Full Circle

To say I’m excited for this issue — my first with Detroit Design magazine — would be an understatement.
Giuseppa Nadrowski

To say I’m excited for this issue — my first with Detroit Design magazine — would be an understatement. Design has always been a part of my life.

My father works in masonry construction and, when I was young, many weekend and summer days were spent visiting his job sites. I’d often look up in awe at him, standing tall on multiple stories of scaffolding as he meticulously laid brick in intricate patterns. “How does he do that?” I wondered, absolutely fascinated. I may have been young, but I already had a strong appreciation not only of what went into the construction of a building, but of the ability of those, like my dad, who could take a few walls and transform them into something spectacular.

When I was in my teens, my parents built their own home, and I was lucky (even though my 16-year-old self didn’t know it at the time) to be there through each stage of the process. I saw the basement poured, the frame raised, the walls built, the flooring selected, and the furniture chosen. It was astonishing to watch a home go from dream to reality.

As I grew older, my interest in design led me to fashion and a career in New York. Just like in a build, a garment has so many facets — the intricacies of a stitch, the subtleties of a cut, the inspiration behind the design. To this day, these details continue to amaze me. When my husband and I moved back to Michigan upon the birth of our first child, I noticed a shift in my design interests, this time thanks to our first home. Furniture, paint colors, hardware, landscaping — there were so many choices, so many possibilities. It was then that I began to see the parallels between the career I had pursued and the one I grew up with.

While, admittedly, our home’s aesthetic du jour was more about stain-resistance and babyproofing — especially with our second child — as our children grew and I began writing more about interiors (thank you, Megan Swoyer!), my passion for the field exploded, especially for what we have going on locally.

There’s just so much history here when it comes to architecture and interiors. From the iconic formalist, Minoru Yamasaki, to all the Mid-century Modern revolutionaries of Cranbook, we’re a mecca of architectural wonder. Just look at the Barton Hills residence that designer Patrick Thompson renovated for a family of six (page 74). It was designed by the legendary David Osler in 1967, and not only did Thompson update the home with incredible (and, not to mention, family-friendly) results, he kept the integrity of the architect’s original philosophy.

We’re also lucky to have an unparalleled network of local makers and innovators who are actively shaking up our city’s design scene with their ingenuity, creativity, and passion. At Woodward Throwbacks, for example, owners Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay have been taking scrap materials, bound for the landfill, and repurposing them into gorgeous furniture — so much so, that they wrote a book about it (page 30). There’s also Bedrock, who, with ODA, had an incredible vision to bring new life into the iconic Book Tower (page 34), and Iannuzzi Studio, which took an outdated and abandoned home on Sodon Lake and transformed it into a beacon of efficiency and modern style (page 66).

The talented community we have in the metro Detroit area and around the state amazes me every day, and I’m so excited to showcase it all in these pages. Just as design has continued to inspire me since my youth, I hope that each home, each room, each product, and each designer we’ve featured in this issue inspires you in your own story.