A Look Inside One Historic Bloomfield Hills Home

A master suite, with sumptuous dressing rooms, is the crown jewel in this historic Bloomfield Hills home.
Photograph by Joe Tiano

When it came to purchasing her historic Bloomfield Hills home and turning the master suite into the space she desired, Sissy Yellen had to practice the art of patience. First, the 1917 Georgian colonial, a landmark property along the Woodward Corridor, went off the market just as she and her husband, Brandon, were prepared to purchase it. When they bought it a year later, they waited another six months to make changes.

“The master suite hadn’t been touched since the 1980s,” says Yellen, an interior designer who runs her business, Sissy Yellen Living, from a recently built studio on her home’s property. “It needed attention aesthetically.”

Yellen’s personal style is classic. “I just love symmetry,” she says, “and I love chintz and traditional patterns.”

She called on CBI Design Professionals in Bloomfield Hills and worked with architects Rob Clarke and Amanda Fox. Franklin-based Dana Jacob Designs assisted with hard finishes such as tiles and inlays.

“We removed an exercise room, and we changed the layout of the master closets. We also added a sitting room, which used to be a hallway, and altered the master bath entirely,” Yellen says. “Thank God my husband doesn’t care if I use a floral motif. He says he feels at home and cozy.”

The overall goal for the couple — who are parents to three girls — was to have “modern amenities with an uber-traditional, maximalist aesthetic,” Yellen says. “I am truly in love with this home’s soul.”

Here, she shares more about her long-awaited dream space.

Photograph by Joe Tiano

If walls could talk

The jumping-off point was the wallpaper (Bowood by Colefax and Fowler) for the master bedroom and some of the hallways. “Its age is historically relevant to the house,” Yellen says.

Cue the colors

“I’m into unique color palettes. This space is a different look and not for everyone,” she says. She chose two Farrow & Ball paint shades, Yeabridge Green (the paint company’s team was inspired by an 18th-century Georgian farmhouse in Somerset, England) and Churlish Green (named in reference to a simple peasant life).

“I didn’t want to see another white dressing room,” she says.

The Churlish Green was used on the exterior of the built-ins, and the Yeabridge Green, which echoes the leaf color in the wallpaper, is on the interiors. Churlish Green shows up on the bathroom cabinetry, too.

Guiding light

Yellen commissioned Coleen & Co. of California to create custom lighting, including pendant fixtures and two hallway lanterns. Sconces are by Julie Neill for Visual Comfort & Co., from City Lights Detroit at the Michigan Design Center in Troy.

Material girl

Yellen was insistent on marble, “a traditional material,” she says, and especially loves Crema Marfil, “a warm, beige marble” she used on the vanity and closet island and throughout the master bath.

Marvelous millwork

Choosing the millwork was a collaborative effort, Yellen says. “I told the folks at CBI that I wanted certain motifs repeated throughout, like cut circles and paned millwork on the glass. I love the window mullions and planned for the cabinets to wrap around them. My painter essentially came in after the cabinets were installed to make it look seamless.”

The arch-style window mullion is one of Yellen’s favorite designs. “Millwork is what makes the space timeless, classic, and traditional,” she says.

Photograph by Joe Tiano

Under foot

Professional Rug Works in Troy does most of Yellen’s carpet work. “Mine was not an easy install, because it goes on forever.”

Painterly palace

All the trim work and the full wall of paneling in the master bath are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Ivory Tusk (semigloss). The ceilings are awash in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White.

Handbag hangout

Lovely shelving showcases Yellen’s purses. “I’m happy to invest in handbags that make me happy — and they’re not what everyone is using or is popular at the moment. I love quality, and I will always go back to them.”

Initial this, please

Yellen had the hardware on the center island engraved with her initials. “I love monograms and like to sneak one into every bedroom or bathroom.”

Play space, too?

The Yellens’ daughters, ages 5, 3, and 1, are often “caught playing in the dressing room,” Yellen says.

This story is from the January 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition. And click here to see more metro Detroit interiors.