Bria Hammel Interiors Designs a Modern Classic

Blending traditional elegance with fresh functionality, this Lakeland sanctuary illustrates the beauty of balance

Photos by Spacecrafting  

Bria Hammel, CEO and Creative Director of Bria Hammel Interiors, works her magic in the living room of this Lakeland home—adding cozy finishing touches in her signature style.

Michael and Madison Zaslavsky knew they were ready for their forever home. “When we decided to move to the east suburbs to be closer to family, we viewed it as our opportunity to create a home that fit us completely—both in design and in function,” they say. The family’s previous residence was a model home designed by Bria Hammel Interiors, with architectural design by David Charlez Designs. Familiar with their quality of work, the homeowners recruited help from each firm to create what is now a 5,000-square-foot modern-traditional masterpiece.

With four young children, there were myriad considerations in terms of both location and looks. First, the family yearned for a wooded lot with a few acres the kids could explore. “When we stumbled upon our new property, we felt like it was a hidden gem,” they explain. Nestled among 3 acres of mature red and white pine trees with a view of the St. Croix Valley, the lot offers privacy amid the convenience of the surrounding Lakeland neighborhood.

When planning the interior, a challenge arose in crafting a clean, elegant design that also remained practical for the growing kids. Katie Pieper, design team manager and lead designer at Bria Hammel Interiors, says, “They wanted the home to feel elevated, but they also wanted it to be very functional and durable for their young family.” The kitchen, which acted as the project’s starting point, is a prime example of this with its porcelain, stain-resistant countertops. As the most design-centric space in the house, the kitchen sets the
tone for the rest of the home and allows each surrounding element to effortlessly unfold from it. Pieper notes how “it blends organic with stone and high contrast [to feel] a little bit luxe with polished nickel finishes.” One of the space’s most notable components is the arched window and stone accent wall, proposed by David Charlez Designs in the original architectural plans. Effortlessly framing the backyard, the window and stone surround stun with enchanting forest views and welcome in tons of natural light. 

Occupying an alcove off the main area is a charming breakfast nook, which provides an intimate gathering space for the family to enjoy morning coffee and cozy conversations. Wood-paneled ceilings and black-frame windows come together to further emphasize the high-contrast feel found throughout the kitchen.

A dramatic powder room makes a bold statement with a painting-reminiscent floral Woodchip & Magnolia wall covering and custom reeded vanity.

The focus on practicality continues in the powder bath, complete with flair-filled features and dramatic accents. “We worked directly with Cambria on creating the custom design of adding the reeding within the vanity slab,” Pieper explains. “[We were] very intentional about the design and how it could be super elevated, but as durable as it could be for their lifestyle.” The added character in the space comes in the form of wallpaper—an element the homeowners were excited to experiment with throughout the home. Described by Pieper as “moody,” the floral wall covering from UK brand Woodchip & Magnolia makes a colorful statement.

When it came to the main living spaces, the homeowners prioritized their love of entertaining. Unlike most popular new builds, Michael and Madison wanted a closed-concept layout with multiple gathering spaces. They felt keeping each area intentional and separate would “provide intimacy within large gatherings.” To do this, the spaces were kept special and personalized with unique identities and purposes. “They really wanted to start creating stories within each of the spaces in their home,” Pieper says. However, continuity was embraced through modern-traditional design to ensure the aesthetic felt cohesive throughout. She continues, “[The design] was balanced with really light walls and brass finishes so things still feel light and airy—[all while having] that darker contrast in each of the spaces.”

The home’s exterior leans toward a Tudor look with more modern elements, so the design team sought to maintain this balance in the interior. Stepping through the front door, the foyer meshes perfectly with this style, pairing traditional paneling and millwork with contrasting modern light fixtures. On the staircase, metal spindles and a classic plaid runner further emphasize the effortless symmetry of the styles. “Sometimes, the super modern house isn’t livable for a young family with all the sharp edges,” Pieper says. “But when we can soften it with traditional elements, it makes [everything] feel more welcoming and cozy.”

An intimate alcove off the kitchen provides the family an intentional space to create cherished memories during mealtime.

Madison’s favorite space in the home is the living room, complete with built-ins, a wall of windows, and a grand stone fireplace that anchors the space. It’s truly all-encompassing for the family’s lifestyle, with Madison stating, “It can feel grand during daylight hours but still cozy in the evening next to the fire.” Then, adjacent to the living room is a play space for the children—perfectly positioned for the parents to keep an eye on them. Boasting yet another fun wall covering, the playroom employs a neutral color palette to shine a spotlight on the unique woodland-themed wallpaper that embodies the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

But while the great room and nearby spaces offer family-friendly functionality, the dining room is where the homeowners’ passion for hosting truly shines. Pieper says, “In their dining room, the homeowners said, ‘We like to host amazing dinner parties for our friends, and we want it to feel like they’re in a luxe restaurant.’” Attached to the clean, bright kitchen, this space boasts a darker, more moody palette to mimic the desired aesthetic of an elevated fine-dining experience.

After a two-year process and numerous unexpected delays, the resulting home epitomizes the concept of balance in all its forms. Although the Zaslavskys have been in the home for less than a year, Pieper is confident they have loved every moment. She says, “They wanted it to feel like a retreat, and I know they were very intentional about how each room was going to be used. It was a very long process, but it was all worth it in the end.”

No posts to display