Even for those who are not in the market for a multimillion dollar property, the Ultimate Homearama event in Oakland Township was filled with inspiration. Here are some of the highlights from three of the show houses built by Moceri.

Dawn Newkirk, director of fashion merchandising for Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design, was part of the team that collaborated on the interiors with Bloomfield Hills-based architect Dominick Tringali.

As she explains, neutral palettes are hot right now, like one of theirs that features taupe and brown with hits of chartreuse.

In addition, she says, “Grays have been super strong.”

Highly personalized spaces are popular, as seen in a home office with a military theme in honor of a veteran and a hobby room with a work station and magnetic wallpaper.

One of the guest rooms was made to feel like a hotel suite. “You can just do an upholstered headboard to update a bedroom,” Newkirk says.

Another smart move is to hang chandeliers on either side of the bed, which frees up space on the nightstands.

Art fills a hallway for a gallery effect where a sizable sculpture propped on a pedestal draws the eye forward to the end of the hall.

Organic sculptures are hung as artwork. Just because they come in sets doesn’t mean you have to stick to that amount. Display more (as they did) or less depending on the space.

Customizable sofas let people select anything from the arm style to the number of cushions. “They can be made to look any way you want,” Newkirk says.

Unique materials breathe new life into familiar forms, such as a Moroccan-style table done in Lucite for a modern take on a classic shape.

Mixed finishes, such as glass and wood, turn an end table into a statement piece.

Flexible furniture adds value to any setting, like a flip-top console table that doubles as a desk or dining surface.

Some trends are shifting slightly. “Chrome has been in for so long,” says Newkirk. “Silvers are softened and gold and bronze are coming back.”

Blending a variety of elements is key. “Nothing matches, but you can mix and match and it still all works together,” she says.

Budget-friendly ideas abound like a bar area with a bevy of beer bottles on shelves near the ceiling that makes an impact without breaking the bank.

Sports themes are great conversation starters, such as the lower level with different sections for Michigan versus Michigan State. T-shirt pillows, mounted jerseys, framed programs and vintage ticket artwork play up the motif.

One of the most enjoyable spaces is a game room where classics like Twister and Trouble line the walls. Large monopoly pieces, available through Gorman’s, join framed game boards, while Scrabble letters that spell out popular sayings are framed and displayed together as a collection.

“Everyone can relate to the games and it tells a little story,” says Newkirk.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that individual storytelling is what makes each of these homes, as well as our own, unique.

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

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