Michigan Designer Creates Mountain Zen Retreat

Birmingham, MI— Michigan may not automatically call forth visions of calm mountain retreats, but despite the surroundings, what the client wants, the designer makes happen. That was designer Nicole Krieger’s mission for this would-be spec home, which ended up dazzling the client so much, he kept the house for himself and his wife.

Krieger, of Krieger Associates Interiors, along with Jason Krieger, R.A. of Krieger Associates Architects, was responsible for the design of the new 3,000-sq.-ft. home in this suburb of Detroit, including an 18'x12' kitchen, 3.5 baths and a laundry/mud room.

Using a mix of materials to create a warm, textured style, Krieger adhered to a look the clients desired which earned its own name.

“They asked us to design them a Mountain Asian house,” says Krieger. “Something with rustic styling and clean lines inspired by Asian design.”

The couple learned early into the design process that they were expecting their first child, and so Krieger also had to meet the needs of a family looking to grow within their new home.

“They wanted space to grow their family, and also to accommodate entertaining needs,” she says.

Kitchen Zen

The kitchen achieves a warm look through the use of Cumaru wood floors and rustic details such as the corner stone columns, made of Coronado Ledge Stone, the same material featured on the exterior of the home to preserve the style’s continuity.

The Asian-inspired side of the design comes through the minimal lines on the cabinetry from Showplace Wood Products, the angular appeal of the large, honed granite-topped center island with its undermount sink and single-handled faucet in the center, and the sleek stainless steel appliances.

Among the appliances featured in the kitchen are a refrigerator from LG which shares a wall with a GE Spacemaker microwave; adjacent is a Thermador range with a Best by Broan hood above it.

Avid cooks, the homeowners required multiple storage options behind those sleek cabinet lines.

“It was crucial to have it well-organized,” says the designer. “The home lacks a walk-in pantry, so we accomplished this by adding a number of cabinetry accessories.”

These include cutlery dividers, pull-out spice racks, tray dividers, a two-bin trash pull-out in the base cabinetry, built-in wine rack and other storage solutions.

“Several of the cabinets have customized interiors for specific needs like baking supplies and bulk grocery items,” notes Krieger. “We also optimized storage by having wall cabinets that sit on
the counters as well as stacked wall cabinets.”

Entertaining needs were accounted for in the design of the island, which is single-height to allow the owner to set up large buffet-style dinners when entertaining.

Properly lighting the kitchen was a top concern. Krieger describes the overall scheme as a collaborative effort between the designers and the owners.

“Can lights were placed in a manner that would ‘wash’ the cabinet fronts. Above-cabinet and in-cabinet lighting were also used. These features were placed on dimmers to control mood and function,” she says, noting that natural light was available through the east-facing windows which flank the range.

Bathing Beauty

The aim of the hybrid Mountain Asian style is to create a casual, relaxed atmosphere; the master bath was styled to embody this theme in a spa-inspired suite.

Krieger notes the use of a wood top over cabinetry from Showplace Wood Products as a detail that makes the space pop.

“It’s a rather unconventional wood top, and we gave it a furniture-finish by topping it with a 1/4” glass panel, which protects the wood from damage,” she says. “It creates a distinctive vanity area. We thought this look was not only unique but a good deal more simple in appearance, and less distracting from the overall composition than a traditional stone top would have been.”

A narrow, rectangular mirror runs lengthwise above the twin Porcher Semplice lavatory sinks that sit atop the countertop.

To complete the “Zen-inspired spa” feel of the room, as the designer puts it, an MTI Caribe whirlpool infinity-edge soaking tub is centered at the back of the bath. The tub is peppered with river rocks in its overflow basin, adding a natural detail.



For more about this project, click here.

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