The Demuth family loves to play. Especially when their playground is outside.
So when a three-acre property just behind their Bloomfield Hills main house became available, they jumped at the chance to combine the properties to create an outdoor dreamscape — including pool, clay tennis court, pool house and more.
David Demuth, CEO of Doner in Southfield, and his wife, Kristen, brought in landscape architect Matt Mosher, owner of Mosher Design Co. in Royal Oak, to bring it all together.
“We always try to bring in the feel of the house through the landscape, so the experience is consistent,” Mosher says. “The main house is a transitional style, not too modern but not too classic. It has a big bay window facing the grounds, so we centered the pool perfectly from the view of the window and started there. Then the tennis court is centered in that. We wanted to create a perfect architectural flow that feels nice to the eye.” Demuth adds, “I’m someone who likes order. Matt took a loose version of what we liked and created something really beautiful.”
The couple was married on Cape Cod, and they scoured books and magazines of homes in the Hamptons — both styles, with expansive, manicured greenery, appealed to them.
“We wanted it to be beautiful,” Demuth says. “The landscaping and the grounds. Kristen and I [and our four children] love the outdoors. We’re all very active, but we love flowers and shrubs, dogwood, and hydrangeas. The space is big, and the pool is big. Surrounding the pool with green grass makes it feel intimate. You can walk down a little rock path to the tennis court, and this whole world opens up.”
The pool area, says Mosher, “is simple. But the materials and the proportions make it really beautiful.” The pool’s interior, a shimmering PebbleTec finished in light blue, is subtly trimmed with tile, which helps reduce the glare. Beyond that — green grass. Mosher created well-manicured foundation landscaping with evergreen hedging, boxwood and arborvitae while bringing in warmth with collections of flower pots along the outskirts of the grounds.
“We edited it to a couple of different materials,” he says, “so it doesn’t distract the eye.”
In addition to Mosher, who brought in Gillette Bros. to create the pool, and Victor Saroki, owner of Saroki Architecture, to build the pool house, Demuth tapped Lynn Witmer, owner of Witmer Design, for the pool house interior. Witmer, who has partnered with the family on multiple projects, and has also worked often with Mosher, “channels our sense of style,” Demuth says. “We like modern meets classic — we have very contemporary things, but also antiques from France from the 17th century.”
“Kristen and David are very organic and natural; they made the home their own,” Witmer says. “They have modern traditional tastes — the main house arch is very traditional in the envelope, but they definitely have an edge. They’re huge art collectors, so it’s a really great mix.”
The pool house — much more than a pool house — has a full bedroom, two full bathrooms, a kitchen and living area, with the back opening to an herb and vegetable garden and an outdoor shower on the side. Bifold doors and bluestone flooring seamlessly transition the inside to the outside pergola which is used as a dining area with a barbecue pizza oven and enough seating for 12.
“All of the fabrics in the pool house are indoor/outdoor and super family-friendly,” Witmer says. “The sofas might be [high-end] Holly Hunt, but we covered it with all-weather fabric. The kids can come in soaking wet from the pool and sit on everything.”
Mosher agrees. “The entire grounds is really beautiful to look at, but it’s meant to be used and can weather the wrath of kids,” he says. “It’s an architecturally correct playground.”