Bulletin Board – February/March 2015

Love is in the air: This renowned Robert Indiana Pop Art Love  (1966) print hangs in a colorful Bloomfield Township home.

Shades of Passion

Very Very Red, from Coffee Table Books to Pillows to Tables 


Cupid approves of all things “red” not only on Feb. 14, but throughout the year. Surrounding yourself with items that make your heart sing is a good thing, notes therapist Marcie Wagner of Troy. “Inspirational home décor can (serve as) daily affirmations — messages (confirming) that which is important to us. I have a pillow on my bed that says, ‘Scatter Joy.’ I see it daily, and it brings a smile to my face every time I read it.” Sally Matak, of Matak Design in Bloomfield Township, includes bits of red throughout her home, year-round. You’ll find red pillows, a red tray on her cocktail table, and a red throw — every day. “I’m a big fan of pops of red in an environment,” she says. “It creates dynamic energy — a warm splash of color. And I love red flowers.” Here, some of Cupid’s favorite heartfelt items.

Left: Mini Ombre heart pillow, $30, Pier I Imports, metro Detroit area stores, pier1.com. Right: Eye-catching coffee table book for shoe lovers: Art & Sole (Jane Weitzman, Harper Collins), $30, Barnes & Noble, Detroit area stores, barnesandnoble.com.

Left: Tray tables, $529/three (with removable tray tops), BoConcept, Birmingham, boconceptbirmingham-mi.com. Right: Red luster Hazel pitcher, handcrafted by American artisans, $48, Arhaus, Troy and Ann Arbor, arhaus.com.

Bowled Over

Michael Aram’s Heart Pieces are Objects of Desire

Detroit Home stylist Giuseppa Nadrowski enjoyed a sit-down with designer/artist Michael Aram, right, during his recent Macy’s/Somerset Collection/Troy appearance. The two had an opportunity to discuss Aram’s heart collection. “Each of the hearts are hand-forged steel,” he said. “Each piece is unique, just like our own hearts.” The heart-inspired pieces include frames, coasters, candles, and our favorite — this gold heart dish. Because it’s one of his favorites, as well, the designer sent a version of the bowl to close friends to announce the birth of his twins. macy’s.com.

Love Handles

Colorful hardware brightens décor

Emtek, the maker of high-end hardware, is drawing inspiration from history, fashion, art, and industrial design for its stunning products. Some of the firm’s latest offerings include colored crystal knobs, which are available in a chic black, cyan, and tangelo. These beauties provide the ultimate home update, whether they’re used to liven up kitchen and bathroom cabinets, or added to a bedroom dresser. Available at Herald Wholesale, Troy; Classic Hardware, Livonia; Home & Door Products, Berkley; and other locations. emtek.com.

Floored by Retro

Designers at Scott Group Custom Carpets recently shared a new trend board that corresponds with their latest Elan collection. Scott Group creates collections three to four times per year for the residential and commercial design market. “We look at trends in these markets, as well as fashion, to give us color direction for each collection,” explains Jennifer Kirchgessner of the Grand Rapids-based company. “We’ve been seeing the use of colors with a retro feel; desaturated hues combined with pops of color, combined with neutrals.” scottgroup.com.

Hidden Gem

Designers, Architects, Students Immerse Themselves in Lake Norcentra Area Redesign

Rochester Hills’ Lake Norcentra is a hidden gem that’s undergoing a polishing. As the focal point of Rochester College’s campus, the lake inspired advertising magnate/Grosse Pointe native Lou Maxon to build a country retreat there in the 1930s. The home and many of the structures he built on the property remain in place today. The lake, near where the Clinton River Trail crosses the Clinton River, is home to bountiful fish, turtles, and more. The trees that surround Lake Norcentra make it an arbor grove in the summer and a living light show in the autumn. Now, the lake and its surroundings are undergoing a conceptual design process — a series of activities through which Rochester College and its neighbors plan to create a compelling design that involves the public and a steering committee of local leaders. Birmingham-based Team-4-Community (T4C), a multidisciplinary architectural firm, has been commissioned by Rochester College to complete the placemaking project for the college campus (the program initially involved Lawrence Technological University students, as well). “As principals of the firm, we’re committed to educating emerging young professionals and giving back to our community,” says Shari Stein, principal interior designer for T4C, which provides students with work experience  through the mentorship of educators with decades of experience. Stein works with business partners Harold Remlinger, architect, and landscape architect Ralph Nuñez. The team is hoping the area will become a place where people are able to explore and learn about  history and nature through instruction and interpretation. rc.edu.

To Your Health (with a Cherry on Top!)

Several years ago, entrepreneur Michelle White, left, who grew up in Keego Harbor, discovered the health benefits of tart cherry concentrate. Today, she lives in Up North’s “cherry country,” where her company, Michelle’s Miracle, bottles fresh concentrate (available at Whole Foods). Customers use the product as an aid for everything from sleep issues to joint pain. As February is National Cherry Month (and National Heart Month), White is in high gear promoting her new cookbook, In the Kitchen with Michelle. The cooking enthusiast has infused everything from oatmeal to stuffed peppers to barbecue sauce with the healthy concentrate. We joined White on a recent shopping trip to Crate & Barrel, where she selected her favorite spring kitchen accessories to pair up with her new cookbook. “The mini-bakers are perfect for my oatmeal bake,” she said, “while the red potluck baker is just the ticket for my stuffed peppers with cherries dish. Oh, and why not grab some cherry-colored linens, while we’re at it?” she suggested. To order a cookbook, visit cherryworks.net, michellesmiracle.com.   

Michelle’s Oatmeal Bake

3 cups rolled oats

½ cup Michelle’s Cherry Works Wellness or Joint Formula
Tart Cherry Concentrate

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 eggs

½ cup melted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¾ cup dried cherries (Michigan’s Graceland brand is great)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in cherry concentrate, milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in dried cherries. Pour into single serving baking dishes. Bake for 30 minutes.

Take Heart: Baker mini bowls, $2.95/ea., work perfectly for Michelle White’s oatmeal bake, while the potluck baker, $29.95, is “just the ticket for my stuffed peppers with cherries dish,” she says. Both items are available this spring at Crate & Barrel, Somerset Collection, Troy, crateandbarrel.com.

Citrus Punch

Citrus tile, Market collection, $243/square foot, Ann Sacks showroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy, michigandesign.com.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Decorate with Them!

As we venture out of winter and into the months that show light at the end of the tunnel, we’re thinking about all things lemon. Items from the Michigan Design Center in Troy and from various local shops remind us that soon we’ll be quenching our thirst with icy-cold lemonade after working out in the garden under a hot sun. Lemons also evoke Easter treats like lemon coconut cake and lemon bread. Here, a spritzing of lemon adornments.

Left: Meyer lemon soy candle in reusable Mason jar, $13, Vineyard Hill Naturals (vineyardhillnaturals.com), Cracker Barrel stores and amazon.com. Right: Eve, from Vervain, in lemon, $354/yard, Michigan Design Center, Troy, michigandesign.com.

Left: Lemon tree apron, $54,The Italian Dish, Birmingham, theitaliandish.com. Right: Kate Spade Saturday pillow cover, $34, West Elm, Birmingham, westelm.com.

Excellence in Education

Baker Students Cook up Kitchen Awards

Winning designs: Rachel Thibodeau’s kitchen rendering, left, and Mary Prough’s floor plan, right, show the students’ design talents. “This is an incredible accomplishment for Mary and Rachel that reflects positively on the program as a whole,” says Ann Jacob, Baker College of Auburn Hills director of interior design. 


Two students earned Baker College of Auburn Hills an Excellence in Education award from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and helped secure a five-year NKBA accreditation for the college, rather than the standard one-year accreditation. Only 17 schools in the nation received one of the Excellence in Education awards. The accreditation and the award were based on kitchen designs created by Rachel Thibodeau, of North Branch, and Mary Prough, of Shelby Township. The Auburn Hills campus is the only Michigan school to receive such an award, and it is the only Michigan NKBA-accredited school. baker.edu.

Rachel Thibodeau, left, and Mary Prough, right