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$6.5M Birmingham mansion’s backyard has over-the-top sports facilities – Detroit Free Press

If the photo from above this Birmingham home were to carry a title, one choice could be: “How I Spent My COVID Lockdown.”

There’s barely a sport that you could not try in this backyard. There’s a swimming pool with a spa, a basketball hoop and a water volleyball net. There’s a trampoline built in safely at ground level.  

There’s a batting cage for softball practice and a playscape where young kids can climb, swing and slide. There’s an all-weather sports court for basketball, tennis or a hockey rink. There’s even a 50-yard stretch of football gridiron marked off for running drills.

All of this is on tight-rooted turf, not plain grass, but turf types chosen for the job. Under the kids’ playscape they’re soft and squishy; at the football grid tight and tough. The sprinklers are zoned as well to coddle different turf differently.

Almost any sport you can think of is built into this city lawn. Clockwise from the top left, they are a trampoline, a playscape, a partial football gridiron, a sports court for tennis, basketball and hockey, a batting cage and a pool with a volleyball net.

And if this over-the-top detail seems startling outdoors, wait till you go inside this house. Jayson and Liz Waller have owned it just three years, and it’s Liz Waller’s love to do extreme renovations.

The mood of a luxury hotel was the goal in the owners' bedroom. Here, the room is painted black, the built-in bed is black velvet and the lighting floats like bedside bubbles.

She loves the mood of luxury hotels, she said, as demonstrated in the owners’ suite. Crushed black velvet covers the built-in bed and lights float beside it like bubbles.

The owners’ bath is 30 feet long, stark black and white, the tone set by a luxury BainUltra brand tub, she said. Its outside is glossy black; its inside is white. The tub shell has warmers so your back never touches a cold spot. All its controls are remote.

The owner' bath is 30 feet long, its tone set by the soaking tub, which is black outside and white inside. The wall behind it is the luxury Italian tile Sicis, which works glass and gold into the mosaic.

The striking wall behind the tub is Sicis tile, a luxury Italian brand that works glass and gold into its mosaics.

The laundry room is set up for a large family that has a lot of guests with four washers and four dryers.

The second-floor laundry room might suit a hotel, too. It has four large washers lined up with four large dryers on top. “We have four kids, two grandkids and tons of guests,” Waller said.    

One room that is a hangout for kids has a wall splashed with urban graffiti — vivid colors and swooping shapes over the texture of brick. It turns out to be just very clever wallpaper, but it adds an urban Eastern Market vibe.

A kids' sitting room has one wall that looks like urban graffiti over brick. Actually, it is a clever wallpaper.

The kitchen also is a high-impact room. All counters and backsplashes are made from sheets of white quartz with bold black stripes. Its huge center island easily seats seven. Over it, two chandeliers are in the shape of dice.

A strong white-and-black pattern made out of quartz forms all the counters and backsplashes in this kitchen.

Next to this is a wine room, where the wine is displayed behind glass doors on metal pegs over gray tile. Again, Waller found unique wallpaper — scenes of Brooklyn from the Brooklyn firm Flavor Paper, whose motto is, “Not your grandmother’s wallpaper.”

It includes the rapper Biggie Smalls, and they were both big fans, she said.

Jayson Waller also is a Detroit Lions fan, and the lower level here pays tribute to the team. They had Ferndale’s Detroit Wallpaper Co. copy a scene from Ford Stadium — It’s a photo of downtown buildings with “DETROIT-VS-EVERYBODY” over it.

The lower level also has a theater and a gym. 

Not every room is high drama. Some are just handsome rooms — gray, white, black, silver and gold. A few don’t yet have the stylish furniture she ordered from Europe. “It’s on a ship somewhere crossing the Atlantic,” she said. “COVID held up everything.”

So why is this house for sale when its renovation is barely done? The family is moving back South, where they have more roots and relatives. Liz Waller said she will do this all over again. “I’m going to make exactly the same yard.”

Sports lovers’ home

Where: 923 Pleasant, Birmingham

How much: $6,499,000

Bedrooms: 5

Baths: 6 full, 2 half

Square feet:  8,740 in the two main floors, plus about 2,000 more finished in the lower level.

Key features: This all-sports yard has facilities for almost every sport, including different kinds of turf for different activities. Wide terraces, full outdoor kitchen, lighting for night sports. Lavish remodeling inside as well.

Contact: Anna Rea, 248-943-3880, or Dan Gutfreund, 248-497-4646, both Signature Sotheby’s.