WRITER | RACHEL WHITE
PHOTOS | RAMIRO ZARATE JR.
With dramatic sweeping lines, this “neo-eclectic Tudor” home is the epitome of luxury. The exterior is stacked stone and cedar shake siding stained the color of the ocean. It has six bedrooms, four full and two half baths, and is 4,800 square feet of pure bliss – not to mention the 2,600-square-foot finished basement. The builder, Jeff Dotson of J. William Construction, is rather pragmatic about it all. “I know how to build houses,” he says simply.
As a matter of fact, for someone who builds some of the most high-end homes in Michigan, Dotson is remarkably humble and down to earth. He builds mainly in the Birmingham and Bloomfield areas. When he has a new client, his former clients welcome them in, showcasing homes he’s built previously. That gives clients a sense of the homes and relationships that he builds. “As you get older, you become more perceptive about people and what they want,” Dotson says.
Walking in the front door, flanked by leaded glass windows and topped with an extensive window, you begin to get a sense of what the homeowners wanted for this gorgeous residence: a haven for their family to really live in, without sacrificing one iota of upscale detail. The living area is light-filled and airy, with a wall of windows soaring almost to the 20-foot ceilings. The main floor is anchored with hand-scraped English oak flooring throughout. The stacked stone on the fireplace is echoed, wrapping the columns in shades of taupes, grays, and white.
The living area blends seamlessly into the bright kitchen, which features custom white wood cabinetry with inset doors and two side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators with cabinet fronts. The backsplash is hand-molded subway tile. The hood above the range has a built-in television so the homeowners can follow along while watching their favorite cooking show (or not miss a minute of the game while grabbing a snack). Everything is grounded by a maple island topped with quartzite. “She’s an amazing cook,” Dotson says of the homeowner. “She loves to entertain.”
The formal dining room is the perfect place to do just that. The ceiling is a stunning detail on a house that is already magnificent. “I saw something similar on another house and really liked it,” Dotson says. So he figured out how to do it. This is the type of thing that sets J. William Construction apart. “The layout was the hard part,” he notes.
The office charms with exposed wooden beams and rich wood paneling and an open stairway with wrought iron balusters and curved wood railing leads to the bedrooms upstairs.
The master bedroom is one of Dotson’s favorite features. It has a custom wood wall behind the bed, which has a custom matching frame. Dotson credits the homeowners. “She had so many great ideas,” he says. “They were both amazing to work with.” The three-window alcove is the perfect spot to curl up with a book.
The master bath is simply sumptuous, starting with the herringbone-patterned marble floor – heated, of course. The marble arabesque tiles in the shower are inset with glass for some sparkle, and the three shower heads make showers enjoyable. If the homeowners would rather bathe, there’s a soaking tub as well. The countertops are marble over both the dressing room area and separate vanity. The children’s rooms were never an afterthought, with custom details like a ballet barre for practicing dance and built-in shelving and desks.
The fun doesn’t stop when you walk outside. Working with the homeowner, who has played basketball extensively, J. William designed and installed a 30- by 50-foot sports court for shooting hoops or other fun games. There is also an outdoor kitchen for the frequent entertaining that the homeowners enjoy, while the garden behind the kitchen is great for picking fresh herbs. And there is more: The cabana and pool look like they belong at an opulent boutique hotel. Too chilly to swim? Don’t worry; there’s a fireplace in the cabana to warm up after a dip.
“There are so many ways to communicate now – I have clients who I FaceTime at 11:00 p.m. because they’re busy people and that’s the only time they’re available,” Dotson says. Having a builder who is that attentive is a bonus for professional clients who can’t always chat between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. “It’s always a challenge in a busy economy, to make sure it’s done right and on time.” But Dotson obviously pulls it off every time. His relationship with past clients is a true testament to the work he does, the value he places on his clients, and the partnership they forge. “I’m not just building a home,” he says. “I’m building relationships.”
J. William Construction 2510 S. Telegraph Road, Suite L101, Bloomfield Twp. MI 48302 l (248) 885-1134 l JWilliamConstructionLLC.com