It is here!!!! It is finally here! It is week 6 and we are pleased to finally reveal our Modern Living Space design with a brand new fireplace, and a whole lot more. This space has received a full refresh from top to bottom and is full of custom built elements that reflect our style, our product and deliver more overall function to our lives.
If you found us for the first time through the ORC, holler! We’re Danielle and Michael Gutelli. A husband and wife design to build team based in Plymouth, Michigan. You can learn more about us as a brand here and see some of our client projects here, here and here. Just in case you missed the last three weeks post don’t worry we got you: week 1 here (Project concept + Mood board), week 2 here ( Demo + Project planning), week 3 here (setbacks + custom mantle build), week 4 here (how we made an impact with enlarged photos of our crew) and week 5 here (custom oak bay window update)
Before we go any further we think it’s only fair to do a walk down memory lane with all the fun before and after shots. Let’s be honest, we all love a good before and after of a space! And while our before images aren’t horrendous by any measure, they certainly didn’t reflect our style. Seeing as we design and build spaces everyday for our clients, our spaces always fall off the immediate radar and get deprioritized.
Last week we dove pretty deep into our newly customized bay window, so no need to go much further on that. Just be sure to check it out here…and see all of the new additions below!
There are a couple of changes that make a huge impact in this space, the main of which is our fireplace. When we moved to Michigan from Chicago we were met with a harsh reality – most homes in our area did not feature a fireplace, and boy were we used to having one. And now we do and it is every bit of amazing. We purchased a 42” Napoleon Ascent fireplace and built out our custom surround to fit it. Michael was adamant that our fireplace would be smart, and he found a way to do it using a Lutron Caseta smart switch with relay (we promise, we will do a post on this soon).
Once we had the buildout complete (all framing, electrical, venting, fireplace install, drywall, mud and paint) it was time to add personality. We partnered with Metrie for all of the molding surrounding our modern gas fireplace. We chose the 3-¼” casing from their Modern Farmhouse collection for our entire surround, and you guys it is absolutely stunning. We decided to paint the molding the same as the base of the surround and it couldn’t be more perfect. And while Metrie products come pre-finished with optional color matching caulk and hole filler for your brad nail holes, painting on this product is a breeze.
You’ll also notice a significant mantle space, which includes a hidden outlet on the side our build-out. Michael made this out of red oak that he joined together with his biscuit joint and fit to size. The natural oak provides such depth when paired with the Sherwin Williams Peppercorn floor to ceiling surround color. I can not wait to style this for the holidays.
And finally the showstopper in the room, the piece I have been craving for quite some time. We made the decision to splurge a bit on a new 49” Samsung The Frame TV above the fireplace. We also added a birch surround to pull in more natural color into the space, and ran the wiring to the One Connect box through the wall and into the built-in on the right side. The flush mount truly makes it appear as a piece of art (which it really is) when we’re not enjoying a movie for family pizza movie night, or a basketball game (GO LAKESHOW!).
We’ve had this entire wall sketched out for years and the reality that it is now here has set in. Seeing as we moved two large pieces of furniture out of this space, we were at a bit of a storage loss. And we can always use more seating for entertaining. The built-ins on either side of the fireplace provide that and so much more.
Let’s start on the right. Our initial plan was to fill both sides with firewood, as it is an aesthetically pleasing and calming feature even knowing we’re using a gas fireplace. And while that is gorgeous, it was just a bit much, so we opted for half firewood on the right side and the other half storage. Michael built this custom to spec with a few points in mind – the top would fit into the window sill, the main shelf could accommodate our media components and the storage would be suited for our needs. The right side also sat above a floor heat register, so we had a boot made for it to bring the heat directly to the toe kick. This side also features a single shaker style door with soft close hinges to hide interior shelving that houses our napkins, placemats and card games for family game night.
Now for the left side (and Michael’s favorite). The design of the base cabinet is the same, except the inside has no shelving and is faced with dual shaker style door with soft close hinges…because inside is our bourbon collection. And yes, it fills the entire space! The upper shelf can be used for books as well.
We painted each of the built-in cabinets and surround molding using Sherwin Williams Origami White in Satin, and finished with a custom made oak top to mirror the mantle. And above each built-in is another amazing addition to our space…lighting! We ran all new electrical each Sazerac Stitches Adjustable Kelley Scone, both of which are connected using a Lutron Caseta smart switch. We just love being able to tell Siri to turn things on and off for us, and our boys get a kick out of it too. The matte terra cotta and brass sconces just pop, and provide a new level of ambience to the space.
Once we made the decision to relocate the TV above the mantle we knew this wall needed something. It was too big and blank to just leave there, and art alone was not the answer. Michael was inspired by maker and friend Adam Weekley of Weekley Design and Build, who created a very similar shelf for his wife. It was just the thing we needed to pull the room together, and was coincidentally the last piece Michael built. Sourcing the wood became a challenge due to availability in Michigan, but our awesome friend Rob of Warehouse 28 had some live edge oak in his shop and was happy to pay it forward to our home (we love you Rob)!
Once we landed on the design and had the lumber in hand, Michael had to mill down the oak and get it ready for use. He started by running each board through his planer, then cutting the live edge with his plunge saw and rail setup. From there he cut each shelf down to 36” x 8.5”, sanded smooth, and marked for placements on studs. For this install he chose to install using pocket holes that he created using his Kreg Pocket Hole Jig. Normally we would hide all of the screw holes, but this piece looks really rad when you’re sitting and see how it was installed. That and we plan a larger remodel for our kitchen and dining space, which means this wall will go…removing and reinstalling elsewhere will be a breeze.
Now for the decor. We chose to include things that mean a lot to us. The most touching pieces are the clocks, which are set to the time each of our boys were born. We got this idea from our clients and friends Tiffani and Chris, from our Otter + Howell project. Next are the books, each of which are powerful and important to us and our continued education in life. The plants were hand picked and potted locally, and add a significant amount of life to our space. We have wanted real plants forever but never had ample space to house them, nor did we feel we knew enough about them. Emilie (Creative Director at Clark + Aldine) inspired us to go for it and educated us on what to get and why. Now that we have them we don’t know how we went so long without!
A lot has changed in this space…some things have stayed, others gone, and a lot of new has come inside. Some new additions include a mid-century modern bench and end table combo, which provides additional seating and storage for our remotes, keys and coasters. We also updated the end tables at each end of our sofa. We found some new art and books during our weekend in Traverse City, some pillows, candles and a tree. The rug in the space is new as well…well, it is new to the space. This is the rug that was in our master bedroom but it was truly meant for this space. And we also updated our entryway a bit with a wall mounted coat rack.
One thing that stayed yet received an update is our coffee table. Michael trimmed some of the remaining metal top from it, sanded it down and finished with a matte polyurethane. We love this piece so much and are happy it is here.
We wouldn’t have been able to pull this off while simultaneously managing our client and brand projects, running a business, being parents of two energetic little men, or any of the in between with the daily chaos without help from our incredible team and family. Chuck, Rose, Ryan, Matt, Josh, Emilie, Kell and Rob…thank you so incredibly much. Each and every one of you are incredible.
And to our awesome sponsors Metrie and Sazerac Stitches, thank you! It was a pleasure to work with you and is amazing to enjoy these finishes in our new space.
We had so much fun during this One Room Challenge and can’t wait till the next one. Thank you so much for following along.