Bulletin Board: Fire Up for Fall




DISCOVERY Ugly fire extinguisher be gone! Fire Designs’ extinguisher, $160, is among the unique goods at the 1-year-old Tenue in Grosse Pointe Woods. Read about the shop in this section.

Pop Goes the Couple

A professional photographer and his wife launch a home décor business


IT WAS TWO Valentine’s Days ago when Lauren Benninger woke up to a dozen mouth-watering doughnuts, a treat her husband, CJ (both shown at left), knew topped her list of indulgences. And yet, Lauren couldn’t bite into the beauties, which were topped with everything from sprinkles to frostings to sugary glazes. They were, you see, images on photo paper — and they were the subject of professional commercial photographer CJ’s first attempt at creating what he calls a “pop” print. Soon after, the couple’s friends saw the colorful, 30- by 40-inch artwork and asked how they could get either the same image or something similar. In the blink of an eye — looking through a lens, of course — CJ and Lauren, whose main job is working as a prosecuting attorney for Oakland County, launched PhotoPop Prints. The busy couple, who live in Bloomfield Hills and have three children under the age of 5, found some time to tell us more about PhotoPop.

Q: A passion for doughnuts launched this, so we’ve got to ask: What’s your favorite doughnut store?
Avon Donuts in Pontiac, Lauren says.

Q: How would you explain the look of a PhotoPop, and how did you expand from doughnuts to other items?
They’re bright, bold, crisp, and graphic — and they jump out at you, Lauren says. They come in many standard sizes, so they’re easy to frame. Adds CJ: After people were asking for prints and we realized we could do lots of other subjects, we (decided to) turn it into a business.

Q: What are some of the objects that you feature, both singularly and in groups?
We’ve created some 75 images so far and are always adding to it, CJ says. Gummy bears (great for a child’s nursery), Pac-Man, vintage cameras, buttons, plastic army men, matchbooks, peonies, lilacs, and cacti top the list (the couple is starting to offer customized work, as well). website: photopopprints.com, instagram: @photopopprints — Megan Swoyer

Woodward Avenue Fixture

Lampcraft soon will celebrate 65 years


trending lighting styles awaits visitors to Royal Oak’s Lampcraft. Clients can also have their lamps repaired and restored at Lampcraft. Owner Chris Patten, left, who says the store operates in an old-school fashion (he talks to clients in person or over the phone, rather than via email), enlightened us recently about the family business, which turns 65 in 2018.

Q: How did Lampcraft get its start?
My grandfather, a pilot in the Royal Air Force, moved here from England after World War II. He was a carpenter and worked for Lighting Enterprises in Wyandotte. Later, he opened Lampcraft for them on Woodward. My mom and dad took over the business and, after I graduated from college, I started working here. Now I run it, with help from my mother during the summer months.

Q: What kinds of pieces do you create?
 We can make anything into a lamp: team football helmets, champagne bottles, figurines — anything!

Q: What’s one of your most memorable creations?
A client who’s a high-profile attorney brought in stacks of his law books, which we made into lamps for his office. That project was one for the books! 248-549-1399 — Honey Murray


Ortonville museum volunteers weave and sell 1800s-style rugs

DREAMWEAVER Grace Geisler turns out a beautiful rag rug recently at the Old Mill in downtown Ortonville. Other historical society volunteers are shown assisting with various tasks. RUG WEAVER PHOTO BY HAYDEN STINEBAUGH

RAG RUGS, CREATED by weaving strips of spare cloth on a loom, brought prettiness into 19th-century homes. You can still buy these handcrafted, colorful beauties in the metro Detroit area at the Old Mill, 366 Mill St. in downtown Ortonville. The site is also the home of the Ortonville Community Historical Society. Six dedicated historical society volunteers, including lead weaver Grace Geisler, create rugs in red, navy, sky-blue, peach, pink, and other hues on a 100-year-old working loom set up inside the mill. The volunteers cut and sew the fabric into strips, and make the rugs. “We prepare and design the rugs ourselves,” says historical society President Judy Miracle.

The sturdy fringed rugs cost between $33 and $43 each, and measure an average of 32 inches wide and 48 inches long. Funds from the sale of the rugs go to the historical society and its programs. Geisler, a retired florist who’s been weaving for 52 years, shares the following information on rug-making:

Q: How long does it take to make a rug, and how many rugs do you normally have for sale on a given Saturday?
We can make half a rug while we’re here on Saturdays, and we have about 20 rugs for sale.

Q: This type of rug was very popular in the 1800s. What are some of the benefits of a rag rug?
 They last for years and they’re machine-washable. (Geisler recommends hang-drying them to retain their shape.)

Q: What’s a popular color these days?
Denim always sells, and it’s sturdy. The Old Mill is open Saturdays from April through December. — Carol Hopkins

Finishing Touches

Hardware is no longer an afterthought


BELIEVE IT OR not (believe it!), Lisa Jarvis’ first interior design assignment was to fashion a wonderfully livable and inviting space for her husband’s ex-girlfriend. From there, the designer, left, — a California native and a Detroit Home Design Awards judge who’s now based in New York City — has worked on projects ranging from New Jersey homes to New York City penthouses to Paris getaways. One of those penthouse projects started with the client telling Jarvis “You’ve got 90 days.” Jarvis explains: “He put money in my checking account and that was that. He was coming from another state and said, ‘I want to arrive with my clothes, that’s it.’ ” Beyond designing interiors, she also designs furniture and, these days, is turning out piece after piece of gorgeous hardware, which she calls “jewelry for furniture.” With her hardware (some of the pieces are shown above) now selling at the Michigan Design Center and Herald’s Wholesale, both in Troy, we wanted to learn more about these gems that truly are the icing on the design cake.

Q: How did you get started in the hardware business?
I was designing furniture and didn’t see any hardware I liked, so my husband suggested I draw up some pieces. We then had them made (hand-cast and hand-finished), and everyone loved them. A couple years later, and I now have over 90 pieces, with some 18 drawings in the pipeline.

Q: Where do you get your design inspirations?
 I get personal satisfaction from noticing beauty everywhere. I’ll see something in architecture, or a water lily (she has a lake house in upstate New York), or the way a Japanese obi belt is tied.

Q: Why are these pieces so important in overall design?
You’re living with hardware every day. It will outlast you. It doesn’t break and it has longevity. lisa-jarvis.com — Megan Swoyer

Dressed to Thrill

A tête-à-tête with a Grosse Pointe Woods shop owner


“TENUE” MEANS “OUTFIT,” so it’s an apt name for a shop in Grosse Pointe Woods that opened a year ago. Whether you’re dressing your home or your body, Tenue, at 19830 Mack Ave., offers a fine selection of goods. Shop owner Michelle Grates, left, who, along with her husband, Michael, also owns the nearby shop/salon Girlie Girl, selected many pieces that have a French accent — from a Louis Vuitton tray and Le Cadeaux gifts to the oversized Voyage et Cie candles. Coffee table books (such as one on the iconic Hermes scarf) share the soothing, clean-lined space with hand-selected frames, acrylic boxes, and more. Detroit Home caught up with Michelle, of Grosse Pointe Shores, upon her return from a recent buying trip.

Q: What kind of home goods do you offer?
We currently stock Juliska, Le Cadeaux, Tina Frey, LSA, Simon Pearce, Rox by CJ Design, Moo Moo Designs, Voyage et Cie, OLIVIA RIEGEL, and a variety of coffee table books.

Q: What’s your home’s style, and what are some of yours and your customers’ favorite home goods/accessories?
A: My home is transitional, a mix of comfort and simplicity. A lot of my dishware is Juliska. Our customers love the Le Cadeaux melamine dishes and glasses for outdoors and boating. We own several of the pieces we sell; it’s easy to sell what you personally love! tenue.com — Khristi Zimmeth

That’s Clever!

Some of this issue’s featured designers share their favorite
ways to add intelligence to their projects | By Megan Swoyer



A. The LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ robot vacuum, compatible with various apps, from $999, Home Depot and Lowes metro Detroit-area stores, homedepot.com, lowes.com
B. U by Moen shower customizes showers
before stepping in, using a smartphone,
from $379.50, Ferguson Showroom, Troy
C. T-fal OptiGrill Plus lets you grill indoors
and has a cooking sensor that ensures a
perfectly cooked meal by automatically
adapting to the thickness of your food for
the exact doneness, $150, Bed Bath and Beyond metro Detroit-area stores, bedbathandbeyond.com
D. Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Thermostat simplifies home comfort and security by controlling connected home products with a single app, $199, jcpenney.com
E. The Hunter Douglas–PowerView Motorization automated window treatment can digitally program shade positions, controlled through a pebble remote (also pictured) or through a smartphone app, prices vary, authorized retail dealers, hunterdouglas.com


“We downloaded an app that’s connected to an alarm system. The ease of arming and disarming the security system is great for kids, babysitters, and anyone who needs to get in your house but doesn’t need to know the alarm code. A similar app works for garage-door openers and doorbells. All super easy!”


“A Bio Phase Change Material (phasechange.com) installation makes heating and cooling systems more efficient. This item is saving our homeowners more energy than they’re making with their solar panels!”


“I’ve worked with home automation companies, such as Soundcheck (in Southfield), to integrate technology into new-construction homes. We’ve had everything from home audio, theater rooms, lighting, and even window treatments function by remote or smartphone apps.”


“I installed an occupancy sensor in the toekick of a bathroom once so that when the homeowner walked in at night, the sensor switch would turn the toekick light on.”


“Electrical outlets installed on the underside of upper cabinets, where you don’t see them, not only promote a seamless backsplash, but encourage simplicity and organized living. It’s become a new standard in all my kitchen projects.” 


HOT DOWNTOWN: Gerry Caratelli, owner of Ferndale-based Architectural Building Components (ezabcinc.com), has one word for Detroit’s construction trend — busy! Says Caratelli: “Detroit projects bid on in the past often fell to the wayside, but they’re now actually getting built — hospital expansions, commercial structures and, especially, multiple-dwelling housing for employees of booming Detroit businesses like Quicken Loans who are choosing to live in the city.”

• • •

MAGNOLIA BLOOMS HERE: Art Van Furniture (artvan.com) is excited to announce that Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines, right, is now available at all Art Van Furniture locations in Michigan. The collection by HGTV’s popular “Fixer Upper” star comes in eight style genres.

                       • • •

FIRED UP: Shores Fireplace and BBQ (shoresfireplaceandbbq.com), with two locations — St. Clair Shores and Rochester Hills — helps homeowners keep the (outside) home fires burning throughout the colder months. “Freestanding wood or propane fire pits are becoming more and more popular,” says company representative Bob Holmes. “They’re affordable, portable, efficient, and they beautifully update your outdoor living space.”

• • •

TILE STYLE: “For many years,” says MUDtile (mudtile.com) founder and creative director Catherine Braconnier, below, “tiles were relegated to kitchens and bathrooms. Now, our finely crafted marble, basalt, and limestone tiles and mosaics are welcomed in all living areas, opening up new architectural perspectives.”

• • •

KEYED UP: “Fall is a great time to have your piano serviced,” says piano tuner Peter Olivero (pianoism.com), who adds, “The rise and fall of humidity levels from the summer months can cause pianos to go out of tune.”

• • •

PLYMOUTH ROCKS: According to the latest figures, which point to an inventory of 151 single- family homes in Plymouth, the average selling price of a three-bedroom house in Plymouth continues to rise. A year ago, such homes typically sold for about $305,000; six months ago, selling prices were at $341,000, according to househunt.com. This issue of Detroit Home features a story on one updated residence as well as a kitchen overhaul, both in Plymouth. See the Features and Look Book sections. — By Honey

Have news or trends that pertain to the local home, design, and/or real estate industry?
Send a note to: MSwoyer@hour-media.com.