By Kitty Golding
Kitty & Company has conducted a series of short interviews with Chelsea Residents for 52 weeks and we are sad to say, this is the LAST WEEK. We hope you have enjoyed meeting new and different personalities and design styles represented in our community. Wrapping up our last week, we introduce you to Mrs. Donna Zak.
What is your current profession? I am a retired nurse. I spent the majority of my 30 plus years as a nurse for the University of Michigan Health System, now Michigan Medicine.
Your family members: My husband Don and I have two sons. Both are married to two fabulous women and we have three grandchildren.
People think of me as: Well, the best way to answer this, is what you see, is what you get.
When did you move to the Chelsea area? We moved to this area 4 years ago. Previously we lived in Saline for about 30 years.
What do you love about where you currently live? We live on one of the outlying lakes and the nature that shows up around our home is enticing to watch. We are near the border of the Pinckney Waterloo Recreation area and I love the trails and all the beauty of the woods. Lastly, the town of Chelsea is charming and we enjoy what it has to offer.
If you could have a second home anywhere, where would it be? We do have a cabin in the mountains in Wyoming. We feel so fortunate to have two beautiful settings, our home on a lake which I always wanted, and the home in the mountains for Don. Both made our dreams a reality.
What three words describe your style? Relaxed, Earthy, Tranquil.
Who most influenced your design styles? Mother Nature, as well William Morris.
What are you most inspired by in your design/decor? Nature for sure.
As you think about the home in which you grew up, what elements did you like and do you think you have incorporated some of them in your own home?
I grew up in a very funky very old house and I loved it. I did incorporate elements that I loved from that house in two of our previous homes but not so much in this home.
When entering your home, how do you want it to feel? Calm.
What is one element or trend in design you do not like? I am not too fond of minimalism.
What is the biggest design issue you struggle with? Color. I struggle with trying to pick shades that are the right warmth or coolness to work with my existing pieces.
Have you ever built a new home or remodeled an existing one? Yes. Our previous home in Saline was an 1894 Queen Anne Victorian. We did considerable restoration- a true labor of love.
Have you stayed true to a style through the years, or have you fluctuated in your tastes? My style has evolved over the years. As I have gotten older I think I appreciate and prefer a more simple and quiet decor. Calm, soft wall colors and fabrics appeal to me.
Have you ever sought professional help with the interior design of your home - if so, what did you find most helpful?
Kitty helped us tremendously with the design of our recent bathrooms project. We never would have been able to source the materials or trades people to do the work during this pandemic if it wasn’t for her. She honed-in on our style and suggested design elements that fit perfectly with our vibe and budget.
If you were moving and could only select one item from your home to keep, what would it be? I have one old rocker that has been with me since childhood and I think I would like to keep that. I am very sentimental.
Which room in your home gets the most use? Actually, it is an exterior room – our multi-level deck. We love being outside with the views of the lake.
No room is complete without: A throw or maybe two or three!
If you are a pet owner, how has that influenced your choices in design, if it has? We have a large very messy dog. His hair is everywhere so I do thing about rugs that will hide a bit if his messiness.
Has any local venue particularly caught your eye - if so why? I really enjoy all the shops in Chelsea and Dexter.
What have you been doing to pass the time during the COVID-19 State shutdown? I’m helping my grandson manage virtual kindergarten.
A few of your favorite things!
Movie – I haven’t seen any for so long but I did really enjoy A Star is Born.
Favorite Historical Place You have visited – Machu Picchu, in Peru
Scent –Pine needles
TV Show- Finding Your Roots
Meal – Grilled Salmon and Salad
Travel Destination (on your bucket list)– Patagonia
Design Style- Transitional
Museum –Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France
Hobbies-Being on the water, hiking, biking, gardening
Item on a bookshelf – Tiny pieces of art
Favorite Plant - Blue Hydrangea
I met Donna last year when she stopped into our design studio. They were looking to remodel two of their bathrooms. Now she and Don can state that they survived a remodel during the pandemic! Donna has a calming and peaceful personality, which transcends to her home design. She has a knack for accessorizing and has sculpted their rooms in non-trendy, natural way perfectly suited to their life-style. And, Donna – I’m jealous that you have seen Machu Picchu, that was my bucket list answer. We need to have coffee and talk about that trip!
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