Design Tips

Dark woodwork in this traditional home was painted white to blend with the walls and ceiling | Photo by Michael Raffin
Dark woodwork in this traditional home was painted white to blend with the walls and ceiling | Photo by Michael Raffin

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Into the Mix

If you’ve been decorating your home under the impression that all design elements need to match, you’ve been missing out. Some of the most stunning spaces are ones that incorporate many different design styles; however, it is possible to overdo it. Read about how a few of the area’s top designers seamlessly incorporated multiple design styles into their clients’ spaces.

“The design concept in the great room featuring the gold ottoman was 'Seamless Style.' The architecture in the house was quite traditional, but when the clients moved in they wanted the look to be more transitional. One way we accomplished this was by painting all the dark woodwork in the house white to blend seamlessly with the walls and ceiling. We mixed complementing traditional with sleek-lined pieces to help change this once-dated room into a space the client was proud to show off. Overall, the house had a color palette that was quite neutral. Pops of citron gold were intentionally placed throughout the large social spaces in the house to create interest and eye movement. 

The traditional Moroccan motif on the rug mixes well with modern fabrics in the living room featuring blue painted built-in shelving. The horizontal lines on the Roman shades and the clean lines of the settee style sofas, combine effortlessly with the star-shaped ottomans in an up-to-date faux leather. The raised leaf pattern on the pillows and the grass cloth on the walls give this room an earthy feel with a current bold color palette.”
 – Jill Schumacher and Michelle Mio, Rariden Schumacher Mio

“With bold strokes of pattern and color, the great room above is a celebration of the mix! Classical elements, such as the iconic Greek key, mix well with the multi-tiered crystal chandelier, the colorful damask pillow fabric, and the whimsical dotted upholstery and oversized planted palms. They recall themes found in the tropics, as well as stately Art Deco interiors. The underlying theme is classical, but the interpretation is modern.

I believe what ties the bedroom above together is a common thread that all the furniture and accessories share. Everything seems as though it has been touched, or created by, human hands, possibly female hands. There’s a certain nostalgia and comfort with this mix of genres. The dark green, grey, and white color combination is refreshing, and anchors the design intention nicely.” – Amy Miller Weinstein, AMW Design Studio

“We were hired by one of our clients because of our reputation for working with existing pieces to achieve an eclectic mix. They love mid-century modern and tasked us with how to combine that style with some existing folk art, some family heirlooms, and some recently purchased contemporary art. The client already owned the two traditional rugs. She specified a new mid-century style sectional and did an eclectic art mix on the main wall, making the mix of styles front and center. The older pieces really pop against the modern lines of the house and the bright pops of colors.

Another client asked for a distinctive and fun approach to their new home. We combined vibrant colors with rustic surfaces and pieces that mixed multiple styles, sometimes even combined in one piece. The chandelier has a very traditional style, but the fact that it is all black chain makes it modern. The painting is a traditional equestrian, but the abstract treatment and colors make it feel more playful. The dramatic scale and the fact that we chose to lean the piece make it feel very unexpected in the space. Also, the client loved the pairing of the tufted chaise, which is very traditional, with the playful Buddha occasional table.

Another client wanted a dramatic and powerful bedroom, despite the small size of the space. Our client wanted a mix of masculine and feminine and unexpected fun. It all started with a Clarke & Clarke wallpaper from Duralee, a traditional subject matter done in an unexpected palette. Our client loved the playful wallpaper as a backdrop for the iron bed and the industrial light sconces. We combined a traditional rug and a cork floor in warm caramel tones. The dark grey walls and crisp white shutters make a well-grounded backdrop for all the pops of colors. We took a small-scale vintage chair and gave it new life with this playful fabric found at Tennant & Associates by Jim Thompson Fabrics. Pillow fabrics are from Robert Allen." 
– Dan Davis, Dan Davis Design

Custom furniture and luxury fabrics in the new Designer Furniture Services + Fabrics showroom.
Custom furniture and luxury fabrics in the new Designer Furniture Services + Fabrics showroom.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Introducing MDC’s Newest Showrooms!

Michigan Design Center welcomes you to visit our three new showrooms: Designer Furniture Services + Fabrics, Suite 22; Lighting Resource Studio, Suite 18; and Theodore Alexander, Suite 30.

Designer Furniture Services + Fabrics, Suite 22

Designer Furniture Services has expanded into Suite 22 and is pleased to introduce luxury fabrics to their product lineup.  Browse fabrics, trims, and drapery hardware from Fabricut, S. Harris, Stroheim, Vervain, Trend, Stout, Alaxi, and Silver State.

Lighting Resource Studio, Suite 18

Lighting Resource Studio presents the grand opening of The Gallery, featuring cutting-edge lighting designs by Sonneman, Corbett, Troy, and Hudson Valley. New galleries include Crystorama and fine art curated by M Contemporary Art.

Theodore Alexander, Suite 30
Theodore Alexander will be redesigning their “showhouse within the showroom,” featuring new furnishings from classic traditional to upscale contemporary, for every design need.

In addition to our three new showrooms, Fifi & Coco Interiors will be opening this spring in Suite 27.

Lucy Earl's creative space-saving solution to accommodate visiting grandchildren. Photos by Beth Singer
Lucy Earl's creative space-saving solution to accommodate visiting grandchildren. Photos by Beth Singer

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Design Dilemmas

It’s easy to be overwhelmed when confronting a design dilemma. When all hope is lost, a professional can often provide a solution that we never thought possible. A few of area’s top interior designers share some of their most innovative design solutions.

Lucy Earl of Jones-Keena & Co. recently put her problem-solving skills to the test in the renovation of a local clients’ Miami Beach high-rise condominium. The snowbird clients are devoted to their five grandchildren and wanted their sophisticated (but small) condo to be welcoming to young visitors. Lucy's creative space-saving design combined a children's suite and playroom with "now you see them, now you don't" bunk beds.  Problem solved – happy clients and happy grandchildren!

Barbi Krass of Colorworks Studio was enlisted to help a client with an outdated condo with carpeted floors, mantel, wall-dividing great room from foyer, and lack of natural light. Two windows above the existing windows flanking the fireplace were added for additional natural light in the room. A simple stone tile facade with a custom “cuff” surround in ribbon mahogany helps the fireplace wall become a focal point. The carpet was removed and an oak floor with a walnut stain throughout the space was added. They floated the furniture to give the feeling of spaciousness, yet remaining cozy.

“We started working on this home in the infancy stages of construction. The home is in Bloomfield Hills on the prestigious Oakland Hills Golf Course. The original plan started with a built-in concept for the fireplace. As the overall plan started taking shape for this home, the built-in concept seemed less likely the solution for the space. The client wanted a limestone mantel with an 85” TV above the fireplace, which also did not feel right for the space. I selected this beautiful woven walnut material and the clients instantly loved it. The size of the TV was the driving force behind the width and height of the overall design. My biggest concern was the size of the TV, but the material selection and design for this fireplace ended up being the perfect solution!” Cheryl Nestro, Tutto Interiors

When Amy Weinstein of AMW Design Studio decided to conduct a major renovation/addition on her home studio she knew it wouldn’t be easy, but welcomed the challenge. She wanted to create a unified space that seamlessly combined her living space with her in-home studio. One of the major components of the renovation was the addition of a kitchen that adjoins her home studio. The open-space plan and the use of similar design elements resulted in a cohesive living space that flow together effortlessly.