BLOOMFIELD TWP., Mich. (WJBK) - Mid-century modern design is back in a big way for many it never went out of style.
In this week's love this house, a gem in Bloomfield Township that we love from the inside out. Designed in the style of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the sleek, clean lines of this mid-century marvel make a striking statement in a neighborhood filled with more colonials than contemporaries.
Stately trees surround the 8,300 square-foot two story home which sits on just over an acre and a half. It is a beautiful blend of indoor and outdoor space and the perfect place to call home for Doctor Vas Pittas, a surgeon who was smitten the minute he walked through the door.
"Within a few steps of coming into this house I literally just felt my blood pressure drop," he said. "It was just a surreal feeling. I saw the windows, the light, the trees, I felt like I was in a tree house."
Originally built in 1951 by Campbell A. Harlan, a local philanthropist and founder of the Harlan Electric Company, the home was purchased decades later by the Braun family who did a complete interior-exterior renovation in 2006 and converted the 1950s carport into a seven-car garage.
When Pittas bought the home in 2011 he got a crash course in construction.
"I had to convert four of the garages into two bed room suites just so it was more functional," he said. "I had to do that within the first six months of buying this house because my parents were coming to visit from Greece."
From garage stalls to cozy guest suites, the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail can be seen throughout what is now a six bedroom and four bath home.
"All of the floors are Brazilian walnut, the granite theme goes throughout the entire house," he said. "You have the outside of the house brought inside, and vice versa. All the walkways all the planters, the entire house is granite."
That includes the impressive fireplace in the center of the open concept living area while expansive windows look out on a canopy of trees, which are encased in mahogany.
The unique ceiling design features nine different pitches or angles, creating visual interest and enhancing the natural light.
Rather than hire an interior designer, Pittas relied on his own sense of style and comfort. He favors furnishings from restoration hardware-- and his passion for collecting art is evident throughout the home.
He is proud of his Greek heritage with family photos and mementos on display in the den. Pittas credits his parents who built a thriving restaurant business, with giving him a strong work ethic.
"I'm blessed that I had amazing parents who taught me if you want something in life you have to work and go get it," Pittas said.
A large, fresh water fish tank is a colorful focal point between the living room and kitchen. Mahogany shelving showcases impressive Erte Collection Cognac.
The floating center island under the cabinet lighting, the stainless prep area and stunning glass backsplash give the kitchen a clean, slightly industrial, yet stylish feel.
"It's completely made by hand by an artist in Dearborn," he said.
With a restaurant family Pittas grew up working in the kitchen where he's most comfortable.
"You have to do everything from washing dishes, cooking in the cook line...hosting-- it was just part of growing up," he said.
As chief of plastic surgery at St. Mary's Hospital in Saginaw, weekdays are hectic. On the weekends it's all about entertaining and cooking with close friend and local chef Bobby Nahra - a frequent FOX 2 guest.
Things can get a little messy so the doctor built a small commercial grade kitchen in the garage.
"This is where the magic happens, Bobby comes here and he goes all crazy with stuff," Pittas said. "We drink we eat we have a great time. The end of the day we take this hose over here and hose everything down."
Flanked by a wall of windows, a 52 foot long hallway runs almost half the length of the house and leads to the home office and master bedroom.
A spacious calypso granite bath & custom mahogany walk-in closet complete the master suite.
"As you can see here-- you open one door and you're up 30 feet in the air," he said.
Outside the expansive ironwood deck provides a sweeping view of the grounds and the Rouge River runs through the property just beyond the trees.
"This is a little tributary of the Rouge River," he said, adding that he sees wild life constantly. "Tons of deer, and turtles and all kinds of wildlife."
At the end of a long week at the hospital there's no better place to relax, unwind and hang out with friends.
"I love to smoke cigars," he said. "We can sit there for hours and pontificate about life and the world and we're there among all the trees. Life is great."