At Home – Blurred Lines

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Take a peek at this outside-meets-inside home, one of five to be featured on the 25th-annual Huntington Woods Home Tour

The home is a rectangle with an opening in the middle, says Shafritz. What was once an enclosed dining room in the middle of the house is now a bright and inviting sunroom. “When you walk in the house, that’s the first thing you see,” she says. “The foyer was a stairwell with a coat closet. We busted through and now all you see is the green in front of you.” A mid-century marble-topped cocktail table scooped up at a resale shop sits in front of an Anthropologie sofa.
A spectacular skylight ceiling, original to the house, gives natural light to the kitchen — and, along with the earthy brick walls, helps blur the line that separates indoor and outdoor. Shafritz designed the cabinets and had them built by Ed Starkey of ECS Cabinetry in Walled Lake. Inspired by the black hood — and against popular opinion — she laminated them in black. “I knew all my answers to what I wanted within 30 seconds,” she says. “Now, no one can imagine it another color.” A slab of gray-veined Illusion granite from CIOT in Troy runs the expanse of the island counter.
A resale shop painting and a pair of African beaded dolls rest on the kitchen’s open shelving
Shafritz surrounded a solid walnut door with a layer of bricks. The door, opening to the garage, replaced a hidden door. “I wanted it to disappear but be beautiful.”
The previous owner redid the kitchen in the 1980s. “She was beyond ahead of her time,” Shafritz says. “This was a breezeway and the brick wall was attached to the garage.” The woman left behind the pots and pans which still hang from the hood. “I like having their presence here.”
In the powder room, Shafritz ripped out everything, including the floor. “I found designs that I liked on Houzz and had Ed build it for me,” she says of the chunky vanity, which holds a modernized farmhouse sink.

Stately Tudor homes, many dating to the early 1920s, line the meandering streets in the historic district of Huntington Woods, where the layout was inspired by that of Huntingdon, England.

Tucked into this idyllic community is a home that once gave a young boy nightmares.

But the boy’s mother had a vision — and she had a husband who had become used to her innovations.

“The first time we saw it, my kids were petrified,” says Erin Shafritz, a freelance prop stylist with an eye for the distinctive. “It had vines climbing all over the windows.”

But as soon as she stepped inside, she knew this was it.

It was in disrepair, and required extensive gutting, “but the bare bones of the house were amazing,” Shafritz says.

Coming from a Colonial in Huntington Woods, Shafritz, her husband, Jeff, and their two active boys “were all in each other’s faces,” she says. “An open floor plan is much better for us.”

Built in 1940 as a Colonial with a cross-gabled roof and double-hung windows, the home’s previous owners had expanded on either side, giving it the feeling of a long ranch. It also had plenty of opportunities to bring the earthy lushness outdoors in, to the point where the division becomes blurred.

“I wanted an outdoor area. This has lots of space, the yard is green and lush and an enormous skylight lets us see it,” Shafritz says. “The house faces the west, so the house is always lit up with sun.”

Working with contractor Mike Williams of Ferndale, Shafritz gutted the home and redesigned it into a comfortable, functional and inspiring respite for the whole family — and their friends.

“My kids have friends over all the time. Now, from my kids, I get smiles and lots of happiness.

“And my husband — last year, in the middle of the summer, we were sitting outside,” Shafritz says. “My husband turns to me and says, ‘I couldn’t be happier.’”

Lynne Konstantin Arts & Life Editor
Brett Mountain Photographer

details
The Shafritz home will be one of five included in this year’s Huntington Woods Home Tour, celebrating its 25th anniversary. Sponsored by the Huntington Woods Women’s League, the tour takes place 1-5 p.m. Sunday, June 4, beginning at the Huntington Woods Library. $20/advance; $25 day of. Hwwl.org. For a 3D tour of the home, created by photographer Brett Mountain, visit plac3d.com/HWHT.

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