This East English Village home was designed by famed architect Leonard Willeke, well known for many lavish houses in Detroit and Grosse Pointe, including the Oscar Webber Mansion. Built in 1928, the 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath home has many charming touches including crown moldings, arched doorways and quarter-sawn oak floors. The stone fireplace in the living room has a terra cotta tile base, and the dramatic charcoal wall color nicely highlights the coved ceiling and original sconces. The remaining period light fixtures lend a touch of grace and whimsy. The new fixtures, courtesy of West Elm, lend a touch of…West Elm. The kitchen has great bones, and a sensible layout, but the white stock cabinets and hard modern light fixture make it seem a little cold and forbidding.
In the main bath, original tile and light fixtures battle a horrid vessel sink/black vanity combo. Another West Elm chandelier lights the large dining room, but the elegant crown moldings and graceful arch linking the dining and living rooms neutralize its sterile, generic effect. Outside, there are zero West Elm items—just a large, inviting grassy backyard and a wide front porch. The home has French doors leading to the porch, giving the place a really inviting feel. In summer, you can let the outside in, and enjoy views of a quiet, tree-lined street full of gorgeous old homes.
There's also an addition that would benefit greatly from sledgehammers. It has carpet and sliding glass doors out to the backyard patio. Upstairs, the bedrooms are large and feature original brass chandeliers. Like the living room and kitchen, the bedrooms have great big windows, making them bright and welcoming.
Though mistakes were made (the addition, the West Elm), the house has much to recommend it, and at $107K, there'd be room in many a new-house budget for some restoration. -Rebecca Golden