This is a high-end city house — a house that packs luxury finishes and open space onto its narrow 43-foot lot.
Side to side, this house is slid onto its land like a hand into a glove — snugly. But the lot is 186 feet deep, and both front and back have been made into pleasing outdoor space.
It has neighborly, sheltered front porch, deep enough for furniture, where the owners like to sit in the evening and watch the cars and dog walkers. It has a compact backyard set up for entertaining with stone paving, outdoor furniture and a handsome fireplace.
Most significant for a city house, it has a half-mile walk to the attractions of downtown Birmingham. “There’s a ton of restaurants, shops, the events in Shain Park,” the owner said. “You can walk to town.”
That was a deliberate choice for these owners, who came to the area about two years ago. The kids were grown, and they wanted a site with some bustle. “We wanted city-type living,” the owner said. “We’d done that house in the suburbs with a big yard.”
On the narrow, deep lot the house also is deep. It packs 3,900 square feet into its two main floors, with rooms lined behind each other and open space between. Its finished daylight lower level adds another 1,800.
The biggest open space on the main floor is where the large kitchen, 18 by 18 feet, flows into the large family room, 17 by 18. At the other end of the kitchen, a butler’s pantry opens into the dining room. You can see through this four-room stretch from one end to the other.
This family room is the last room at the back of the house, and French doors open out to the paved back yard. Two sides of the room are windows.
At the front of the house a distinctive office has the view out the front window, which has an inset of beveled, leaded glass.
The room is painted dark chocolate brown, almost black, over lavish built-ins and woodwork. The crown molding starts at the top of the door and goes the rest of the way up the wall, then out across the ceiling till it reaches a central step-up.
The front door has insets of leaded glass, similar to Frank Lloyd Wright’s wheat design.
The kitchen cabinets are especially handsome with overhead glass insets that are lighted. Ceilings are loaded with can lights on dimmers, and major spaces have chandeliers.
Bathrooms have good looking accents of gray and white marble tile. The soaking tub stands on metallic claw feet.
A system of Control4 Home Automation divides the house into six zones. It can control lights, music, temperature, even opening or closing blinds.
Finally the house has 1,800 square feet finished in the daylight basement as a party space. This has a full bar, a family room, a wine cellar, a full bath and a fifth bedroom.
Home in the city
Where: 909 Southfield Road, Birmingham
How much: $1,699,000
Bedrooms: 5 including the lower level
Baths: 4 full including the lower level, plus 1 half
Square feet: 3,900 in the two main floors, plus 1,800 finished in the lower level.
Key features: Handsome city house has great street appeal, 3,900 square feet, close to amenities of downtown Birmingham. Luxurious trim and built-ins, Control4 automation, private, paved back yard for parties, fine kitchen and baths.
Contact: Dan Gutfreund, Signature Sotheby’s International, 248-497-4646.
A note about photos
In order to limit our staff’s exposure to coronavirus, the Detroit Free Press is temporarily suspending its practice of using our photographers to capture images for House Envy and is instead using photographs prepared by listing Realtors, with credit to the photographers. We thank the Realtors for helping in this effort.
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