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My colleague has a new favorite adjective for Detroit these days: sexy.

And with the city becoming a destination for artists and designers from all over the world, maybe "sexy" is the right word.

Whatever Detroit is, it's coming back — with a slow but certain pace that will hopefully continue in 2015.

In late November, the city officially emerged from bankruptcy, ending a monthslong process that was painful but necessary, and returning decision-making to Mayor Mike Duggan and the city's elected leaders.

Once-abandoned buildings such as the David Whitney building were refurbished and reopened, a trend that will continue next year. The Grand Army of the Republic building on Grand River will reopen with two new restaurants in 2015.

Meanwhile, the Galapagos Art Space, a popular avant-garde art space in Brooklyn, announced in early December its plans to move from Brooklyn to Highland Park this year.

At home, we're also coming out of our shell a bit more, unafraid to take more chances with our decor. Bold patterns are "in" along with deep colors.

At this fall's High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina, where furniture manufacturers and designers introduced their newest lines, "they're doing a lot of exaggeration, big prints and they're mixing a lot," says Pam Machnak, an interior designer at Gorman's Home Furnishings & Interior Design in Novi.

Deep, rich hues also are hot. The Pantone Institute of Color named Marsala, a red color with brownish undertones, its Color of the Year for 2015.

"The concept of a 'pop' of color is blown up in the year 2015," says design expert Taniya Nayak, who has appeared on HGTV. "We are seeing deep, rich hues adorning the walls paired with lavishly upholstered furniture pieces."

And while brass was big last year, copper is the hot metal for 2015 — whether as a light fixture or back splash.

As we hit the mid-point of this decade and technology advances at a breakneck speed, we're also reaching for natural elements at home — furniture made from reclaimed wood, metals, mineral accents — maybe to connect us more to the outside world. Natural textiles also are big.

But function is still important. Designer Jimmy Angell of James Douglas Interiors in Birmingham says many of his clients these days, young professionals with families, want "comfortable, livable interiors."

"They're practical," he says. "They want their house to function and look great, but it's also about durability."

So as the new year approaches, consider it all: form, function and color. Try layering different textures and patterns. Matchy-matchy is out; blending and layering is in. Don't be too safe.

We're from Detroit — and we're bringing sexy back.

(313) 223-4686


Ombre lamps

Natural wood furniture

Organic elements

Faux fur pillows and throws

Bold patterns in neutral colors

Reclaimed wood


Lucite tables or chairs

Mercury glass vases and accents

Smart appliances

Color-blocked upholstery



Marsala, Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year

Durable indoor-outdoor fabrics

Faux taxidermy

Repurposed barn doors

Coral Reef, Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

New Detroit restaurants & craft breweries

Upholstered headboards with nailhead trim

Multifunctional furniture

Vertical gardening

Sen. Gary Peters

Royal Baby No. 2

"The Avengers: Age of Ultron"

Mirrored case goods

Streaming devices such as Fire TV, Roku

Refurbished Detroit buildings

Detroit's elected leaders and voters

Judy Blume's "In the Unlikely Event"

"True Detective" with Colin Farrell

Taylor Swift, world dominator

Gallery walls

AMC's "Better Call Saul"



Detroit chic


Plain lamps

Finished wood furniture

Monotone decor

Cotton blankets

Small patterns

Throwing away old wood


Wood coffee tables

Plain glass accents

Standard appliances

Solid-colored textiles

Plain chenille


Radiant Orchid, Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year

Flimsy fabrics

Real taxidermy

Regular sliding doors

Exclusive Plum, Sherwin-Williams' 2014 Color of the Year

Chain restaurants

Wood headboards

Single-purpose furniture

Horizontal gardening

Sen. Carl Levin

Royal Baby No. 1, Prince George

"The Avengers"

Matchy-matchy furniture

Network TV

Abandoned buildings

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr

Judy Blume's "Wifey"

"True Detective" with Matthew McConaughey

Taylor Swift, country singer

Plain walls

"Breaking Bad"


Private offices

Brooklyn chic

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