A Fenton Couple Shares Their Midcentury Open-air Entertaining Space

Whether they’re catching rays by the pool or chilling in the pergola, the Brimmers’ space makes for a groovy hangout spot
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fenton midcentury entertaining space
Mark and Andrea Brimmer relax in their entertaining space.

If the Mad Men set designers ever needed a metro Detroit location during the show’s nearly eight-year run, they could have knocked on the door of Andrea and Mark Brimmers’ home in Fenton. Their entire home features midcentury modern sensibilities, from the kitchen’s yellow Smeg oven to the aqua Weber grill on the patio. 

The Brimmers — Mark is a football coach at Walled Lake Northern High School and Andrea is chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally — are passionate about midcentury style, which denotes a time ranging from about the late 1930s to the late 1960s. The couple have come to evoke both the style and the spirit of that era. 

“We found property on Lake Ponemah, and that gave us the opportunity to build the home we always wanted,” Andrea says. Built in 2020, the house was designed by Karl Jasinski Designs of Sarasota, Florida. The Brimmers called on interior designer and midcentury modern style lover Elin Walters of Exactly Designs in Ann Arbor to help them create an outdoor entertaining space with orderly lines, practical elements, and pops of cheerful colors. “It got bigger and bigger as we got going,” Walters says. 

Located on 2 acres, the Brimmer home features 200 feet of lake frontage, a pool and deck, a pergola/lounge area, and more. This is the place to be during summer. Here’s how the ultramodern exterior — infused with elements of California design and aesthetic — came together. 

A Closer Look at the Entertaining Space

fenton midcentury entertaining space
The entertaining space includes a pergola and a 1960s wood-burning orange fireplace.
Hot stuff

A Malm wood-burning orange fireplace from the 1960s was brought in from California. “I had it driven here,” Andrea says.

Pergola perfection

“I wanted something modern that would sit well with the aesthetic of the house,” owner Andrea Brimmer says. She designed a small space surrounded by wood-slatted walls and ceiling, which allow a lot of light in but also keep the area semi-shaded. “I had it painted black, as opposed to staining it, to go with the home’s trim. 

Planter’s punch

The Brimmers hired Gerych’s, a florist and event planner in Fenton, to design the succulent planters that hang on the pergola slats. “I wanted plants reminiscent of that desert-y, Palm Springs look,” Andrea says. 

Grounded in style

In the pergola area and extending to the side of the house, large square pavers create a parterre look with bright green artificial turf between the slabs, helping to retain the clean-lined appearance. All the landscaping on the property was designed and is maintained by Matt Shaker of Superior Lawn & Landscape in Fenton.   

Cool cooler

A cooler in the shape of a classic woody (wood-bodied station wagon) adds additional whimsy to the space. The couple purchased it at a small store in Tennessee.

Soak it up

The soaking pool measures 10 by 12 feet. “We didn’t want to do something overly big; we just wanted a happy place,” Andrea says. “We’ve got nine speakers out here, so you get in the pool, listen to music.” The pool’s midcentury-style liner has a mosaic bubble design. The speakers are by Stealth Acoustics and installed by Ross Roach of Roseville-based Left Side AV.” 

Warm-ups

“Since we’re in Michigan on a lake, we decided to include warmer tones than you might see on the West Coast and its midcentury look. So, on the exterior, it’s olives, browns, beiges,” Andrea says. “Then the bright pops of color in the furnishings are the calling cards of what we love in California.” 

Furnishing a look

The furniture inside the pergola is from shopthenovogratz.com, while the pool-deck seating is from H3K Home & Design, located in Palm Springs.


This story is from the August 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition. And click here to see more metro Detroit interiors.