Kitchen & Bath

Reflecting lots of character, these personality-filled spaces suit their homeowners perfectly


(page 1 of 6)

Kitchen No. 1


WHAT // A Huntington Woods Kitchen Serves Up All Things Modern

Homeowners Judy and Brian Bell of Huntington Woods were strolling the streets of Birmingham one night when they happened to walk past  the beckoning windows of  Scavolini by Cucina Moda. "There was this red kitchen in the window and we loved it, so we filed it in our heads," Judy says. Eventually they worked with Scavolini by Cucina Moda to transform their gutted space (once a galley kitchen, built in 1967) into the clean, sleek, and modern oasis it is today. The couple, who worked with owners Alisha Serras, Niki Serras (the two are sisters), and Alisha's husband, Brian Gamache (installation), now adore their new kitchen/bar area. "We didn't have the guts to do red, so we went with a gray, but we've added lots of bright pops of orange," says Judy, who also worked with Morgan-Heller Associates of Pontiac to design and reconfigure the new space, and builder Marc Rosenblatt of Huntington Homes.

The glossy lacquer cabinet finish, in Tundra Gray, features a rich, beautiful reflection. "There are seven layers of paint on the cabinets so it's not wavy; it's like a car," Niki Serras says. "There are no seams." And instead of a traditional bridge handle, an integrated channel system allows users to grasp and open the doors. The two cabinets on either side of the hood are a tempered glass with an aluminum frame, and luminous bottoms; the light is built into the bottom of the cabinet to give an internal-glow effect.

The base cabinets (doors and panels) in the bar are made of tempered glass, as are the upper cabinets in the kitchen.

Judy went to to shop for lights, and often would send links to the Serras sisters for their opinions.

"Each of our kitchens (and baths) are custom-made per order in Italy; Scavolini does not keep stock," Niki Serras says.

The couple hired a Sherwin-Williams paint consultant to choose a wall color, which made the selection process simple — but this was "after I purchased six or seven samples and blew through a lot of paint trying different hues," Judy says. The Bells finally landed on a gray called Crushed Ice (#7647) and an orange called Carnival (#6892), which is "perfect, because it doesn't look like ‘circus,' " Judy says with a laugh.

"I love all the materials — the cabinets, the glass, and the stainless steel bar-area countertops," says Brian Bell, shown on these pages with his wife, Judy. So do Heidi and Fozzie, the couple's two super-big rescue dogs (tile floors are scratch-resistant). Adds Judy: "I love the storage and the fliptop cupboards. I love, love, love the lacquer finish; it's so easy to clean and maintain. And I love the Cambria quartz countertops."

"The trend is to incorporate kitchens into the living space so you have access to guests, and parents can see their kids or dogs," says Niki Serras. "Today's kitchens are the heart of the household, unlike decades ago."

Sometimes on a Sunday, the couple plays their version of Food Network's Chopped. "One of us will buy random ingredients the other has to use to make a meal," Brian explains. "But we're kind and reasonable, because we want the meal to be good."

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