In Troy, Michigan, tucked within the Michigan Design Center’s rich campus of design resources for hobbyists and professionals alike, there is an exclusive provider of products by Visual Comfort & Co., a Texas-based resource for designer lighting that has been a leader in its industry since the late 1980s. City Lights Detroit brings the premier offerings of Visual Comfort’s American designer portfolio—from designers like Kelly Wearstler to Ralph Lauren and Clodagh—to a Michigan market, providing many more services for clients along the way.
“At City Lights Detroit we specialize in Visual Comfort lighting and help make recommendations for clients based on their style and budget, and limitations like size or scale. We can also assist designers and homeowners with electrical layouts and job site visits,” said Maria Kramer, Gallery Director of City Lights Detroit.
The 2,400-square-foot showroom by City Lights Detroit, within the MDC displays more than 400 fixtures, and provides expert assistance in lighting choices for both residential and commercial design projects. The showroom has served as a gallery for innovations on the designer lighting market since it was created in 2016, and many consumer and designer-driven trends that have shaped its space throughout the years involve a bolder mixing of metals that add depth to a space, while making it easy to carry design themes from one room to another.
For homeowners shaping their own design plans, the approach allows a fail-proof infusion of style into an existing space. These types of consumer-led residential projects have become regular as a result of pandemic, as homeowners spend more time indoors and notice the nuances of their personal spaces. Kramer noted that City Lights Detroit has been one residential design resource to see a large increase in homeowners interested to change their lighting scheme, and for these clients she has some helpful advice for the critical, initial stages of any project.
“[Customers] need to know what their ceiling height is. Often customers will bring in magazine cutouts or Pinterest pictures and they’ll have an image in their head about what they want, but then they see the actual scale and proportion and realize it doesn’t fit into their homes,” Kramer said. “There is room for disappointment there, because they’ve had this dream for as long as they’ve been carrying this picture.”
Whatever style or material customers seek for their own unique project, City Lights Detroit is equipped with most, offering everything from wall and ceiling fixtures and products engineered for the outdoors to accessories like bulbs and shades.
Even a quick visit to the online gallery will journey visitors through lighting genres like chandeliers and foyer lanterns of varying scale and material—polished nickel, gold leaf, and aged iron—or background sconces made of ribbed glass and hand-rubbed metals, and formed into distinctly antique, minimal, or ornate embellishments. City Lights Detroit offers a wealth of style types and materials, though Kramer noted that one thing customers seem to be enjoying are transitional brass fixtures that leave room for the imagination.
“I think customers are seeking out a new traditional style where a light fixture might have a more traditional design theme, but it’s been redesigned with clean lines—kind of angular or geometric,” Kramer said. “A customer might not feel comfortable doing a super modern design or something that is more traditional, but rather cleaner and that they can mesh into existing décor.”
Within the larger scheme of the MDC, City Lights Detroit’s offerings in the lighting fixtures market are complemented by those of Lighting Resource Studio, a wholesale showroom by the MDC that offers lighting for residential and commercial applications, as well as a selection of mirrors, bedding, accessories, accent furniture, and bath vanities.
The MDC campus houses products and services from more than 1,000 manufacturers and features 40 curated showrooms within its 215,000-square-foot vicinity. Each unique tenant, like City Lights Detroit, serves a universal purpose for crafting a comprehensive approach to design that is accessible for both professionals and those simply stepping into the world of design with a purpose and a vision.
Text: R. Collins
Photography: Beth Singer Photography | James Haefner Photography | Martin Vecchio Photography