Design Tips

Sharon Kory Interiors | Photo by Jeff Garland
Sharon Kory Interiors | Photo by Jeff Garland

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Historic Roots

Whether it’s an heirloom cabinet in a contemporary bedroom, or a modern home with antique furnishings, many great designs are inspired by elements of the past. Take a look at the new release of Michigan Design Center @home to see how today’s hottest design trends give a nod to earlier times.

When designer Sharon Kory and her husband purchased an outdated Mid-Century home in Birmingham, she knew they had a lot work to do in order to make it their own. The story “Mid-Century Revival” highlights this beautiful transformation that resulted in a happy marriage between traditional furnishings and Mid-Century modern architecture.

Our cover story, “Into the Woods,” highlights designer Jennifer Taylor’s up-north retreat. Although the cabin was a new-construction project, the home is filled with character and history featuring salvaged wood from a 100 year old barn and large logs from British Columbia.

History-inspired design doesn’t always need to feature a mixture between old and new furnishings. Sometimes, as is the case with Baker Furniture’s Kiosk Butler Cabinet, a well-designed piece can have historical roots simply by the way it is made. In the story, “Inside the Artist’s Studio,” Master Finisher for Baker Furniture, John Kiryanoff, shares an ancient Japanese lacquering technique that uses uncooked rice to give the Kiosk Butler Cabinet its textured surface.

Mixing design styles is a tool that many interior designers utilize when creating unique and interesting interiors.  The story “Opposites Attract” shows some unexpected duos, including one that features the pairing of a modern mirror with a vintage art deco liquor cabinet to create a one-of-a-kind space.

Click here to read the latest issue of Michigan Design Center @home.

Colleen Farrell Design | photo by Beth Singer
Colleen Farrell Design | photo by Beth Singer

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Great Design

A well-designed home often has several distinct design features throughout the main living area that merge together to create a beautifully-orchestrated home. Through the month of September, MDC will be celebrating great design features that make our homes special. Here are some of our favorites:

Whether it is a fireplace, piece of artwork, or an eye-catching outdoor view, any well-designed interior space will incorporate one dominant focal point that draws attention and invokes interest. This feature may be structural, like built-in cabinets, or it can be created by placing a beautiful piece of furniture or artwork on a feature wall. Several other points of interest may support the main focal point, like a beautiful window treatment that frames a view, or a prized collection displayed on built-in bookshelves.

It is important to employ an equal distribution of visual weight within any space, a balance that may be achieved symmetrically with identical furnishings or with dissimilar objects that carry equal visual weight to create a more casual, balanced interior space.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when designing a space is comfortable furnishings. While a particular piece of furniture may look great, if it is not comfortable, you will ultimately regret owning it. No need to sacrifice good looks for comfort though. Upholstered chairs and sofas can be customized to create the perfect fit.

Some of the greatest interior spaces create a mood, perfectly showing off the personality of the family that lives there. This feeling will occur naturally when complete, but many factors go into it – the colors, style of furnishings and the amount of texture, patterns, and accessories all play vital roles in setting the mood of a particular space.

Ornate lighting fixtures are great accents that immediately catch the eye. Their intricate shapes and complex designs are typically seen in a foyer or dining room, but can also make a big impact when used unexpected ways, like in a master bathroom.

Michigan winters can be harsh, but when the annual thaw arrives in spring, we want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. That’s why it is important to create an inviting outdoor space with comfortable furnishings and designated mingling areas to ensure all guests have a great time at your next outdoor party.

Nothing sets a home apart like a unique architectural feature. These visually-appealing elements not only add interest to a space, they also increase the home’s resale value. Sleek beams lend a modern twist for a new take on a coffered ceiling treatment.

We spend a great deal of time in our homes, so it is important to design our interior spaces with our family’s lifestyle top-of-mind. Great design not only beautifies a home, it enhances the lives of those that live there. Need a functional home study or office? Built-in cabinets and drawers keep everything organized while beautifully keeping clutter out of view.

To learn more about great design, be sure to attend our THE ART of DESIGN event on Thursday, September 10. Corey Damen Jenkins and Donna Brown will be hosting discussions on multiple design topics, while Ann-Marie Anton will transform MDC’s lobby into an eclectic meeting place sure to inspire. Click here for more info.

Clarity fabric from Jonathan Adler for Kravet
Clarity fabric from Jonathan Adler for Kravet

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's Hot?

The sun may be the source for the warmth outdoors, but there are a few items within MDC showrooms that are stirring up some heat themselves. We asked designers and showroom managers to share which products in particular are “hot” this summer:

Any geometric shape is going to add visual texture to your design and is sure to inject a modern look into your space. Jonathan Adler’s latest collection for Kravet, Clarity, is filled with fun and energetic shapes. Check out this video to see for yourself. The honeycomb pattern in particular is popping up all throughout MDC, finding its way into fabrics, rugs, wallcoverings, and even tile, as seen here in Ann Sacks’ Modern Ribbed Collection.

Textured wallcoverings add depth and tactile appeal to a wall that a simple coat of paint cannot match. Tile could help achieve this textured look, but is not as easy to uninstall, so it’s a more permanent design element. “I love Thibaut’s Tuscany Faux Leather wallcovering,” said Donna Brown, of Dazzling Designs. “This masculine wallpaper is great for use in powder rooms, accent walls and the home office.  Its vinyl nature makes it easier to clean than real leather, and prevents it from expanding and contracting due to humidity.” For a different take, Phillip Jeffries’ new summer collections are loaded with travel-inspired textures and playful prints.

Good lighting is often the key to great design. Aside from functionality, it also helps to set the mood and inspires other design elements within a space. The two oversized pendants used in the bedroom above feeds into the industrial design scheme of this hi-end Royal Oak loft designed by Todd Lampman, of Todd Lampman Designs. The overhead lighting fixture used by Corey Damen Jenkins, of Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates, in his Design 2 Ways vignette shares the gold and brass color tones found in multiple furnishings within the space.

Whether it’s smooth wooden curves on a console table or circular seating, we are seeing circles and curves throughout MDC. Not only do these smooth bends enhance the design of the product, they tend to give a space a friendlier and more social feel. These furnishings can offer more comfort than their boxier counterparts when the curves follow the natural contours of the human body.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter throughout the month of August as we will be featuring other “hot items” from MDC showrooms!