2008 Rising Star

2009 Design Awards

Judges | Best of the Good Life | Rising Star

Famed French designer Jean Royere was a man of strong opinions. “I’m against furniture,” he wrote in 1963. “I think we should eliminate it as much as possible.” He also rejected decoration and felt the words functional, style, and contemporary had no meaning. In other words, Royere eschewed fashion in favor of a timeless mix of traditional and modern design.

If that’s the case, then Charles Dunlap — this year’s recipient of the Brian Killian Rising Star award and an admirer of Royere’s work — has incorporated his influences well. “He’s a really concise designer,” says interior designer Jill Schumacher of Birmingham-based Rariden, Schumacher, Mio & Co. “His interiors are inviting and comfortable with clean lines, modern lighting, and attention to detail. His work is beautiful.”

Dunlap began his career working for a firm specializing in retail design before forming the Dunlap Design Group in 2000. Since then, he’s been featured in magazines such as Beautiful Interiors and Traditional Home, acted as a consultant for ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and showcased his stylistic versatility in homes from Miami Beach to Nevada. “Charles is equally comfortable working with clean, traditional interiors, sophisticated contemporary, or mixing the two,” says the Michigan Design Center’s vice president and general manager, Susan Zinger. “I love how he’s able to mix traditional and contemporary design elements to create interiors that are sophisticated, warm, and livable.”

A mix of antiques and contemporary furniture highlights the sophisticated, but warm contemporary design of this Pleasant Ridge home.