Design Tips

Amy Weinstein’s home underwent a massive renovation to create the ultimate live-work space.
Amy Weinstein’s home underwent a massive renovation to create the ultimate live-work space.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Total Transformations

MDC’s “Total Transformations” Home Tour was a great success, so we thought it appropriate to highlight some of the dramatic transformations that were on display during the tour, as well as several additional renovations completed by the area’s top designers.

The home of interior designer Amy Weinstein was built in 1959 as a Colonial but was remodeled in 2016 with a modern farm-style exterior and a classic midcentury interior. A 900-square-foot addition was built onto the back. The extensive interior renovation included opening up walls, relocating the kitchen, as well as adding a home office and second bathroom. The home has all new mechanical systems, interior finishes, and built-ins. Amy Weinstein, AMW Design Studio

“This is a master bathroom of a Grosse Pointe residence. The bathroom was in very bad repair and needed a complete overhaul. One of the biggest challenges was a sunk-in tub with long glass block windows on either side of it. We redesigned the bathroom to have a rounded tub in the back of the suite and added a large regular window. We used obscured glass on the window to avoid having to install any type of window treatment. We wanted to maintain a very clean, spa look. For some added drama, we used an oversized mirror and two crystal sconces behind the tub deck and a crystal chandelier in the center of the room. We also chose a very subtle marble that we ran all the way up to the ceiling around the entire room where the tub is. In the area where the vanity is we opted for a subtle but fun wallpaper that would pop a little off the white cabinets.” Ann-Marie Anton, It’s Personal Design

“This former seldom-used living room, with its mauve and blue décor circa 1980s Miami Vice, was transformed into a sophisticated music room. As a child, the homeowner took years of piano lessons, and as an adult, she renewed her interest and began taking instruction again. Practicing on a simple keyboard, she dreamed of graduating to her own baby grand piano, which is now the featured item in this space. To keep the setting warm and intimate, the ceiling of the room was coffered and bronzed in a faux finish. The walls were given a two-toned color wash. A settee and accent chairs welcome guests and bring the room full circle for an evening of music. Across the hall in the dining room, the timeless travertine dining table was the only original piece retained. We used Sherwin-Williams #7583 Wild Current on the walls to help transform a very dated space into this eclectic and sophisticated dining area. Dining rooms are spaces where bold dramatic wall colors work very well as backdrops. In particular, a classic rich deep red sparks the appetite and stimulates conversation. It creates warmth and sets the stage for meal celebrations with family and friends.”
 Linda Shears, Linda Shears Designs

“My client’s home that was featured on the MDC Home Tour was a complete renovation with the expansion of several rooms to improve functionality and flow. I employed bold wall colors to enhance the elaborate millwork. Traditional furnishings with modern and contemporary fabric motifs were also specified to give the home an updated, 21st century appeal. However, in some cases, antiques were mixed in with the new additions; for example the wheat sconces in the foyer and the late 19th-century bergeres that were reupholstered in white patent leather. The additional home pictured above was for clients in Davisburg. In the living room, a warmer paint color was chosen to give this space some personality. New furnishings give the room structure and functionality while the ceiling fan was swapped out for a dazzling chandelier to produce more ambient light. Accessories play a big role in giving this living room that finishing touch. In the master en suite, elaborate wall moldings, judicious use of wallcovering (on the ceiling in this situation), new furnishings, lighting, and fabrics were the key to this transformation.”
Corey Damen Jenkins, Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates

Click here to see photos from all the homes that were featured on MDC’s “Total Transformations” Home Tour.

This teenage girl's room designed by Toby Sneider was inspired by her fashionable wardrobe. Photo by Beth Singer
This teenage girl's room designed by Toby Sneider was inspired by her fashionable wardrobe. Photo by Beth Singer

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Fashion in Design

The fashion industry has historically influenced interior design. Although fashion was once reliably the forecast leader ahead of design, today’s climate is different, with design sometimes setting the trends. Here are some examples of what we’re seeing this fall.

“In designing a teenage girl's room, my inspiration was her own fashionable attire which is a mixture of feminine, modern, and vintage clothing. I used feminine touches of ruffles and pastel colors along with vintage designs in the iron bed, nightstands, and wallcovering. Modern touches were incorporated in the clean-lined sofa and custom dresser (not shown). The mannequin displays the client's creative side in designing and sewing many of her own clothes.” – Toby Sneider, Sneider Custom Interiors

“According to W magazine and many other sources, this year PLAID is a must have! We just completed a house and used touches of plaid throughout. We are seeing some great colorful plaids in the fabric showrooms. Plaid proves to be a fun and unexpected pattern to throw into an eclectic mix. And with the new colorways, plaid can fit into almost any space, whether it is quietly subdued or wonderfully dramatic. We are currently using it in a new project as well that is just getting off the ground.” – Dan Davis, Dan Davis Design

“Back in black! This women's staple is the design trend of 2017-18. Paired with green, pink, or any other color on the wheel, we are all right at home. Today's robust economy is reflected in our apparel and home. Contrast equals daring, let's do this!” – Dawn Jacobs, Artichoke Interiors

“Just as a lady adorns herself with jewelry for a night out on the town, designers have the opportunity to dress their clients’ homes with decorative drapery or cabinet hardware. Often, the hardware can incorporate crystals or decorative accents that can take a project from ordinary to extraordinary. A great example of this is Evolutions from JF Fabrics, a collection of crystal drapery hardware made with Swarovski elements.” – Meagan Argenti, Room Service Interior Design

Fashion designers themselves are increasingly introducing their own home furnishing collaborations, many of which are available through MDC showrooms. Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, and Diane von Furstenberg all have collections available through Kravet, and The Ghiordes Knot offers a collection of rugs made by the Italian fashion house Missoni. Most recently, Schumacher teamed up with Vogue Living to offer a collection of fabrics and wallcoverings that bring the world of fashion home.

Back-lit granite adds drama in this contemporary space. Design: It’s Personal Design | Photo by Beth Singer
Back-lit granite adds drama in this contemporary space. Design: It’s Personal Design | Photo by Beth Singer

Monday, July 31, 2017

Small but Mighty

Although they are often one of the smaller spaces in the home, powder rooms can make quite a large impact with carefully chosen fixtures and design elements. And while a high-style powder room is great, it is important to also consider the functionality of the space. See how a few of the area’s top designers helped create small but mighty powder rooms for their clients.

This powder room is part of a new home built in Franklin, Michigan. The aesthetic is very clean and contemporary. For the back wall of this powder room we used a solid piece of granite that is suspended off the wall and back lit for drama. Floating in front of it is a vanity encased in black mirror, which is slightly reflective but very subtle so it does not compete with the granite, which is the focal point. A very subtle silk textured wallpaper was used on the walls and the clean lines of the white bronze sink and nickel faucet add simple elegance. – Ann-Marie Anton, It’s Personal Design

The first powder room pictured above was a very small space. We only had 20" or so for the sink, so we found a marble pedestal that combined drama with function. The wall-mounted faucet was also a space saver. We used a vintage mid-century chandelier with a wallcovering from Schumacher with a Carrara marble look. In the other powder room, the walls are covered in a natural grasscloth. Polished black porcelain tile and Schonbek sconces provide glamour. The nude original painting that is reflected in the mirror, and the pedestal with my clients’ son’s original sculpture are the artful pieces in the space.
 – Sharon Kory, Sharon Kory Interiors

This full main-floor bath was converted into a powder room. It features custom lacquered cabinetry. The custom-designed vanity in a striking red lacquer along with charcoal damask wallcovering give this powder room renovation new life.
 – Toby Sneider, Sneider Custom Interiors

An obsession with designer Katie Leede's Isis patern, featuring colorful fan-crested Hoopoes and Wagtail birds was the inspiration behind the design of this powder room. We chose to install paneling below the paper-backed wallcovering to keep little on-e' hands off the textiles, and accented the space with a vibrant turquoise mirror & sea-glass chandelier.
 – Krista Nye Nicholas and Tami Ramsay, CLOTH & KIND Interiors

These are very different powder rooms that I designed for two clients. The first powder room is sophisticated and serene. The beautiful wallpaper is from Winfield Thybony through Kravet and the wall sconces are from City Lights Detroit. The second powder room is very small but fun. We wanted to make it "special" because it is the powder room that guests use, even though it is very compact. The wallpaper is from Winfield Thybony and the floor tile is Seneca Tile from Virginia Tile.
 – Gail Urso, Urso Designs