Recycle Restyle

From the local designers and founders of Woodward Throwbacks comes a brand-new book to inspire your next space
Woodward Throwbacks founders Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay // Photo by Gerard + Belevender

For Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay, the design duo behind Woodward Throwbacks, the Detroit-based sustainable furniture brand, this spring is a season for celebration as their first-ever book, “Throwbacks Home Interiors,” hits bookshelves. The 256-page hardcover, published by Clarkson Potter, showcases 15 one-of-a-kind homes that highlight the beauty and charm of using often-scrapped and overlooked materials – some of which Shepherd and Dubay worked on themselves. Throughout the book, Shepherd and Dubay share tips and tricks for how to use, style, and recycle these one-of-a-kind accents into your own home. Detroit Design recently spoke with Dubay about the inspiration behind the book, the homes featured, and what readers can expect to find within its pages.

Since 2013, Dubay and Shepherd have created furniture and renovated homes throughout the city using found materials, so when it came to writing this book, they were all about inspiring their readers to look for the beauty and treasure in reusing these resources. “We wanted to try to show people that you can use reclaimed and salvaged materials, and that it doesn’t have to always look reclaimed,” Dubay says. He notes that the homes featured range from modern to industrial, classic, and even eclectic.

INSPIRED RENOVATIONS // This 256-page hardcover book highlights homes that used reclaimed and repurposed materials in their designs.

“If there’s any takeaway between all the homes, it’s that they’re all very creative in their own right. Each house is very different, but each speaks to the individual (homeowner).” From the bold hues and contrasting prints of the Not Your Grandma’s House to the stunningly industrial Garage House, which features repurposed gas cans for seating and a light and bright kitchen that exemplifies how to marry the old with the new (like a shimmering zellige tile backsplash paired with cabinets using an old building’s façade and an island designed from vintage church pews), each picture and page recognizes the beauty of designing a home with recycled pieces. Dubay’s and Shepherd’s own 1901 Victorian Corktown residence is also featured. “You get a more authentic product,” Dubay says of using repurposed materials, which lend character to your home. “Sometimes these new buildings are just so soulless, so you kind of bring some of these reclaimed elements in there and it just brings a lot to the project.”

For Dubay and Shepherd, who in 2022 opened their first showroom and retail location in Detroit’s Capitol Park, making sure the spaces displayed in the book were “accessible and attainable” was of utmost importance. “There were no interior designers on these projects, no architects. These are all the homeowners, in their own facilities, within their own means, and I think that’s going to resonate well with a lot of people,” Dubay says. “The idea was to inspire people. If you’re doing a renovation or a smaller project, hopefully you can find something (in the book) that can inspire you to reuse some of the materials that you’ve taken out of the project. I just think this is a great highlight for Detroit, too. It really showcases the creative individuals here and the opportunities there are.”

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Text by Giuseppa Nadrowski | Photography by Gerard + Belevender