Bulletin Board: Falling for Fall

Farmers markets’ bounty, stylishly durable dog beds, and rustic cottage furniture made from branches



WELCOME, AUTUMN A natural door swag from the Birmingham Farmers Market includes asters, goldenrods, cattails, and milkweed pods that dry with the season.
PHOTO BY Matthew LaVere

Pumpkin Passion
Creative homeowner embellishes her exterior

FALL IS A FAVORITE TIME of year for Lisa Bouchard, and it shows outside her Nantucket shingle-style home in Birmingham — an entertainment hub for hosting her two sons and four stepsons, along with other family members. “There’s nothing like a beautiful, crisp fall day,” she says. “It’s the transitional season that I think of as magical.”

Every year, Bouchard — a partner at Hunter Roberts Homes in Bloomfield Hills — rents a pickup truck and heads to the Oakland County Farmer’s Market in Waterford Township. There, a variety of vendors sell pumpkins that she carefully selects and hauls back home with some help from her sons.


The inspiration for her displays came from a visit with her late husband, Jeff, to The Wauwinet, a luxury hotel on Nantucket where they used a similar concept. Cascading pumpkins lead the way from the front door down the front steps to the yard. The door is decorated in the spirit of the season with a gorgeous floral arrangement from the Birmingham Farmers Market. Featuring an array of fall flowers, the swag includes blooms such as asters, goldenrods, cattails, and milkweed pods. “It’s fresh at the start and dries with the season,” Bouchard says.

After doing these vignettes for the past decade, “I have a sense of how many (pumpkins) I need,” says Bouchard, who estimates she uses between 75 and 100 pumpkins to adorn the front and back porch areas of her home. Her assortment of heirloom French pumpkins includes a mix of orange, green, white, and almost-pink tones. The variety of sizes and shapes adds visual interest. “I go out (to the farmers market) early in the morning and just pick a good combination,” she says. “I decorate for all of the seasons.”

After her pumpkins take her up to Thanksgiving, Bouchard says it’s full-on Christmas. (Don’t miss the December issue of Detroit Home to see her home decked for the holidays.)

By Jeanine Matlow

More patch-y information: Beyond the farmers markets noted above, you can also get into the autumn spirit at corn mazes and pumpkin patches all around the metro Detroit area. Seven area favorites — including Three Cedars Farm in Northville (threecedarsfarm.org) — are listed on the website Only In Your State (onlyinyourstate.com).

Let’s Get Practical

Some of the subjects featured in this issue share their absolute must-haves in the heart of their home


A. Rejuvenate Click n Clean spray mop system, a go-to for professional-grade cleaning for virtually any floor type – tile, wood, linoleum, and even carpet, $24.97, Home Depot stores, homedepot.com
B. Cambria lazy Susan in all-natural Cambria quartz for chic-and-easy table settings, $175,
store. cambriausa.com
C. Charming Post-it die-cut notes in “waffles and syrup” styles, $3.49/pack of two pads, Office Depot stores, officedepot.com
D. Sustainably packaged water, Boxed Water Is Better, price Varies, Meijer, Whole Foods Market, and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, meijer.comwholefoodsmarket.com, freshthyme.com
E. PURE all-purpose cleaner features vinegar and castile soap for deodorizing and cleaning. Everything – including the fresh woodsy scent – is natural: paraben-free, phosphate-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and vegan,$20, goodhomestore.com
F. Cuchina Safe’s Cover ’n Cook for the microwave, $29.95, amazon.com, cuchinasafe.com


My Starbucks Verismo machine. I love the Pike Place roast every morning.


My Dyson vacuum (Dyson Animal). With a 2-year-old who’s convinced he can feed himself, having the handheld vacuum for convenience — and those hard-to-reach places in his booster seat — makes cleaning up (and mealtime) so much easier for me!


My Beam vacuum (it’s on the wall!), so I never have to lug a vacuum around. Also, notepads. I love to entertain, so I’m always jotting down menus for my next event, grocery lists, and my endless list of to-dos.


A good supply of non-tap water for coffee, water bottle fill-ups, and cooking.


I wish I could say a cooking tool is extremely important for me to have in the kitchen, but I’m a list-maker and a note-writer, so a notepad is the most important. There’s something nice about seeing a handwritten note on the kitchen counter. I keep lists on my phone, but a sticky note is my MO.


Leading the Way
Art Leaders Gallery has been a go-to art mecca for more than a quarter century

HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM Bonnie and Jason Mansour opened Art Leaders Gallery in 1992 and, since then, they and their staff have joyfully and energetically been providing area residents and corporate clients with fine art, gifts, framing, sculptures, interior-design service, art installation service, and more to make any space come alive with beauty and personal expression.

Here, Bonnie shares with us some intriguing insights about the West Bloomfield gallery:

Q: What’s unique about your gallery?
A: We have 12,000 square feet of space, and 10,000 of it is a showroom for displaying an ever-changing array of all types of art: traditional, modern, and everything in-between. We carry oil paintings, hand-blown glass, limited-edition prints, unique home accessories, and gift items starting at $25. Our venue is also available for private events.

Q: What do you see as a trend with your clients?
A: We see clients searching for unique, personal pieces for unusual spaces in their homes or offices. We recently commissioned a painting for a couple whose favorite place is Lake Geneva. Using a photo we took, the artist, Konstantin Savchenko, created a painting of the couple sitting on a bench at Lake Geneva in dimensions that perfectly fit an irregular-shaped mantel space.

Q: Do you have any upcoming events?
A: Andrew Afanasiev, from the Ukraine, will be painting in the gallery through Oct. 26; he’ll be discussing special art commissions.

artleaders.comBy Honey Murray

Canine Chic
These distinctive dog beds are as beautiful as they are practical


THERE WAS A TIME when Maureen Oakley McCauley would have to hide her not-so-appealing dog beds when friends came over, but that’s no longer the case. Now, the designer and Acorn + Oakleaf owner has her own line of dog beds that belongs in the spotlight.


Originally from Illinois, McCauley, who spent a lot of time at her dog-friendly grandparents’ house in Grand Blanc, resides in Denver with her husband, Daniel, and their three rescues. Her business’ birth came from trial and error. “I found styles that were durable but not pretty, or pleasing to look at but didn’t last,” says McCauley, who has a background in advertising and also is a producer. Her solution was hand-woven Oaxacan wool rugs from Mexico that cover both sides of dog beds. Inserts stuffed with recycled fiber help to resist moisture and odors. Decorative lumbar pillows (for humans) complement the beds. Giving back is a big part of McCauley’s entrepreneurial spirit, and a portion of the proceeds goes to Underdogs Animal Rescue. She also partners with Mile High WorkShop to produce the bed covers. The Colorado-based nonprofit creates employment opportunities and provides job training for members of the community. As she explains, the beds’ visual appeal can’t be denied. “They’re standout pieces that go with most home styles. The weavers are true artists who are given complete creative control.”

acornoakleaf.comBy Jeanine Matlow

Branching Out
He’s bent on making unique furniture

LOOPY-BACKED CHAIRS made from bent willow branches that seem to have sprung right out of a tree. Tables covered with birch bark that recall a simpler time, when people worked with whatever natural products were available. This rustic furniture makes you take a second look. Bill Perkins, who calls himself a “twig artisan,” has been creating intricately designed chairs, tables, bookshelves, love seats, and more at Sleeping Bear Twig Furniture, his Suttons Bay, Mich., workshop, since 1986. “Every piece is different because sticks bend differently,” Perkins says.Always handy with tools (he’s built two houses), Perkins snags ideas from all kinds of places. He even found himself inspired by the ornate Art Nouveau grillwork around Parisian subways. His creations run from $15 for small wooden Christmas ornaments to $1,500 for a loveseat. Rocking chairs are $985. Here, he puts his cutting tools down and provides a glimpse into his craft:

Q: How did you happen to start building this furniture?
A: My family came to Michigan from Canada when I was 3 years old. When I was 7 or 8, I’d see rustic furniture in old cottages in northern Michigan. Then, in my 20s and 30s, I grew and sold Christmas trees. In the 1980s there was a huge oversupply, and I looked at my field and said, What am I going to do? Then it struck me that I had 2,000 table legs — so I started making rustic furniture. I also use a lot of willow and birch bark.


Q: Your chairs are wildly imaginative, but do you recommend sitting on them?
A: They’re comfortable and very strong. I use maple saplings for the frame; maple is a very strong wood. I also use furniture-grade screws for the frames. Then I use a lot of willow on the frame, which gives it strength. I’ve figured out how to make the lumbar in the lower back just right.

Q: When a customer takes home one of your creations, what do you hope for?
A: That they use it daily, because it’s so comfy. And that their heirs fight over it.

Q: Any upcoming art fairs or shows?
A: I’ll be at the pop-up gallery at the Northport Arts Center (104 S. Wing St.) Oct. 5-7, during the M22 Art2Art Tour.

sleepingbeartwigfurniture.comBy Carol Hopkins

Michigan’s Great Gift to the Modern Movement

 and voluminous (300-page, 5.2-pound) new coffee table book, Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy, state historic preservation officer Brian D. Conway and Bloomfield Township photographer James Haefner illuminate some of Michigan’s most important modernist commercial and institutional buildings and residences.

Arranged chronologically, the tome’s vibrant images dazzle with 20th and 21st century architectural splendor. Showcased are projects by design stars such as Albert Kahn, Ellio and Eero Saarinen, Minoru Yamasaki, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Mies van der Rohe, Richard Meier, and more. Each of these individuals, along with designers from the automotive and furniture industries, contributed to Michigan’s legacy as the incubator for the birth of Modern Design. This is the second book on the subject by Conway, who has toured the country championing Michigan’s rich architectural history as head of the Michigan Modern Project. Haefner, a 40-year pro who contributed many photos for Conway’s first book (Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America, with Amy Arnold), spent three years taking photographs for the new book. After paging through their project, we contacted the duo to learn about their process and inspirations:

Q: How did you whittle down the choices for the book?
A: (Conway) We wanted it to be geographically diverse.

Q: The photography is stunning. How did you fi nd so many blue-sky days in Michigan?
A: (Haefner) I paid close attention to that. I shot about 1,200 photos and we used 227.

Q: What was your biggest surprise in producing this book?
A: (Haefner) The Douglas Home in Harbor Springs. It was amazing. I was impressed with the William Kessler House, too. (Conway) My surprise was how important Michigan has been in the development of Modernism, and the diversity that we found.

By Patty LaNoue Stearns

The book is available at amazon.com and at Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills, 248-645-3307.

FRUITFUL PROJECTS: “During their renovations, people are often looking for something different than everyone else’s,” says Dan Yell, managing partner of Apple Renovations (callapplenow.com). “We like to repurpose wood, creating one-of-a-kind pieces,” he adds. Apple has locations in Clawson, Wixom, and Westland.

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PAPER CHASE: Graduate Hotels (there’s one in Ann Arbor) has announced a partnership with Chasing Paper and the launch of an exclusive capsule collection of thoughtfully designed, removable wallpaper inspired by the hotel’s preppy aesthetic and signature interiors.

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BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE: In a study by Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing for Northshore Fireplace (northshorefireplace.com), the majority of survey respondents said their “dream home” includes an average of 2,195 square feet and is newly-constructed.

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COFFEE CANDLES: Novi-based The Scented Bean (thescentedbean.com) specializes in handcrafting coffee-scented soy candles. Each comes with a sleeve, just like a carry-out! A fave: Caramel-Cinnamon-Latte.

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TILE STYLE: ANN SACKS (annsacks.com), at Troy’s Michigan Design Center (michigandesign.com), has introduced six new collections to its product portfolio, including designs of marble, porcelain, brick, and glass that are made in studios from Oregon to Italy.

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THE COMPASS POINTS HERE: True North (truenorthdetroit.com), a 10-unit live/work community (including two hotel-room units) at 16th and Hancock in Detroit, was selected as one of six finalists for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP).

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SOW IT NOW, SAVOR LATER: October is a good time to plant garlic to harvest next summer, according to gardeninginthemitten.com. Follow the directions on the website. Another autumn tip: Keep watering trees and shrubs.

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NIGHTY-NIGHT: Sleepgram (sleepgram.com), an innovative luxury pillow is the solution for ensuring a good night’s sleep. Made with two differently sized internal pillows, they’re customizable for stomach, back, and side sleepers. With three pillows in one (soft, medium, firm) the design suits different support needs. Extra bonus: they’re hypoallergenic.

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CHECK IT OUT: MacKenzie-Childs (mackenzie-childs.com) presents its spring 2019 Royal Check pattern (a cheerful blue) for its enamelware collection. Look for the checks on dinner plates, canisters, serving platters, tea kettles, placemats, and more.​

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STARRY, STARRY BATH: With shades of blue trending throughout the home, bathroom vanity manufacturer Strasser Woodenworks has introduced an exciting new color for its American-made bath furniture. Lapis Night is a shade of blue that’s comparable to the rich blue hue Van Gogh used for his masterpiece “Starry Night.” There are several distributors in Michigan. Visit strasserwood.com/showrooms.

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NEW NEUTRALS: Experts at High Point Market (highpointmarket.org) in High Point, N.C., have revealed that beige and brown have returned in popularity. Tribal patterns and accent colors of orange (see the Color Corner feature in this issue) and red are also making a comeback.

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EASY HARDWARE: Visit belwith-keeler.com to browse the hardware designer’s more than 500 knobs and pulls. Choose up to three designs to sample for free. For a small shipping fee, the samples are shipped from the company’s Grandville, Mich., workshop. Showrooms include Michigan Cabinet World in Royal Oak and Herald Wholesale in Troy.

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RAPID(S) INCREASE: A three-bedroom, single-family home in Grand Rapids (ZIP code 49503) that sold for $130,000 two years ago currently sold for $177,000, according to House Hunt (househunt.com). — By Honey Murray

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Send a note to: MSwoyer@hour-media.com.