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A majestic makeover
Hartland home’s impressive architecture is enhanced through well-designed remodeling project

Photos by Doug Edmunds

November 2015

Stainless steel front doors and structural columns in the raised foyer are framed by indoor trees that rise above the second-floor bridge. The entrance is only the entrée to a redesigned modern gem, a project completed with the help of collaborating designers Tim Benkowski of timothyj kitchen & bath in Milwaukee and Gary Haisma of Haisma Design Group in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Hartland homeowners Jim and Sue Marriott more than refreshed their home’s 1995 contemporary interior. They reset the look and the impressive space to reflect their current life as well as their modern taste.

There is now a first floor washed in grays, taupe and wisps of varying shades of stronger color meant to put a warmer glow on their original contemporary canvas. The Marriotts built their 7,000-square-foot home, with six bedrooms, five full bathrooms and two half baths, 20 years ago. A dream home from an original sketch Jim drew up on a piece of paper when he was 19, its attraction was too strong to make a change when the couple thought about a new home for their family of four.

Sue says they considered acquiring a large parcel of land to build another home, but realized life was good adjoining Bristlecone Pines Golf Club in Hartland.

"We really like the neighborhood and the house," Sue says. "It starts with thinking about paint and furniture, but then you look at the structure."

The second-floor bridge provides an overview of the first floor’s distinctive open layout. A new living space in the left background was created by raising a previously sunken sunroom. Now, the sun-washed space opens to an impressive backyard patio.

Beyond aesthetics, the Marriotts — with construction contractor Jim overseeing the work — added more gathering-friendly space around the home’s two-story triangular brick column, a centerpiece that stretches two stories high with fireplaces. They eliminated one of two surrounding sunken areas so that a new living room space could be created, leading to a grand rear entrance facing the golf course. A series of 9-foot-high glass panels fold back for wider access to a sweeping patio of stamped concrete and a manicured lawn flowing to a fairway.

The Marriotts hired Tim Benkowski of timothyj kitchen & bath in Milwaukee and Gary Haisma of Haisma Design Group in Grand Rapids, Mich., to help rejuvenate several key first-floor areas just steps from the centerpiece structure.

A U-shaped bar was redone as an island with waterfall edges, new cabinetry, a ceramic basket tile backsplash and lighting to give a floating panel effect. Benkowski also helped create a new-millennium media room carved out of an existing home theater. The new look includes sleek and practical cabinetry to house sophisticated video and audio equipment on a wall of subtle patterned taupe-scale grass cloth. In a nearby powder room, he designed similar gray cabinetry and a wall-to-wall vanity framed by a 9-foot-tall mirror and lighted wave tile.

White on white with glossy cabinets and basket weave tile is set off by gloss black trim accents and an existing black granite floor. This is a multipurpose space, featuring steam, convection and microwave cooking as well as a message center that gives this four-person family needed personalized file space and a hideaway charging station for communication tools.

While the work in those three spaces was similar in tone, Benkowski helped re-create the kitchen that once featured orange-tinted Birdseye maple and dark granite countertops. Within a reconfigured space, he designed gloss, white cabinetry and countertops with gloss black accents that fit well with the existing black granite floor.

He upgraded functionality with a stacked steam oven, convection oven and warming drawer and an in-drawer microwave. A message center provides charging stations for today’s communication tools and a series of file cabinets that will be personalized for each family member.

Family living shaped the makeover. "When we were younger without kids, we spent a lot of time going out," Sue says. "Now, we entertain a lot at home. We spend so much more time here now, so all of this just makes sense."

 The custom-designed stairwell in the original 1995 home has stood the test of time. Only carpeting and paint were needed to refresh this architectural element, one of many envisioned by homeowner and construction contractor Jim Marriott while in his teens.


Dramatic lighting and warmer tones make this bar an inviting entertainment area just steps from other first-floor living spaces. What once was a U-shaped bar now features a dramatic waterfall countertop edge, basket weave backsplash and flat screen television. A nice touch: the zebra-pattern ceramic tile floor under the stools.

The master bedroom is one of six bedrooms in the expansive, 7,000-square-foot home.



This story ran in the November 2015 issue of: