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FURNISHINGS | inspired designers


WHO: Minja Casalou, of Royal Oak-based Jennifer Taylor Studio Inc., has a resume that includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and a master’s in architectural interior design from the Florence Institute of Design International in Florence, Italy — where her love of architecture, art, and antiques took root.


DESIGNER’S GOAL: An autumnal color palette and natural textiles were the goals for this vignette, created for the 2017 “Design 2 Ways” at Michigan Design Center in Troy. A Tibetan area rug inspired the overall design with its bold, eccentric pattern and seasonal hues. “I wanted to illustrate how warm tones and unconventional pieces can be combined to create a modern setting,” Casalou says. The best part about this ensemble? It perfectly echoes the look the designer wore the day of the event. Casalou’s sheer silk organza blouse and ginger-colored felted wool sleeveless dress were custom-created by her talented mother, Royal Oak-based fashion designer Dijana Bucalo of Dijana Design Studio. Influenced by the vignette’s natural textiles (wool/mohair/silk) and warm color palette, the chic outfit “combines the two opposing fabric weights, and the juxtaposition of the structured and flowing geometries,” Casalou explains.

MORE INFORMATION: 248-582-9450,


Minja Casalou’s Tips for Fashioning a Stylish Space:

• A mix of materials, like lush mohair and velvet fabrics, conveys a sense of comfort and warmth when paired with contemporary furniture.
• Light a space evenly. Never place a lamp on a table in a corner of the room and think you’re finished!
• Real flowers add a splash of color, more than any fabric or paint ever could. Casalou’s inventive touches in the room above include rust-colored mums in a leather floral container.

“Accessories — especially lighting — are like jewelry to an outfit.”
— Minja Casalou


Rolex Oyster, 37 mm, steel and Everose gold, $12,900, Tapper’s Jewelry, Somerset Collection, Troy
Foggy Morning in Blue and Foggy Morning in Fuchsia paintings, $1,450/ea., by Roselyn Rhodes, through the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham
Chloe Faye small patchwork leather shoulder bag in black, $1,990, Neiman Marcus, Somerset Collection, Troy
Theodore Alexander Fasten floor lamp, $1,545, Marie-Howard Showroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy

WHO: Principal designer Terry Ellis, left, of Room Service Interior Design, has a keen eye for interesting antiques as well as modern classics. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design from Wayne State University, is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers, and is NCIDQ board-certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Ellis established Room Service Interior Design in 1991. She has maintained an office in the Michigan Design Center in Troy, where she’s a member of the Featured Designer Program, for the past 21 years. The designer is also the proud recipient of several Detroit Home Design Awards.


DESIGNER’S GOAL: This vignette, created for Michigan Design Center’s 2017 “Celebrations Around the World” open house, was inspired by a collection of vintage portraits. “I was reading about the Left Bank of Paris during the early 1900s, and it occurred to me that an extraordinary energy created by talent, intellect, and creativity likely was (often) present in one room — (there were) writers, philosophers, and artists,” she says. “I wanted a room to reflect the essence of the Bohemian counterculture in a richly layered setting.” Vibrant blues, greens, and grays, much like the hue of the river Seine, compose the space’s color scheme. “The Benjamin Moore paint color (Newburyport Blue) holds mystery and intrigue — not quite navy, not quite sky, but a very intense blue found in a body of water. People who see it inevitably ask the name of it,” Ellis says. Her own look, shown above, mirrors that of the space. Sporting a classic navy blue tailored suit, Ellis channels her inner Parisian with a beautiful scarf. She topped her outfit with an Art Deco green brooch she purchased many years ago in the Le Marais district. “It’s my favorite place to wander in Paris!” Ellis says.

MORE INFORMATION: 248-637-3270,


Terry Ellis’ Tips for Fashioning a Stylish Space:

• Avoid oversized, clunky pieces that dominate a small space or art that’s hung too high, and refrain from using a solitary surface-mount light fixture on the ceiling.
• Lighting your space can be very easy. Simply direct light where you’d like to highlight special features, and allow the resulting interplay of shadows to fall where they may.

“The spatter-patterned fabric on the table felt ‘painterly’ to me. I imagine it as having a history of its own — like an old linen tablecloth used at special dinner parties.”
— Terry Ellis


Par Marie-Hélène de Taillac necklace, $4,310,
John Richard Omega mirror, $897, RJ Thomas Ltd., Michigan Design Center, Troy
Kravet Painted Velvet fabric in turquoise, $284/yd. and Kravet Broadmoor fabric in marine, $31.90/ yd., both from Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, Michigan Design Center, Troy
A current Giorgio Armani painterly look emphasizes an abstract colorful motif, Somserset Collection, Troy