A Light Touch

A light-filled space can vaporize discontent like a passing spring breeze. Here, two studies in light tones — one tailored for the lady of the house and the other for a gentleman’s retreat that doubles as a guestroom — warmly welcome after a long, dark winter. Using reflective surfaces, clean lines, and thoughtful accessories inspires contemplation. With a palette of colors evocative of fresh whipped creams and billowy clouds, these palettes invite relaxation.


Portrait by Boswell Hardwick

1. Michelle Mio

WHO: Mio, a California native who appreciates sunshine, has been featured on HGTV. She is partner/part owner at Birmingham-based Rariden Schumacher Mio & Co., 248-723-9160, rsminteriors.com.

DON’T MISS: Mio and her firm’s work also graces the cover of this issue and the pages of the Detroit Home Design Awards section.

THE TASK AT HAND: Thornton’s iron pendant mixes industrial with classic, arteriorshome.com.

PLEASE BE SEATED:  A swivel Doyle barstool is upholstered in Nebo faux leather (in room photo) and also in fabric (shown at left). Michael Weiss for Vanguard Furniture, arteriorshome.com.

PAINT LOWDOWN: Unerring style defines this softly shaded white (White Dove, Benjamin Moore, #OC-17). “It’s crisp and clean, yet looks warm,” Mio says. benjaminmoore.com for stores.

Room photograph by Michael Raffin

LET THERE BE LIGHT: Cut back overgrown landscaping to maximize the light that enters the room.
MARVELOUS MARBLE: Use reflective surfaces like Carrara marble from PMP Marble and Granite, Troy. The table was custom made.
POPS OF COLOR: “The wing chair and ottoman fabrics provide the punch of fun the room needed,” Mio says.
DO DOTS: “We bounced around whether the sheers should have a pattern or be solid. The polka dot seemed to be our unanimous choice. The fabric has character and sophistication, and was feminine without going overboard.”
MATTE HARDWARE: The matte iron cabinet hardware, White Chapel Ltd., makes it all “less modern and uninviting.”
AN INSPIRED LADY’S STUDY: The inspiration is feminine and springy, using whites, light-gray tones, and splashes of dusty pinks. “The ‘Mrs.’ runs the household from here,” designer Michelle Mio says. “The space was once dark mahogany and a home office for the husband. He never used it, so we re-purposed it.” There are calendars for each child so everyone knows where they need to be. As well, there’s storage for all household documents.

CHECK THIS CHAIR (Left): The custom chair features intriguing fabric from Marvic Textiles. Note the muted windowpane check that artfully fuses pinks and browns. To the trade.
PATTERNED PERCH (Right): A custom-made ottoman with colorful fabric by Lee Jofa Fabrics in Bengal Bazaar-magenta, is head-turning. Michigan Design Center, Troy. michigandesign.com.

Portrait by John F. Martin


WHO: Angell, a 20-year design veteran, owns Birmingham-based James Douglas Interiors, 248-593-1630, jamesdouglasinteriors.com.

DON’T MISS: His work is also featured on the pages of this issue’s Detroit Home Design Awards section.

TEXTILE STYLE — CHAIR IN MOHAIR (left): Pierre Frey’s Duke mohair velvet in Ivoire is a “wise choice, — it’s elegant and durable,” Angell says. pierrefrey.com.
STRIPED WALLS — ON THE HORIZON (center): This Phillip Jeffries/Wide Stripe in Graphite wallpaper is very similar to the style below, phillipjeffries.com.
LUXE LEATHER — ALWAYS FITTING (right): Leather here and there (in this case a sumptuous chair) adds timeless appeal, class, comfort, and durability.

MIRROR, MIRROR: Incorporate a mirror to reflect the space’s natural light.

LIGHTEN UP: Decorative light fixtures will enhance existing light and highlight or draw attention to objects.

SHEER BEAUTY: Sheer drapery fabric provides privacy and allows outside light to filter into the interior.

TAKE A RISK: “Be daring,” Angell says, “and hang the stripes on your wallpaper horizontally!”

CUSTOM-CRAFTED: “Use local artisans to fabricate the perfect piece for your interior,” Angell says. (Cocktail table available for purchase through James Douglas Interiors.)

AN AIRY, TIMELESS STUDY: The inspiration here is timeless masculinity. “I wanted the interior to have a collected, updated, and airy feeling,” interior designer Jimmy Angell says, “and not the traditional dark-wood, tufted-leather look. My design philosophy is to keep it simple.” Also important: a tailored look (note the custom settee skirt). “Through the use of textures, interesting silhouettes, and mixing old/new, timeless design can be achieved.”  Tom Collinses all around!

IN THE WINGS: The cream-colored Boca Lounge wing chair, manufactured by R. Jones, is “an updated version of a classically styled chair,” says interior designer Angell. rjones.com.

FLOOR LAMP FLAIR: “The Robert Abbey Doughnut floor lamp is “one of my favorites; it’s simple, transitional, and the perfect scale.” robertabbey.biz.

SWITCH TO A SCONCE: This wall-mounted light manufactured by Visual Comfort  features a swing arm in bronze with a silk shade.“Wall mount fixtures are ideal when surface space is limited or unavailable,” the interior designer says.

SIDE TABLES — PRACTICAL PANACHE: These nesting tables provide flexibility. They’re from Baker/Barbara Barry Collection, bakerfurniture.com.