Cloudscape by Beacon Hill, available at Robert Allen, Suite 28
Cloudscape by Beacon Hill, available at Robert Allen, Suite 28

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hit the Deck

The mild winter we’ve been experiencing has us eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring. Whether it’s hosting friends and family for a weekend barbecue or enjoying a quiet evening on the patio, here are some of the latest outdoor products, sure to help you relax in the great outdoors this upcoming season.

Robert Allen has introduced two new indoor/outdoor collections this year. Wanderlust by Robert Allen and Cloudscape by Beacon Hill. Both high-performance fabric lines are made with 100% Sunbrella acrylic fabric. Wanderlust was inspired by the modern craft and maker movement, with patterns that evoke hand-stitched quality, woven ikats, and artisanal dyeing techniques. Cloudscape features singular motifs, dynamic constructions, and tonal colorations that serve as the harmonizing element in any room.

INDOOR-OUTDOOR BY STUDIO BON – available at Schumacher, Suite 110
Schumacher teamed up with Bonnee Sharp, the textile artist behind Studio Bon, to deliver a collection of graphic geometric designs suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Many new patterns have been introduced to the collection, including Cosmos II, available in navy & red, black & sand, and gray and yellow.

SISAL RUGS BY CENTURY RUG COLLECTION – available at The Ghiordes Knot, Suites 19 & 20
Century Rug Collection offers a large selection of sisal rugs that are suitable for use both indoors and out. These rugs are true sisal, so The Ghiordes Knot recommends they be placed in a covered porch area if used outdoors. Typically, sisal rugs do not have a large decorative design, making this collection of rugs (available only in Michigan through The Ghiordes Knot) unique.

PLATINUM INDOOR-OUTDOOR COLLECTION – available at Pindler, Suite 69
The Platinum Indoor-Outdoor Collection introduces 118” wide indoor/outdoor sheers woven from the finest solution-dyed acrylics specially spun to emulate fine linen cloth, yet offers superior performance in lightfastness and drapability. The collection blends classical and modern elements into alluring designs that are timeless and sophisticated.

FRESH AIR COLLECTION BY HOLLY HUNT – available at Tennant & Associates, Suite 61
The Fresh Air Collection is the latest introduction to Holly Hunt’s Great Outdoors collection. With a focus on quality materials and innovative new textures, these outdoor fabrics feature deep icy blues, plums, and luminous yellows that float among a new range of crisp, clean whites.

Elements by Century Furniture – available at RJ Thomas, Suites 77, 80, 82 & 90
Elements, one of Century’s latest outdoor upholstery collection, draws its beauty from clean, simple silhouettes which pay tribute to the arch, a ubiquitous architectural element that not only indicates structural relevance, but beauty by its graceful lines. The sweeping arches on the base of each piece are created by the taut synthetic fabric zipped over the powder coated aluminum frames. The result is a modern collection that is very linear, and yet the perfectly rounded arches give the pieces a hint of delicacy and airiness. It is one of many outdoor furnishings collections available through RJ Thomas.

Photo by Gene Meadows, design by Dan Davis Design
Photo by Gene Meadows, design by Dan Davis Design

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Small Talk

When designing a small space, a thoughtful layout is an absolute must. Creative storage solutions and choosing appropriate furnishings can do wonders in maximizing square footage. See how a few of the area’s top designers made a big impact in these small spaces.

“For this small condo, our clients, who enjoy entertaining, requested occasional seating that didn’t take over the floor plan. Our solution was to maximize space with furniture that serves double duty. Rather than a coffee table, a custom-made, red leather ottoman is both seating and a solid surface. We also designed custom built-in bookcases that also serve as art display, practical shelving, and are home to custom ottomans when not in use. These solutions produced seating for 4+ additional guests while allowing the room to be open and airy.”
- Dan Davis, Dan Davis Design

“Going vertical is one way to solve a space dilemma, especially in a bedroom. To maximize a restrictive floor plan in a child’s bedroom, loft beds are becoming the perfect answer. They are today’s answer to older model bunk beds with their precarious ladders. Fun and functional, loft beds can visually double the feel of a space by providing a more open area for studying or play. The lower level can accommodate a desk, a seating area, or a bed. Joining forces with Designer Furniture Services and Robert Allen, we designed a custom loft bed for a tween girl’s room. The frame of the bed is white to keep it looking light and airy. Hidden storage is vital in a small room. Playful steps to the “mezzanine level,” covered in a fuchsia lizard vinyl, conceal drawers and offer a creative solution. More storage drawers are incorporated under the bed. Even if their room is small, today’s tweens want their rooms to be mini apartments into which they can retreat or invite their friends.”
- Linda Shears, Linda Shears Designs

“This second-floor bathroom in a 1922 Georgian Colonial in the Historic Boston-Edison District in Detroit had fallen on hard times and had unfortunately been abused and neglected by renters. Everything in the room was scheduled for the dumpster, with the exception of the radiator and a round medicine cabinet that we were able to restore. The client requested a feminine, spa-like room that included a soaking tub and a crystal chandelier. The room was a mini-bath at only 60 square feet. With much research we were able to resource a 54" mini soaking tub and an equally modest, but elegant, crystal light fixture. The new sink on chrome legs mimicked the style of the original. Chosen for its open base and period style, it was a perfect selection for the tiny space.”
- Kathleen McGovern, Kathleen McGovern Studio of Interior Design

Hartmann&Forbes’ Peninsula natural wallcovering in Haze is a fresh take on grass cloth.
Hartmann&Forbes’ Peninsula natural wallcovering in Haze is a fresh take on grass cloth.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Perennial Favorites

Michigan Design Center opened 40 years ago, and many design trends have come and gone since 1977. We can all rejoice that shag carpet, avocado and harvest gold appliances, and flocked wallpaper have gone the way of the Ford Pinto and AMC Gremlin. However, there are still some trends popular in the ’70s that have staying power to this day. We asked a few MDC showroom managers to think back over the last four decades and share one or two trends that continue to have relevance today.

Mary Tennant, owner at Tennant & Associates, Suite 61:
“Silk has always been a beautiful, lasting, elegant fabric. The colors may change, but the fabric has endured.

“Grass cloth for wallcoverings has been popular through the decades. It may be a bit revised from how it was used in the ’70s, but it’s still in demand.”

Mary also sees midcentury classics showing no signs of losing their standing in the design world.

“In furniture, the Saarinen pieces created in the ’50s were still in vogue in the ‘70s, and remain so today.”

Lynne Moran, showroom manager at Virginia Tile Company, Suite 100:
“Mosaic tiles were very big in the ’70s, especially at the Paris- or Venetian-themed Las Vegas hotels, and they haven’t lost their popularity, although there have been some changes in mosaics. Back then, you saw them in florals and swirls. Today, the color choices have expanded and they’ve become more geometric with a variety of patterns.”

Lynne says subway tiles continue to thrive today, but again, with more variety. “Decades ago, they were essentially the same size, but you can find them now in all dimensions, larger, thinner – just about any shape.”

Dawn Tennant, showroom manager at Rozmallin, Suite 60:
“Mohair has maintained its popularity through many years of design. It is one of the most versatile natural fiber textiles that designers use,” she says.

Luxuriant, soft, but durable, mohair is derived from the coat of the Angora goat.

“Mohair always looks and feels luxurious, wears well over time, and works in any style, a true classic,” Dawn says.