Design Tips

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Give the Gift of Great Design

The holiday season is in full swing which means the search for the perfect gift is on. Let our 2014 Gift Guide do the shopping for you. We make it a little easier to find something special for everyone on your list.

Antique brass finish candlesticks from de Grimme Gallery will make the perfect addition to any mantle or dining table.

The decorative glass jug with rope handle from Michael Coyne Design is beautiful on its own, as a vase, or memento holder.

The black wooden cat from RJ Thomas, Ltd. would look great perched anywhere in an animal lover's home.

Decoroom has several vintage Detroit prints featuring some of the city’s landmarks throughout history. Perfect for the Detroit enthusiast or history buff.


The antique cake plate from Marie-Howard Showroom is lovely on its own, or with a delicious cake on top.

The bar set with bone inlay from Decoroom is a great addition to any bar and the perfect tool set for any mixologist.

The wine enthusiast can display their wine in style with the metal tree wine rack from Lighting Resource Studio.

The 4-piece bathroom set from Ann Sacks is a great gift for the hostess that wants to pamper her guests with a hotel experience.


The magnifying glass and letter opener set from RJ Thomas, Ltd. will make any desk complete.

Give the executive on your list the gift of organization with the Barbara Barry desk organizer from Henredon Interior Design Showroom.

The vintage map tray from Lighting Resource Studio looks great on a desk or coffee table.

The swirled glass perfume diffuser from Decoroom looks great on a desk or bookcase and allows for a quick freshen-up.


Inspire someone’s home with Barbara Barry’s book Around Beauty from Henredon Interior Design Showroom.

The granite throw with silver lurex weaving from Designer Group Collection looks great draped over a sofa and feels great to snuggle with.

The modern spot tables from Michael Coyne Design add a pop of color to any room.

The Michigan Design Center gift certificate is perfect for anyone on your list – from the new homeowner to the remodeler. Everyone can find something for their home at Michigan Design Center

A small sailboat abandoned on a sandy beach surrounded by blue sky, water, and wild grasses have become the palette for a blue and sand master bedroom.
A small sailboat abandoned on a sandy beach surrounded by blue sky, water, and wild grasses have become the palette for a blue and sand master bedroom.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Decoration by Inspiration

Design inspiration can be found everywhere, contends Terry Ellis of Room Service Interior Design, and it can be employed in design to create something personal and customized. Whether that inspiration is from a far-away vacation, or just down the street, Ellis suggests to “let your guard down and look around, something might just call your name.” Spaces inspired by a family vacation, or a park in your neighborhood will always be a meaningful reminder of a special time or place.

If something is particularly interesting, Ellis recommends taking a picture of it in that moment. “I often feel compelled to take photographs of objects or scenes that I find beautiful,” says Ellis. “Those images might stay in my mind for a period of time, and then I’ll want to translate them into something tangible that I can have in my home.”

Ellis travels extensively, and often finds that inspiration from those trips will filter back into her designs. Inspiration doesn’t need to come from a trip to Croatia or Buenos Aires. Ellis has found objects just down the block that have been transformed into beautiful pieces to enjoy.

Monday, October 27, 2014

From the Ground Up

After the floor plan is complete, people often wonder what to tackle next when decorating a room. Donna Brown of Dazzling Designs always starts her interior design process with a decorative hand-woven rug and builds the space using the rug as inspiration.

“I like to start with a hand-woven rug on the floor because that sets the pace of everything in the room and will help drive the colors. It’s the artwork on the floor and it offers a great color scheme to start with for the rest of the space,” says Brown.

The rug selection will help dictate the next steps: color, fabrics, wall finishes, wood pieces, window treatments, and accessorizing.

“Selecting a hand-woven rug is like choosing artwork – it’s very personal,” says Brown. Find something you like based on color, design and texture.

Brown recommends taking large rugs home before finalizing a purchase because the rugs may appear to be a different color once in the home.

“We leave the client’s favorite rugs in the house for a couple days so they can see them day and night,” says Brown. Rugs have a light side and a dark side, so based on the knotting and direction of the weave, they might need to be rotated to achieve the correct color. Rugs integrated with silk will have the most substantial change in their light and dark sides, and may look completely different depending on their orientation.

Brown contends that if you start with a rug, you have the opportunity to purchase the best rug for your budget. Rug prices can vary significantly, so she recommends selecting the rug first to ensure it’s perfect for the space.

“I like using a traditional rug in any environment,” says Brown. “It actually looks really cool to take a contemporary space and place a really traditional rug on the floor, then keep everything else contemporary.”