7 Fabulous Kitchens

From exquisitely traditional to completely modern, these favorite spaces serve up style!


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This kitchen sparkles as brightly as the vast collection of glass that’s showcased in its special cabinetry

BACKSTORY: One of the main reasons Shelley and Dennis Fiore moved from Commerce Township to this large Bloomfield Hills home, built in 1973, was to be closer to their baby grandson. They soon decided to remove the wall between the kitchen and family room to create one large space.  “I envisioned this as the heart of the house,” Shelley says, “a gathering space.” Then, she says, the dominoes began to tumble and it turned into a major renovation. She called on Troy-based interior designer Linda Shears, ASID, of Linda Shears Designs, who had worked with the couple on their previous homes. “Shelley likes custom, traditional, detail, and touches of bling,” Shears says,  “and she knows what she wants when she sees it.”  Working with general contractor Ilene Techner of Birmingham-based Itec Enterprises LLC and other tradesfolk, the team turned out what is the shining star of the home.
CLASSY CABINETRY: John Morgan, of Perspectives Cabinetry in Royal Oak, oversaw all of the cabinetry components. The kitchen and butler’s pantry are in a frosty white color on hard maple with a pewter glaze.
COUNTERTOP COUTURE: The counters are a charcoal quartz from Ciot.
CHIC SHADE: The room is dressed in an inviting, soft gray. “It goes well with the blue and burgundy in the adjoining family room,” Shears says. Wall paint color: Sherwin Williams’ Worldly Gray. Trim: S-W’s Dover White.
FLOOERD BY BEAUTY: “We wanted cherry in the flooring, to complement mahogany furniture; the new floor went down raw and was then stained.”
DE-LIGHT-FUL DETAILS: The three Schonbek chandeliers are from Pine Tree Lighting & Furniture, Lake Orion. Shelley says they’re her favorite part of the kitchen. “Linda and I looked long and hard for these. They are so special!” The backsplash tile from Virginia Tile is by Adex, in Hampton bone, flat. A Ferguson faucet in brushed nickel complements the overall look. linda-shears.com
— Megan Swoyer

IN HER OWN KITCHEN IN HER TROY HOME, THE INTERIOR DESIGNER LOVES HER: red walls. “I have a lot of white cabinetry, and the little bit of exposed walls and soffits was just screaming for the color red,” Linda Shears, left, says. “It warms the space.” 





A blue island, white-wood cabinetry, and cottage touches make this kitchen sing the classics

BACKSTORY: “The homeowners requested that my wife, Donna, and I, along with interior designer Amanda Sinistaj, of Ellwood Interiors, and Bryan Leith, of LUXE Homes Design+Build, create a family-oriented, timeless, classic home in Bloomfield Hills that was comfortable, open, light, and bright in the daytime and warm and cozy at night,” says architect John VanBrouck of Birmingham’s VanBrouck and Associates. “This kitchen is a prime example of that vision.”
BLUE NOTE: The base of the kitchen’s center island is awash in a custom color using Benjamin Moore’s Santorini Blue with a charcoal glaze.  “Blue is one of the homeowners’ favorite colors,” Sinistaj says. “It makes an appearance throughout the home.”
ISLAND PARADISE: The kitchen has two islands because the homeowners wanted to maximize the amount of cabinetry. The marble-topped center island (Piel Serpentine marble), with the painted blue base, contains a white fireclay farm sink and a dishwasher. A second island separates the kitchen from the adjoining family room. The second island has a built-in microwave oven as well as two refrigerator drawers, “so the kids can serve themselves without stepping on the parents’ toes while they’re busy cooking,” Sinistaj says.
DOORS TO ADORE: The white wooden cabinets by Woodmode have Shaker-style doors, complete with beautiful charcoal-glazed patinas. To further the home’s Eastern seaboard cottage-style vernacular, the doors are topped with transom beveled-glass inserts.
WINDOWS 15: The windows just beyond the kitchen are framed in solid bronze by Renaissance.  “They provide a modern industrial look that juxtaposes well with the home’s classic traditional detailing,” John VanBrouck says.
HOOD WINKS: A nicely detailed, custom-made white wooden hood sits pretty above the range and was designed specifically to conceal the mechanical venting within it.  vanbrouck.com, luxehomesdesignbuild.com, ellwoodinteriors.com
— Judith Harris Solomon 

IN HER OWN KITCHEN IN HER BERKLEY HOME, THE INTERIOR DESIGNER LOVES HER: NutriBullet. “I move fast and am always on the go,” designer Amanda Sinistaj, left, says. “The NutriBullet is easy to clean, tucks away, and gives me breakfast smoothies to go in seconds.”





Like a fine, modern men’s suit, this Northville condo kitchen is sophisticated, with an edge

​BACKSTORY: With two college-age sons, Kim and Jim Houston thought it was high time to do a little downsizing, so they moved into a Northville condominium and changed up their tastes a bit. “They wanted to go a little bolder,” says Rima Belau, their Plymouth-based interior designer.  Belau, owner of Rima Designs, and her assistant, Lauren Hawley, worked with the couple not only on their kitchen, but also their living room, sunroom, dining room, and other spaces. While the condo was pretty much generic and neutral in color and feel when the couple moved there, it now hums with style. “Kim had a classy-traditional style before she met us; we modernized that classic style but kept traditional lines and shapes, punching it all up with color choices and bold blacks,” Belau says. These days, when the boys come home from college, Kim loves to whip up their favorites: Greek chicken, Mexican pizza, and pasta fagioli.
JUMPING-OFF POINT: The team started with Kim’s granite selection — Sienna Bordeaux, from Granite Transformations in Farmington Hills. “It’s light, but has specks of burgundy, black, and gold,” Belau explains.
KEEPER: Kim’s friend, Debbie Donnelly of Debbie Donnelly Design in Northville, suggested that the Houstons keep the kitchen cabinets and change the hardware. “It was brand-new and in good condition,” Belau says. “We gave it new hardware but wanted to detract attention from (the cabinetry), so we (focused) our efforts on everything else,” she adds.
IN THE DETAILS: Donnelly also suggested adding a light rail and crown moulding and removing the standard breakfast bar, creating a large flat surface.
TILE STYLE: Hawley presented three tile choices for the backsplash, and Kim knew right away which she preferred — the Chocolate Blend from the Tranquil Series, from Ciot in Troy.
DARK, SCHMARK: “People think dark walls or wallpaper will make a room feel smaller, but that’s an illusion,” Belau says. “It really pushes it back farther.” The dark wallpaper Belau and the Houstons selected (MDC Wallcoverings, Veil Spider) is on the main wall and helps in the effort to detract from the cabinetry. “The wallpaper,” Belau says, “is a focal point.” Adds Kim: “It’s spectacular — impactful and classic!”
PIECE DE RESISTANCE: The chandelier (Uttermost, Ambre). “The room has high ceilings, so the lighting is a showpiece. It brought in a lot of the amber from the wood tones as well as the granite,” Belau says.
PLEASE BE SEATED: The chairs are from Ikea, Canton (Henriksdal design).
WINDOW WOW: A window box (made by Plymouth Tailoring and Alterations) brings in the golds used on complementary fabric in the nearby living room. “We used furniture tacks around the edges so it feels very finished,” Belau says. (Unique Fine Fabrics, Somersby pattern in Straw.)
HOMEOWNER'S VERDICT: “This shows that by taking your time and buying what you love, things really do come together in a beautiful, unique way — in a style that’s all your own,” Kim says.  rimadesigns.net
— Megan Swoyer

IN HER OWN KITCHEN IN HER PLYMOUTH HOME, THE INTERIOR DESIGNER LOVES HER: Calphalon 5-quart sauté pan. “It was a birthday gift from my godmother, who taught me everything about cooking from gardening to serving,” interior designer Rima Belau, above, says.



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