Who was not impressed, if not astonished, stunned and stunned by the photos of the magnificent lakeside palace in Bloomfield Hills, the Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, recently put on sale for 6 .5 million dollars?
Man’s cave looks more exclusive than this club you cannot enter. The vast kitchen would make Emeril Lagasse jealous. The glass elevator would make Charlie Bucket jealous. The Pistons basketball court. The wine cellar.
Again and again. Piece after piece. Functionality after functionality. All that glass and shiny granite reflecting our own hopes and dreams of what it would be like to own a house like this.
Who has not been impressed?
The people who actually built part of the Staffords home were also impressed. But for a different reason. They love the house for its beauty and all the efforts and artistic talent that have made it possible to achieve a design and a dream. But they were more impressed with something completely different. They were impressed with the Staffords.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has fun with daughters Sawyer and Chandler while Kelly Stafford watches after training camp on Wednesday July 31, 2019 in Allen Park. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)
Great people, great role models
The folks at Bosco Building Inc., a custom home builder in West Bloomfield, spent almost two years getting to know the Staffords while they were renovating the house.
From June 2015 until they handed the house over to Staffords on Memorial Day weekend 2017, builders emptied the old house and added 3,000 square feet, including a completely new second floor. They have accomplished impressive feats of engineering and imagination.
And they forged something else: respect for what Stafford and his wife go through during an NFL season.
“You really get a sense of Matt’s work ethic when working with him, how he has been contacted during the season,” said Anthony Bosco, project manager and son of company founder Don Bosco . “I think Kelly and Matt together – it was kind of a refresh, their relationship. They are excellent models.
“Kelly would always come to Matt’s defense with everything that was going on during the season. She doesn’t shoot anything. She always knew where he was standing or if he was satisfied with something or if he wanted something to change. She was great to work with. I thought both of them were great people. “
Tim Birchmeier, another project manager for Bosco, worked closely with the Staffords throughout the project. He was also duly impressed by the Staffords.
Tim Birchmeier is project manager for Bosco Building Inc., a custom home builder in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The company built Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford’s Bloomfield Hills home. (Photo: courtesy of Bosco Building Inc.)
“Really down to earth and respectful,” he said. “They didn’t ask, they would ask if something could be done. “
Birchmeier notably recalled a late request.
“We were about to set up this drywall thing,” he said, “and they came over and said,” Hey, there’s another column between the family room and the bathroom. eat that we would really like to have got rid of. ‘”
Birchmeier had to return to the engineers and discovered that removing the column would require adding about six feet more to a 20-inch solid steel beam.
“And they didn’t ask for it,” said Birchmeier. “They just asked if we could do it. It delayed some things, but we did it and we were happy to get rid of it in the end. But very respectful. I really enjoyed working with them. “
Lions lineman is too scared to sit down
One of the most unique features of the house is a wine cellar that holds over 600 bottles. “The ceiling of this wine cellar is all glass looking out into the dining room,” said Anthony Bosco. “So from the dining room upstairs you look at the wine room and from the wine room you look at the second floor of the house. It’s pretty wild. ”
The dining table rests on 40-inch by 40-inch glass panels. The glass blends perfectly with the granite floor and is practically imperceptible – unless the lights are on in the wine cellar below.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Matthew Stafford at 1867 Long Pointe Drive in Bloomfield Twp. has a temperature-controlled wine cellar of 625 bottles. The palace is on sale for $ 6.5 million. The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom lakefront home is 12,295 square feet, of which 7,720 are above ground. (Photo: digital inlay)
“There have been several times when I remember talking to Matt,” said Birchmeier. “He had a few linemen there and they didn’t want to sit at the dining room table. They didn’t want anything to do with it.
“This glass is an inch and a quarter thick. But I was a little wary myself, weighing almost 300 or so the first two times.
Man, oh, man – what a man cave
The house has several interesting details. The pool table in the man’s cave is made of concrete and weighs 1,700 pounds. This is more than three times the weight of a typical pool table. And this is the second one, after the first one broke.
The Man’s Cave also has a unique hidden feature that you might find on the terrace of a posh restaurant.
“There is a porch on the side and Tim has designed an overhead door system,” said Anthony Bosco. “Almost works like a garage door, so when you open this door in this human cave, or open this wall, that door rolls up and retracts into the ceiling.
“He found a way to do it without interfering with the lighting. It’s pretty wild. The door will come back and you don’t see it and you have a completely open wall. ”
As Bosco said, “It’s half a man’s cave, half a trophy room with almost a lounge vibe.”
The funny thing about Man’s Cave is that it’s not the room that caught Stafford’s attention the most. In fact, neither he nor his wife put more emphasis on one piece. What surprised Birchmeier most was Stafford’s interest in the mechanical functioning of the kitchen.
“I was a little tickled how much Matt, once he entered the house, how much he appreciated the way the cabinets, the doors, the sliding mechanisms and all that in the kitchen and how much I suppose he was in love with all of that, ”he said. “Most of the guys are the caveman and that’s all they want. But he really appreciated what was put in this kitchen area. “
As for Kelly Stafford, she only pointed out one characteristic.
“Kelly has sort of followed suit,” said Birchmeier. “The only thing she asked was to change the chandelier.
“And it was pretty funny to see them bartering back and forth on what she was going to get for a chandelier. And we ended up going back there afterwards to install this chandelier when they both finally decided what would work for the two of them. “
She ended up with a chandelier near the main staircase that looked like an ice cube made of bubbles.
Whose house is it anyway?
There are very few features in the house that indicate that a Lions player owns it. There are indications that an athlete could reside there. There is a basketball half court on the Pistons floor of the Silverdome, although it was left by the previous owner. Bosco has built a training and recovery room with a cold bath – a feature unique to elite athletes.
But memories of Stafford NFL and university careers in human cave make it one of the few places in the house to give a hint to a Lions player.
“They kept things low,” said Birchmeier. “But the people on the lake know this. They know who it is. “
Likewise, the builders tried to protect the privacy of the Staffords by not telling anyone who they worked the house in and even saying nothing to the workers who owned the house. The Staffords did not live at home during work, so they were not often seen on site.
“They were very private,” said Anthony Bosco. “We went to great lengths to try to protect this throughout the project. This is not a house of which we have pictures in our office, simply because we want to keep their privacy as anonymous as possible. Especially during construction, you also don’t want people to necessarily find out what’s in the house or not.
“I guess when you go to sell it, all the bets are a little cut. Now there are pictures of everything. But they were private. We were all amazed at how down to earth they were. “
Of course, some people had their suspicions.
“At one point,” said Anthony Bosco, “I got a call from someone saying,” God, the owner of this house is very much like Matthew Stafford. “”
Working with Staffords was enough reward
The Bosco building does not advertise very much. It’s not necessary. The company was founded in 1975 and has built homes for several high-profile sports figures on the Detroit underground. They do not seek or receive much publicity or recognition for their work.
But they admitted that they were delighted to see all the attention their work received when the house was listed. Kelly Stafford explained that they were selling it because of concerns a large infinity pool living on Long Lake with three young children and a fourth on the way.
“You hate to see them get rid of it or sell it and keep going,” said Anthony Bosco. “But at the other end of the day, our job at the end of the day is to make sure these customers are happy and we love serving customers. And really, the experience of working with the Staffords was enough for us.
“It was really the joy of each of these (projects). The houses are beautiful and we love these houses, we love all of our customers. But that relationship that you develop with the customers and the process for a year or two when you build one of those houses, those big houses, where you get the stories at the end of the day, the house is almost the under- product. ”
Contact Carlos Monarrez at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.