Inspiration can be found everywhere in Detroit. The music, the art, the architecture, the industry, the grit. The same goes for Detroit interior design and our work as Detroit-based interior design strategists. Everything we do is rooted in inspiration…and in this city, we find it everywhere – in other interior designers, our partners, our vendors, our mentors, and our clients. Especially our clients.
To celebrate our fabulous clients and our wonderful city, we’re highlighting four Detroit and Metro Detroit projects that have been inspiring us lately. Each project couldn’t be more different than the other, but the beautiful thing about each space is that they allowed the owner to thrive and instilled the fact that Detroit is, indeed, their home.
The Detroit’s in the Details
The project: Gettin' City with It (Midtown Detroit, Michigan)
After living and working in Wisconsin for years, our client, Scott DiParvine, missed his hometown and was ready to move back to Detroit and truly re-immerse himself here in an Eco Homes Project unit that perfectly blended indoor and outdoor elements.
Initially, all meetings with Scott were virtual (thanks, COVID). However, if it weren’t for those calls, we may have never seen his Diego Riviera mural Zoom icon. After expressing our mutual adoration for Riviera’s work, Scott shared that it reminds him of his family’s industrial roots in the city…which ultimately sparked the industrial, Detroit-inspired concept and themes for the entire project.
From doors by Woodward Throwbacks and countertops and sinks from Line Studio Detroit, all the way to the three-story Detroit map and Diego Riviera murals from Detroit Wallpaper Co, we involved as many Detroit-based artisans as possible to reflect the city’s spirit.
Our client’s fearless creativity, the blank slate of a new build, and our network of tremendously talented Detroit vendors inspired one of our most detailed, conceptual projects to date. Not only does it fit our client’s every functional need, but it honors a poignant time in Detroit's history and our client’s own family history.
The project: Rose Hues in Riverview (Detroit, Michigan)
Our client – a veteran, an artist, and a student of life – came to us wanting her apartment to pay homage to the rising and setting sun on the Detroit River and the previous tenant, who lived there for more than 70 years.
Because she wanted so much focus on the river, we oriented all furniture to face windows that wrapped exterior walls and hung mirrors on opposite walls to reflect the view. We also honored the previous tenant by extrapolating the color palette from her favorite flower, the rhododendron. As a final touch, we gifted our client a rhododendron art print to hang in the entry of the apartment in memory of the previous tenant.
Additionally, our client needed this space to invoke a powerful feeling: safety.
When first seeing the dated 1950s space, our initial instinct was to tear down the walls and open things up. However, her time in the military left her with lingering trauma and she expressed a desire for more intimate and less exposed spaces. With that in mind, we kept the walls and created the illusion of a larger space with unique materiality choices, most notably in the Scandinavian-inspired kitchen.
Thanks to our client’s artistic eye, distinct vision, and open vulnerability, this space bloomed into a rose-hued oasis of peace and tranquility in which she can spend her golden years.
The project: Bold in Brush Park, set to be completed Summer 2023 (City Modern – Brush Park Detroit, Michigan)
Our client is a young professional with a huge personality and love for entertaining whose original space didn’t reflect that. So, she connected with us to co-create a space that represents her lifestyle and bold personality.
Right off the bat, it was clear this project was basically our dream scenario. Her four-story condo (yes, you read that right) was chic, open, and oozing with potential.
Aside from having clear functional goals, she entrusted us completely with the creative vision for every room in the condo. So, we hit the ground running to make the most out of every floor – from revamping the first-floor entry to dedicating the fourth floor as a lounge to watch movies and curl up by the fire. We also ensured the entire space felt like a home away from home for her visiting family members.
As fun as it is to let our imaginations run wild, what means the most to us is when a client is transparent about their needs and gives us the chance to get to know them. Based on this information alone, our client entrusted us to create a space we felt is boldly, authentically her. It’s this trust factor that allows us to go above and beyond and get the details just right – like the custom cabinet we designed as an addition to the existing kitchen cabinetry
The project: Call It a Fungalow – Lounge (Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan)
After living in her space for eight years, Concetti CEO and Principal Designer Rachel Nelson was looking for ways to create more living and entertaining spaces while infusing personal style into her traditional 1942 Grosse Pointe bungalow…and activating the unused 700 SF of the lower level did just the trick!
Not only does Rachel’s lounge serve as a smart, cozy, and multifunctional space, but it honors her growth as a Detroit-based interior design strategist and a human being. Over the years, she’s discovered she isn’t afraid to go for moody and quirky, and this subterranean space allowed us to lean into that authentically.
There’s no denying the space is filled with both trendy and timeless pieces, but more importantly, every detail is uniquely Rachel. Gilded animal heads, crystals, and third eyes may be trending now, and it won’t matter whether they are next year because in Rachel’s home, they’ll always be a symbol of her stylish safe space.
In fact, Rachel attributes her dedication to her own authenticity to Detroit. By embracing its own authenticity, Detroit reshaped its future and established itself as a community full of grit, creativity, and potential.
If Detroit hadn’t rewritten its place in history, the projects we just reflected on may not have been possible. We may have never met the people who call them home. We may not have been able to say that our clientele, with their varying backgrounds, ages, visions, and lifestyles, have one thing in common:
They came to us when they were brave enough to be boldly themselves.
And there’s nothing more inspiring than that!