2012 1st Ave N.
Birmingham, Al 35203

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Bham Design: Habitation's Bill Aroosian

Abbey road kitchen by Bill aroosian

Bill Aroosian, owner of design firm Habitation, has 29 years of interior design experience. His background ranges from contemporary to traditional, from retail to outdoors, so you could say his comfort zone is expansive. Bill is also one of our trusted partners, most recently masterminding the stunning kitchens in our Abbey Road townhomes. We checked in with him recently for his take on the world of residential design, plus his work on Abbey Road, and brought you some of his thoughts below.

Design should be personal:
Bill believes residential spaces should “have a feeling that it is personal, lived in and a reflection of the owners.” He also cautions against working with designers with a clear signature look. “I do not believe it is possible to have a designer who does the ‘same look’ in every home,” he says. “I think this is doing your clients a disservice, everyone deserves their own look.” Personally, Bill prefers a style that’s “more traditional with updated looks mixed in.”

Give contemporary a chance:
Birmingham folks generally avoid contemporary style, Bill says, but he thinks it can be a great complement to more traditional rooms. Plus, it can be a mark of discerning taste: “Anyone who appreciates the clean and simple aesthetic of contemporary knows how much planning and selection goes into creating a contemporary space.”

Find your focal point, and design around it:
At Abbey Road, for instance, Bill says residents should focus on “the million dollar view of downtown Birmingham.” Urban living spaces play nicely with “updated contemporary” styles, he says, but that shouldn’t scare off folks with other tastes. The key to making any style work at Abbey Road “is to focus on the view with clean, simple and personal styles that do not distract from the main focal point.”

Warm up a chef-friendly kitchen with accent details:
The kitchens Bill designed at Abbey Road feature extra-wide refrigerators and Bertazzoni ranges, stainless steel appliances that appeal to serious cooks. Those features also fit well with his goal look: “clean, bright, spare and functional.” But Bill wanted a space fit for entertaining as well. “Special order hardware on all of the cabinets helped warm up the space,” Bill says, creating a room “that is functional while also being attractive and inviting to guests.”

Choose quiet dishwashers for open kitchens:
Bill selected ultra quiet Kitchenaid dishwashers for Abbey Road, which may not be practical at all home price points. But if you have an open floor plan, Bill says the “quietest dishwasher you can afford is mandatory.

And if you’re planning to sell your home, Bill suggests refreshing your kitchen in the following order:

  • Start with paint for quick and easy impact. “White paint is king,” he says. “White always looks clean and fresh.”
  • Consider updating countertops and appliances to current trends. “Granite is out marble is in,” he says. Also, “black stainless steel appliances are hot.”

You can always replace flooring and cabinets as well, but “you will then have a completely remodeled kitchen,” Bill says. “So why move?”

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