BULLETIN BOARD // IN RESIDENCE / DÉCOR SHOWCASE
SWEET REDO Book a loft stay near the Eastern Market at this renovated
living space, which once was a candy factory.
PHOTO BY HAYDEN STINEBAUGH
Designer Patrick Sullivan transforms a funky 1970s travel trailer
into a heavenly home on wheels
PATRICK SULLIVAN, WHO grew up in Farmington and now lives in San Francisco, fell in love with the curvy shape and retro style of Airstream trailers as a kid, while camping with his family in northern Michigan. Twenty years later, he bought one — a 1971 model in horrendous shape — and turned a gut-job into glory in about 14 months of 40-hour workweeks. A former colleague of the late and beloved designer Brian Killian, Sullivan, shown at left, says he’s a Michigan guy through-and-through. Here, he shares the challenges of his successful Airstream redo.
Q: What condition was the Airstream in when you found it?
A: It was in horrible shape, but it had no visible dents or holes. Two U-Hauls worth of junk and five gallons of bleach later, I was able to start gutting it down to the frame and outside skin. I originally planned on doing the renovation for my wife and me, until the budget and time quadrupled. We had a buyer early on, but they had no influence on the design. They had faith, you could say.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the job?
A: The curves. They’re everywhere. (Working on) the bathroom ceiling was like trying to cover the inside of half of a basketball with wood.
Q: What would you tell someone who wanted to revamp an Airstream?
A: Every Airstream leaks, so expect to replace the subfloor and some of — or the entire — frame, and to gut the interior. Take your budget and triple it. summitfactory.com — Patty LaNoue Stearns
You can’t fence in this Milford entrepreneur’s passion for Country style
KELLEY GORBE SPENT her early years growing up in a 100-year-old “fixer-upper” farmhouse in Monroe County, and as a tween, she loved anything having to do with home décor, spending hours watching “This Old House” and reading Better Homes and Gardens magazine. She and her mother would use some of the ideas Gorbe saw on TV and resurfaced walls, hung wallpaper, and caulked crumbly window frames.“I was living country before it was cool,” Gorbe says. The hospital pharmacist and her husband, Mark (both shown at right), a Dearborn city employee, now run Milford Mills at 210 Main St. in Milford. It’s an inviting downtown shop filled with what she calls “rustic vintage chic” décor. Customers will find farmhouse-style signs, clocks, and chandeliers, as well as handmade wooden furniture, paint, linens, seasonal wreaths, and pottery. Between filling prescriptions at the hospital and finding the perfect pieces for her Milford Mills customers, Gorbe found a few extra minutes to share the story behind the store.
Q: How did you get into selling home décor?
A: In 2011 we built our own home in Milford, and Mark started refinishing leaded-glass windows. He also began designing mirror frames and chalkboards, and friends and family expressed interest. We rented a booth in a Holly vendor’s market, and opened the Milford Mills store in 2015.
Q: What’s popular right now?
A: Mark’s wood trays, made out of pallets, are so popular we can hardly keep them in stock.
Q: Besides selling home décor, what else does your business offer?
A: We have home décor services, and also offer classes. shopmilfordmills.com — Carol Hopkins
From Sweet to Swank
A lawyer turns a former Detroit candy factory and meat house into chic loft spaces
WHEN WE ASKED Jessica Woll what she’d be if she weren’t a family law attorney, her reply was: “an interior designer or chef.” A passion for furniture, art, home, and culinary delights inspired the lawyer to purchase and restore what once was a candy-making factory (built in 1922) and then meat-supply business in Detroit’s Eastern Market. One year later, Casings & Twine, 1528 Gratiot Ave., features three loft-style living units, one of which is available to rent (two-day minimum). The fourth- floor unit is Woll’s downtown getaway space (she resides in Farmington Hills), the third floor is run like a small inn, and the second floor is used for events and long-term rentals (lofts are available through Airbnb). The first floor and lower level will eventually be a restaurant and bar (for this venture, she’s partnering with Dave Kwiatkowski of Sugar House fame). We met with the ambitious Woll in her beautifully decorated Birmingham office (Woll & Woll, PC — designed by Woll, of course) to learn more about the sweet transition taking place at the former candy factory and meat house.
Q: The building, with lots of original beams and big windows, was, among other things, a meatpacking supply house. Within your restoration, are there still signs of its historic past?
A: Yes. The etching on the outside of the building remains in good shape; in one area you can see, “Casings, Spices and Twine.” For the name, I shortened that to Casings & Twine.
Q: How did your grandparents indirectly inspire you?
A: One of my grandmothers was an interior designer, and one of my grandfathers came to the United States to avoid the Holocaust (escaping from Poland) and opened a fruit stand in the vicinity of Casings & Twine at the Eastern Market.
Q: Tell us about your interior style, at home and at the lofts.
A: My travels are reflected in a lot of it. I lived abroad in Southeast Asia and England, and I spent a lot of time in Italy. The furnished loft, in fact, has high-end modern Italian furniture. There’s a Kartell table with great chairs, for example.
Q: What types of people have stayed here?
A: I’ve had urban travelers from Europe, New York, and L.A. I’ve also hosted parties and am right now planning an event for the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, which will bring together artists from the city and suburbs. casingsandtwine.com — Megan Swoyer
Some of this issue’s featured designers and artists share their favorite ways
to deck out a front porch | By Megan Swoyer
LET’S SIT ON THE PORCH
A. OUTDOOR WINE BARREL CHANDELIER, $1,995, RH, RESTORATION HARDWARE, RH,
SOMERSET COLLECTION, TROY
B. SANSOVINO HURRICANES, $229-$249, METRO DETROIT-AREA ETHAN ALLEN STORES, ETHANALLEN.COM
C. INDIO BENCH, $374, METRO DETROIT-AREA POTTERY BARN STORES, POTTERYBARN.COM
D. SUNBRELLA SENECA STRIPE OUTDOOR PILLOW, $69, BALLARD DESIGNS, BALLARDDESIGNS.COM
E. SUNBRELLA CANVAS BUTTER PILLOW, $55, BALLARD DESIGNS, BALLARDDESIGNS.COM
F. DARLANA LANTERN BY E.F. CHAPMAN, $1,260, CIRCA LIGHTING, CIRCALIGHTING.COM
G. TOPIARY DOORMAT, $69.95, METRO DETROIT-AREA PIER 1 IMPORTS STORES, PIER1.COM
H. TWINKLE GOLD 10-FOOT STRING LIGHTS, $12.95, CRATE & BARREL, TROY
WHAT SHOULD EVERY FRONT PORCH HAVE?
“A grouping of well-made wood rockers, fresh libations, and intriguing conversation. One of the porches in our family is a true wrap-around, with ongoing music and an extraordinary chandelier collection.”
— LESLIE ANN PILLING
MM-O-DD METRO MUSEUM OF DESIGN DETROIT
PRESENCE II PRODUCTIONS, DETROIT
“Great lighting, whether it’s a hanging lantern, overhead lighting, sconces, gas-lit wall lanterns, or even lamps, if your porch is covered.”
— SHARON KORY
SHARON KORY INTERIORS, BIRMINGHAM
“A place to sit—a bench, a swing, or a piece of furniture. Sitting is a shared experience associated with rest, comfort and, frequently, companionship.”
— BRADFORD ANGELINI
ANGELINI & ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS,
“A friendly dog to greet guests and a great paint color for the front door. I like Fine Paints of Europe for bold colors or Farrow & Ball for a more casual look. Also, a wonderful mix of pots with plants and flowers; I prefer purple with a touch of white, and a few herbs. I like to use antique pots or mix-and-match old wood boxes and wire baskets as planters.”
— LISA PETRELLA
PETRELLA DESIGNS, BIRMINGHAM
“Solar fairy lights strung across the ceiling. It makes me feel like I’m always under the stars and I can have my wish.”
— MARY ROUSSEAUX
MARY ROUSSEAUX ART, DETROIT
The owner of Tiny and Smart is on a big mission
DEBBIE ROSSMAN IS on a mission. The owner of Tiny and Smart, LLC is working to learn more about tiny houses and is spreading the word that they’re the way to go. The designer of the 220-square-foot miniscule home showcased behind the stately main home at the most recent Junior League of Detroit Designers’ Show House, Rossman, of East Point, says people are realizing they don’t need all the stuff they have. “People from all walks of life can enjoy the benefits of a tiny house,” she says. Working from an office in Ferndale, Rossman is aiming to specialize in community development. “I want to build a tiny house community with 30 or 40 houses, with no grass and lots of walkable spaces and beautiful flowers everywhere. There’d be a fitness park, community garden, and more.” The home she designed for the Show House in Grosse Pointe Park was made from an old storage building located behind the main home on the shores of Lake St. Clair.
Rossman and others — including Rick Raleigh, of JD Engle Construction — turned it into a full-fledged home with a small sitting area, bathroom, kitchen, loft sleeping area, and bar. Most recently, Rossman’s been working on a tiny house at the Detroit Training Center, where learning different vocations is the name of the game. “The Training Center (tiny house) is cool, too,” she says. “It has wheels!”
email@example.com — Megan Swoyer
‘D’-LUX IN THE ‘D’ Max Broock Realtors is re-entering the Detroit real estate market as the exclusive listing agent for Ashton Detroit (ashtondetroit.com), a new 12-story luxury condominium high rise (rendering shown at right) slated to open in early 2019. The 98-unit and five penthouses project will be the first freestanding, high-rise condo built in Detroit in more than 20 years.
• • •
PRICE CUT Everything Home Upscale Resale in Royal Oak (everythinghomemi.com), where you can find contemporary, Mid-Century modern, vintage, and antique furnishings and deÌcor, is holding a 10 percent off sale from Aug. 28-Sept. 3.
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DOOR DATA Garage door replacements are one of the top returns on investment among all home improvements, according to the 2017 Cost vs. Value Report. “Making a great first impression in this competitive housing market is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to boost resale value,” says Heather Meiner, right, of Overhead Door, a manufacturer of garage doors and garage door openers.
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TRIED & TRUE Dorian Gluckman, of Gluckman & Co. Building and Remodeling in Birmingham (gluckmanco.com), says the company is seeing a desire for simple, elegant, timeless designs and an emphasis on quality, functionality, and durability. “Customers are increasingly interested in new and/or better materials and techniques that make for a superior product,” Gluckman says. “They’re also getting more involved with the design process, to make their spaces optimal for their needs and lifestyles.”
• • •
THINK PINK Sue Wadden, director of color marketing with Sherwin-Williams, reports that Mellow Coral is the company’s “Millenial Pink.” Says Wadden: “It’s more neutral in nature and can be an easy addition to a living space, and it’s a beautiful complement to gray.”
• • •
VEGGIE TALES “More people are beginning to grow their own food,” says MSU Community Food System Educator Kristine Hahn. “Kale and spinach can be planted in the fall, and are actually much sweeter once they go through a frost.” Fourteen-week Michigan State University Extension master gardener classes (msue.anr.msu.edu) begin Aug. 22 in Wayne County and Aug. 29 in Oakland County. — By Honey Murray