FURNISHINGS | inspired designers
WHO: Owner and principal designer Leighanne LaMarre, of Brighton-based Leighanne LaMarre Interiors, says there’s never been a day that she wasn’t excited to go to work. Really. After earning her interior design degree from Eastern Michigan University, she gained four years of valuable experience at a prestigious design company in Ann Arbor. In September 2010, she struck out on her own, and launched a successful design firm and furniture showroom. “Being able to translate my passion into creating beautiful, functional spaces for my clients is a process that’s beyond rewarding for me, and sometimes I have to pinch myself,” LaMarre says.
DESIGNERS’ GOAL: Large windows, bright white cabinets, and metallic fixtures give the Northville kitchen shown here a light and airy feel with a hint of sparkle. “Kitchens have become the new family room, and most clients find themselves spending the majority of their time there,” LaMarre says. “My goal for this project was to create a bright, inviting space that my clients could entertain in, while still being practical for their young children and busy lifestyle.” The designer says she adjusted the cabinet footprint slightly during the renovation, to allow for a better allocation of space and storage based on her client’s needs. Textured valances, natural stone counters, and warm wood tones round out this kitchen’s exceptional design.
INFORMATION: 810-270-5157, leighannelamarreinteriors.com
LEIGHANNE LAMARRE’S TIPS FOR SMART KITCHEN DESIGN:
• When diving into the functional aspect of kitchen design, it’s important to ask: What do you love about your current kitchen? What would you change?
• The space is somewhat designed around the appliances you’ve chosen, so doing your homework and determining which models and sizes you’ll end up with is a task that should be accomplished early on in the process.
• Never make isolated decisions concerning your finishing materials! Successful interior design is about being obsessive about all the details and how they interact with one another. It’s crucial that all finishes and fabrics are in the context of one another.
“The contemporary pendants above the island help add a playful contrast to the home’s more traditional architecture, while adding the perfect amount of sparkle!”
– Leighanne LaMarre
GET THE GOODS
A. Meurice chandelier in brass, $1,595, Jonathan Adler, jonathanadler.com
B. Top Knobs Kingbridge pull 3 3/4-inch, $12.40, Herald Wholesale, Troy
C. Top Knobs Emerald pull 3 3/4-inch, $11.40, Herald Wholesale, Troy
D. Kalalou white clay bowl with copper finish stand, $42, Leighanne LaMarre Interiors, Brighton
E. CR Laine Sidewinder Granite fabric, price upon request, Leighanne LaMarre Interiors, Brighton
F. Fabricut Ikat Pointe in Bleu French General II collection (shown in window treatments), price upon request, Leighanne LaMarre Interiors, Brighton
G. Sherwin-Williams’ Worldly Gray, sherwin-williams.com
H. CR Laine Soho chair, price upon request, Leighanne LaMarre Interiors, Brighton
WHO: Based in downtown Birmingham, Niki Serras is a partner and co-founder of Scavolini Store Detroit with her sister, Alisha Serras, and Brian Gamache. The trio opened their first store in September 2010, featuring Scavolini Italian custom cabinetry. They specialize in modern kitchens, baths, living areas, and closets. Since 2014, Scavolini has expanded with additional locations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston; each store reflects the geographic location and cultural identity of the area. Serras says international design trends influence her work, and she regularly travels to Italy and abroad for inspiration. Her eye for design and knack for organization are key assets when planning projects of any size, both locally and nationally.
DESIGNERS’ GOAL: When Serras developed the kitchen design of her 1950s-style Beverly Hills ranch, shown here, she knew she wanted it to have a warm and contemporary feel. “My process started with the wood veneer cabinet doors as my baseline, and everything else was pulled together from there,” she says. “I really like a monochromatic look in general. When I see ‘clean,’ it gives me a sense of calm.”
The kitchen, with Savolini cabinetry and Caesarestone countertops, has a fairly small, irregular layout, so the designer’s goal was to streamline the space and give it a larger appearance. “I did that by keeping the lines simple, paneling all the appliances, leaving space between the ceiling, and even leaving the upper cabinets near the sink out completely,” Serras says. When it came time to design the island and seating area — “ground zero” in any kitchen, according to Serras — flow and function took precedence. “I planned seating at the end of the island near the dining area, with an electrical outlet under the countertop,” she says. “It’s perfect for hosting friends or just for me.”
INFORMATION: 248-792-2285, cucinamoda.com
NIKI SERRAS’ TIPS FOR SMART KITCHEN DESIGN:
• The first thing I consider when designing any space is what can I keep from the original layout? The construction is much simpler when you keep the original hook-ups (sink/drain, gas line, etc.). In this kitchen, I kept all the appliances and hook-ups in the same location.
• An island with seating is a must-have for me. Because my kitchen is so narrow, it was a little tricky making it all fit. Hence, seating at the end, near the dining table!
• If your kitchen opens to another area, it’s important to consider adjoining design elements when you’re selecting kitchen materials. I used colors that would go well with what I already owned.
“Don’t forget to plan for outlets on the island!”
– Niki Serras
GET THE GOODS
A. Miele 36-inch gas cooktop with hexa grates, $2,199, Scavolini Store Detroit, Birmingham
B. 60 cm DirectSensor built-in coffee system, $3,499, Scavolini Store Detroit, Birmingham
C. Sherwin-Williams’ Snowbound, sherwin-williams.com
D. Sphere + Stem seven-light chandelier in brass/milk finish, $599, West Elm, Birmingham
E. Scavolini deluxe acrylic barstool with chrome base, $700, Scavolini Store Detroit, Birmingham
F. Miele crystal dishwasher, fully integrated, $1,799, Scavolini Store Detroit, Birmingham