• Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Center for design

    In the realm of design, the advantage of an extensive, active showroom center is manifold when either undergoing a new project or exploring current trends from design tastemakers. The Midwest has its fair share, from Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, or theMART, the 4.2 million square-foot center in Chicago’s River North submarket; to the Designers Walk collection at the intersection of Toronto’s Annex and Yorkville neighborhoods.  Centrally located in metro-Detroit, the Michigan Design Center is one of these influential pools of collective design where nearly 40 curated showrooms representing more than 1,000 manufacturers—the likes of Ann Sacks, Schumacher, and Baker Furniture among them—offer year-round access to the best and brightest in design…

  • Featured,  Form

    Timeless estate

    Upon approach, the French Chateau-inspired residence in Hinsdale, Illinois captures a certain je ne sais quoi in time. Beyond a set of restored, original 1926 iron gates and stone columns detailed with welcoming, ornamental pineapples, a long drive draws the onlooker down a path lined with statuesque trees to a front courtyard where an approximately 14,500-square-foot estate stands in warm grandeur.  There is a commanding romanticism to its winged exterior defined by brick and stone, arched entries, and dramatic rooflines; and a classic take on its transitional interior where English antiques are set against a light palette. Once the site of an estate designed by R. Harold Zook, an early…

  • Architecture,  Design Spotlight,  Featured,  Residential

    Design for Sale: Pa Be Shan Lane

    Composed of timber logs and stone, a sprawling residence on the Lake Michigan coastline is a captivating design for sale that offers plenty of room and privacy among the lush lakeside woodlands. The property is listed at $2.49 million with Pat O’Brien and Associates Real Estate, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in Northern Michigan’s luxury, residential, lakefront, and commercial properties.  Sitting on nearly 200 feet of sandy Lake Michigan frontage, with an extra 200-foot lot available, the home’s astute, but comfortable, lodge-style architecture is lit with warm light from within during the evenings and by natural sunlight during the day. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room capture sweeping views…

  • Featured,  Form

    Linking the lakefront

    In 2003, the office of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley initiated an international design competition called “Bridging the Drive,” which aimed to draw major architects for a ground-breaking structural project that would improve pedestrian access to Lake Michigan across Chicago’s South Lakeshore Drive and within its South Side neighborhoods.  After nearly 16 years, the final product, brought to life by AECOM, lead design firm and civil and structural engineer, and F.H. Paschen, general contractor, among others, was unveiled in December of 2018 at 41st Street, where its bright and moderately serpentine structure crosses 750 feet of Lakeshore Drive. Last year, the new 41st Street Pedestrian Bridge was recently named…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Project Atigi

    Nearly one year ago, Canada Goose Inc., a luxury performance wear brand in Toronto, Ontario, launched its social entrepreneurship program known as Project Atigi in partnership with the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, or ITK. The representational organization is the national voice for the four Inuit regions of Inuit Nunangat, representing Inuvialuit, Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, and Nunavik in northern Canada.   The first of its kind in Canada, Project Atigi featured an exclusive, globally-released parka collection handcrafted by 14 Inuit seamstresses, and was designed to celebrate Inuit craft while returning the profits back to the community.  Leveraging the success and impact of the initial collection, this month Canada Goose released its expanded collection…

  • Featured,  Form

    In Vogue

    In Royal Oak, Michigan, a furniture studio of designers and fabricators recalls the past to look toward the future. Known as Vogue Furniture, the 1977-established furniture and millwork workshop is set in a newly renovated shop spanning nearly 45,000 square-feet—allotting plenty of room for new, ambitious projects. The calm, clean office space is full of dark wood hues and clean white walls; a setting ready for clients hoping to find anything from a new living room coffee table to a living space transformation.  “You’ll see there are very few examples of our work in [the office],” said Greg Bartelt, founder, owner, and lead designer at Vogue Furniture. “When the client…

  • Featured,  Form

    Studio Park

    In a burgeoning entertainment district in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, a new multi-use complex and its nine-screen movie theater build upon a cinematic history, such as the Midtown Theater’s origins as the Powers Opera House in 1874 designed by Chicago-based architect Oscar Cobb, and capture hints of a bygone era in its design. Known as Studio Park, the multi-use project is one of the largest private investment developments in the area. At nearly 62,500 square-feet, Studio Park is anticipated to comprise a nine-screen cinema, a 200-seat music venue, more than 900 parking spots, restaurants, shops, housing, a four-star hotel, and an office complex near the Van Andel Arena.  Each component,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Abbreviated design

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the full-service architectural, interior, and product design firm Via Design Inc., whose work appears throughout the city’s commercial and residential sectors—and their many sub-categories—has added a new brand to its identity.  Since its establishment in 1989, the firm, which is headquartered downtown, has continually added services to its repertoire, including sustainable design, furniture procurement and design, and an expansive in-house architecture and interior design library featuring samples and resources compiled from around the world. Recently Via Design’s service offerings have been joined by Abbreviated Design, an online home décor shop curated by the firm’s own professional designers.  “[The brand] still has the same themes as Via,…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Travel

    Modern retrospective

    In December 2019, the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan unveiled three textile and craft-centric exhibitions that will run until March 2020 exploring how innovative people and teaching methods influenced design for generations. One of the exhibitions showcases the lifework of one of Detroit’s formative figures in interior and textile design. The exhibit, titled “Ruth Adler Schnee: Modern Designs for Living,” posits designer Ruth Adler Schnee’s prolific, influential, seven-decade career and pivotal—if underrepresented—role in design history in a bright and full account. “I think a lot of times her textiles are looked at in isolation and maybe that is what gets lost, is that she is most famous for her textile designs; and rightly…