When you’re invited to create a room for a showhouse, it’s an exciting endeavor. Lots of work and decision-making come into play, of course, and the results are often breathtaking. That was the case for Loretta Crenshaw, of Detroit-based Crenshaw & Associates, when she decided to take on her seventh showhouse room, this time the dining room at the recent Junior League of Detroit Designers’ Show House.
“I originally considered a different room other than the dining room, but I thought it might be difficult to obtain enough furniture and furnishings in a timely manner,” Crenshaw recalls. “When I looked at the dining room (located in a manor-style home in Grosse Pointe Farms), it was a manageable size, had a nice marble floor, and only one window — which meant I would only need one set of drapes.”
Crenshaw had wanted to incorporate a silver foil-style wallpaper and use amethyst drapes and accents, but because of supply-chain challenges and expenses, she went down a different, more resourceful design path. “I pulled from my inventory, and that started with yellow drapes; I had used them in a living room in another showhouse.” She added a Schumacher black-and-white trim to the drapes for pizzazz, and chose Benjamin Moore paints for the dentil crown molding (“a striking high-gloss black”) and the walls, which she cloaked in “a warm Alpine White.” Then, she selected accessories and decorative accents from Judy Frankel Antiques in Troy.
The designer says many of her clients have returned to elegant dining over the past few years, and she finds great reward and joy in assisting them with tabletop beauty. “If my clients have an interest in entertaining, I teach them ‘lifestyle,’ ” she says. “I help them with acquiring all the fine dining accoutrement. Today, some people throw more dinner parties than the White House!”
More Information: crenshawdesigns.com.
For more information on future Junior League of Detroit show houses, visit jldetroit.org.
Text by Megan Swoyer & Photo by Jeff Garland