story by Deborah Saul photos by Tom Hawley
The good thing about downsizing to a smaller home is mostly the yard work we had at our last home. I had a little under an acre to manage of trees and flower beds. Now we have a smaller yard to maintain, but I still can have my flower beds all around the house. — Sally Binion
When Mike and Sally Binion sold their home in Dartmoor a little more than two years ago, they were looking for a condo in the golfing neighborhood around Carrington Farms.
Home sales and timing didn’t coincide for that plan. After a bit more research and exploring, they chose to build in the condo complex of Central Park off N. Custer Rd. With a tighter 1,777 square feet of living space, a few pieces of furniture had to go, but the result is a lovely, warm home with designer touches.
The designer touches shouldn’t be surprising since Sally Binion worked for McLaughlin Home Furnishings in Southgate for years before starting her own drapery business. Now she has worked the last six years with Karen Essary and her Couture by Karen window treatment, blinds and consulting company.
Sally, 60, and her husband will have been in their new home for two years in August. A few details remain to be done, including window treatments for the sunroom, but the rich gold-green-russet tones and natural woods have created a sophisticated setting throughout the home.
Sally has found places for treasured family antiques, including the lovely quarter-sawn oak bookcase and hall tree in the foyer. She recently was given her mother’s antique writing desk that seems to fit perfectly between the dining area and the sunroom.
The home was built by Central Park Builders, a division of the Berman Building Co. of Sylvania. The custom-built homes include condo amenities and common open space.
Downsizing isn’t always easy, but there are some advantages. “The good thing about downsizing to a smaller home is mostly the yard work we had at our last home,” Sally said. “I had a little under an acre to manage of trees and flower beds. Now we have a smaller yard to maintain, but still can have my flower beds all around the house.”
Of course, with the condo association, snow removal and lawn service also are provided for the owners.
Sally and Mike love to entertain and family occasions can fill the new space. The full-sized basement is partially finished and has entertaining and guest room space along with playroom for the grandchildren.
She and Mike have five children between them – Gabe, Renee, Monica, Lyndsy and Ashley – and seven grandchildren ranging in age from 18 months to 11 years. Another grandchild is expected in November.
Sally is a Monroe native, the daughter of Dick and Irene Cavanaugh, formerly of the Earle Little Funeral Home. She graduated from Monroe High School and took design classes at Monroe County Community College.
“The one thing I am not as happy with is the amount of space for cooking and entertaining the family, as it is still growing quickly. I try to do most of the holidays at our house, which does seem much smaller but cozy. To help with that we finished off half of the basement into another bedroom and rec room with TV for the kids to play and have sleep overs.”
Mike, 62, is from Wyandotte and is the energy manager at Gerdau Macsteel in Monroe.
“I do love the street we live on,” Sally said of their new home. “It is quiet and we have wonderful people living here.”
Tips for home design
When beginning a renovation or faced with a new room or whole house, Sally suggests starting with something you love: The number one thing is to first select an inspirational piece of artwork or furniture you would like to use in complementing the design. If you are starting out fresh, the first thing is selection of the furniture and fabric colors you would like to use. You usually have one primary color, another to coordinate, and a pop of another choice to add some interest and color. After the fabric selection is made you select paint colors to complement, then flooring. Then you finish with the accessories and drapery. Use a variety of fabrics with patterns and textures to get the perfect look you’ll love. — Sally Binion