Raising the Barn


Jon & Leah Niese


Residential, New Construction


Photographs BY Brett Mountain Unless Otherwise Noted




Detroit Design Awards – Interiors: Hand Crafted / Locally Sourced
Detroit Design Awards – Details: Custom Furniture
Detroit Design Awards – Interiors: Bar

When the newly retired Major League Baseball Player, John Niese, and his wife, Leah Niese, reached out to us, they were in the midst of dreaming up something big for their future. They wanted help designing their custom forever home, located on a bay of Lake Erie with a stunning view of a lighthouse. The most important aspect was that the home be designed to be a place that friends and family could come to gather.


As we talked through visions for this family's ideal home, one thing was for certain: It had to be the perfect hub for gathering. They not only needed a house built, but they needed a strategic, interior design advocate that they could trust to build their vision from the ground up, and inject every square inch with their family’s warmth and personality. 


To turn this dream into reality, Concetti’s team poured their hearts into getting to know the Niese’s needs and visions, crafting designs, overseeing construction, implementing architecture, and creating a central “hub” gathering space on the first floor to honor their love of gathering. 

Concetti sourced the wood in the stairs and throughout the home from Urban Evolutions, who used reclaimed Kentucky Horse Fencing as the floor! They also wanted to consider the safety of the stairs to keep all of the kiddos safe when running up and down and chose the direction of the slats for safety first.

In place of the traditional first-floor kitchen, living room, office setup, this family home features a first-floor gathering space called “The Party Room”. This gorgeous, custom-designed space opens (entirely) to an outdoor pool and lake view.

“We made sure to really get to know them on a personal level, and also made sure to advocate for them consistently between all parties involved, such as the builders, architects, furnishers, and so on. We understood that at the end of the day, this was going to be their forever home, and it was so important we captured their personality so that this home was truly something they appreciated and enjoyed.”

– Rachel Nelson, Principal Designer & CEO⁠⁠


John and Leah’s first-floor master carefully blends Leah’s preferred contemporary clean lines, alongside John’s rustic, authentic materiality. As you open the reclaimed wood barn doors, you’re greeted by a clean, black stone fireplace, a custom-built vanity, an expansive corner view of the lake, and plenty of cozy textures and layered moments throughout. ⁠⁠

“When the kids want their own space, they have their own rooms, but they also have what we call the kids' lounge that has their toys and a couch.⁠⁠ My son's video games are there too and it's just a little hangout for him. So when they need their own time, they have their own go-to space. It's really special.”

– Leah Niese, Homeowner⁠⁠

All of the kids’ bedrooms are cleverly located on the second floor, turning the right-wing of the house into their own whimsical getaway. The “kid's lounge” separates the three bedrooms, and is filled with games and toys to play with for hours on end! ⁠⁠

The flooring throughout was fabricated from fencing sourced from an old Kentucky horse farm. Purposeful materiality and handcrafted details enhance the character of every room. We are so excited that the Niese family has moved in and started creating their own story within a space that has such a unique story of it’s own.

Phase One




Phase One is all about you!


We See & Hear You

During the Discover phase, we will hand you the mic and ask you all the right questions to make sure we’re united on your desired aesthetics, your current pain points, and your biggest goals for your project. We’ll then walk through your existing floorplan inch by inch to uncover everything that needs an upgrade and share your Visual Guidelines in a fun and easy-to-digest format.

Phase One is all about you!


We’ll Dream Big

The Co-Create phase is where we’ll bring your discovered design solutions to life! We will develop 3D renderings that will help you visualize the full potential of your space, with plenty of options and variations that will address your unique needs, wants, and goals.

Phase Two




Phase Two is putting your vision into action


Customizations for You

The Personalize phase is exactly as it sounds- this is where we solidify exact pieces that will make your space you. We will put our time and attention into gathering multi-dimensional pieces that are not only beautiful but also hold meaning in a way that uniquely reflects you.

Phase Two is putting your vision into action


Instructions for Your Team

The Translate phase is lovingly hands-off for you, and all about aligning your team of builders and contractors around our agreed-upon vision. We will share an in-depth instruction manual with technical drawings, detailed elevation mapping, and specifications that will ensure your builders will have everything they need to replicate your vision.

Phase Three




Phase Three is when your vision becomes reality!


Act As Your Champion

In the Advocate phase, contracts are now signed, construction begins, and we have passed the torch onto your builders and tradesmen. We will act as your construction advocate,
keeping the design we co-created together at the forefront of everyone’s minds
to see the project through to completion.

Phase Three is when your vision becomes reality!


Finishing Touches to Perfect Your Space

In the Celebrate phase, our team of design experts will get to work transforming
your new walls into a gorgeous and move-in-ready space.
What was once a 3D rendering will soon be… your new reality.

Making News

Interiors: Hand Crafted / Locally Sourced + Details: Custom Furniture

Interiors: Bar

Architectural Digest Featured Designer 2024

“Concetti was amazing. Their whole team was just amazing. They really listened to what I had to say.”

– Leah Niese, Homeowner