

Lamps, Floor – Circa Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Ottoman – Hickory Chair, Petrella Interiors, Troy; Fabric, Schumacher, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy

CIGAR ROOM

Armchairs – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Schumacher

Cabinet, Bar – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Chandelier – Antler Chandeliers & Lighting Co.

Flooring – Hickory Wood

Rug – Surya

Wall Color – Stained Knotty Pine

DINING ROOM

Artwork – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston

Booth – Seat, Custom, Designer Furniture Services, Pontiac; Fabric, Kravet and Pindler

Centerpiece, Table – Detroit Garden Works, Pontiac

Chairs, Host and Hostess – Fabric, Pindler and Kravet

Chairs, Side – Fabric, Kravet

Chandelier – Circa Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Drapery – Custom, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights; Fabric, Schumacher

Flooring – Hickory Wood

Pillows, Accent – Custom, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights; Fabric, Kravet and Schumacher

Runner, Table – Pottery Barn

Table and Chairs, Dining – Woodland Furniture

FOYER

Artwork, Pear – Wendover Art Group

Flooring – Hickory Wood

Mirror – Custom, Bruce White Galleries, Clawson

Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy

Sculpture, Floor – Baker Furniture, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Sculpture, Gear – Petrella Interiors, Troy

Table, Display – Woodbridge Furniture

Vase – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston

GAME ROOM

Lighting, Artwork – Tech Lighting

Cabinetry – Custom, Fabrication, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.; Design, Tom Holleman, Pontiac

Light, Ceiling – Antique, Materials Unlimited, Ypsilanti

Wall Color – Stained Knotty Alder

KITCHEN

Bar Stools – Hickory Chair

Cabinetry – Custom, Fabrication, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.; Design, Tom Holloman, Pontiac

Ceiling Treatment – Coffer Ceiling, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Countertop – Carrara Marble, RJH Tile and Marble, Holly

Hood – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Lighting, Island – Circa Lighting, City Lights Detroit, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Stove – Wolf Range

Window Shades – Hunter Douglas, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights

LIVING ROOM

Armchair, Leather – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Kravet

Armchairs – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Schumacher

Basket, Storage – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston

Bench, Storage – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Candleholders – Antiques Market of Williamston, Williamston

Chest, Display – Hickory Chair

Drapery – Custom, Schumacher, Accent Custom Drapery, Sterling Heights

Fireplace – Custom, Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Flooring – Hickory Wood, Property Care Inc., Bloomfield Hills

Pillows, Accent – Custom, Schumacher, Accent Custom Drapery

Planter – Pottery Barn

Rug – Stark Carpet, Troy

Sofa – Hickory Chair; Fabric, Schumacher

Stools – Hickory Chair, Petrella Interiors, Troy; Pindler, Samuel & Sons, Tennant and Associates, Michigan Design Center, Troy

Table, Coffee – Lillian August

The Belgian Block pavers in the home’s car court area had long ago been reclaimed from a bridge in Europe.

ADDITIONAL PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS

Architect – Tom Holloman, Pontiac

General Contractor – Eric Vogler,  Eric Vogler Construction, Commerce Twp.

Landscaper – Michael B. Grasser
& Associates, Pontiac

Painter – Mike Trudel

Stone and Tile Installation – Rich Horn, RTH
Tile & Stone

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