Welcome Mat: Latest home news around Metro Detroit

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Famed NYC floral designer, planner visits DIA

When it comes to entertaining, every detail matters. Just ask famed floral designer and event planner David Monn. “From the scent of a single gardenia to the first sound a guest takes in, each detail is chosen to create a tapestry of sensations,” says Monn on his website. The New York City-based designer has choreographed events for everywhere from the White House to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala. On April 30, Monn will bring his expertise to the Detroit Institute of Arts for a special presentation,“The Secret Rules of Engagement: Scale, Detail, and Authenticity.” Sponsored by the museum’s Friends of Art & Flowers, the 16th annual Elizabeth Sites Kuhlman Lecture will include a floral arrangement demonstration by Monn; he’ll also share some of his favorite designs. The lecture and demonstration begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by a luncheon, during which the created arrangements will be raffled off. Tickets are $30 for the lecture only and $55 for the lecture and lunch. For tickets, call (313) 833-4005 or go to tickets.dia.org. Seating is limited, and advanced purchase is recommended.

Art Van Furniture’s new catalog now available

Art Van Furniture unveiled its spring catalog Thursday and it’s all about urban living. What is urban living? It’s an aesthetic that’s industrial, yet weathered. It’s hip and edgy, but warm and young at the same time with a mix of materials, including wood and metal. “Urban style is all about letting the natural beauty of wood stand out,” says Art Van in the catalog. “With a weathered patina, the energy of the grain seems to come alive. Complement the look with aged metals, subtle neutrals and vintage objects for a sense of balance and creativity.” Art Van Elslander, Art Van’s founder and chairman, describes the retailer’s new Urban Living Collection as “part uptown, part downtown, and totally fashion-forward.” The 64-page catalog, available at your local Art Van store while supplies last, includes an insert from Scott Shuptrine Interiors.

Spring High Point Market

begins Saturday

in North Carolina

Thousands will flock to furniture and home goods capital, High Point, North Carolina, this week to see the latest collections and home decor trends as the Spring High Point Market kicks off Saturday. Among the 2,000 exhibitors is the Detroit Wallpaper Co., which will debut a special Heidelberg Project-inspired line of wallpaper with six patterns. Award-winning designer Alexander Julian also will introduce new additions to his ongoing collaboration with furniture craftsman Jonathan Charles at the Jonathan Charles showroom in High Point. Pictured is his Signature Julian Argyle Bunching Coffee Table, available at the R.J. Thomas showroom at the Michigan Design Center or Gardella Furniture in Detroit. Comprised of four freestanding brass tables, it features Julian’s newest interpretation of his signature Scottish Argyle motif made by a unique combination of natural cherry, mahogany, oak burl and macassar. The Spring Market runs through April 23rd.

Detroit’s homes, churches featured in collages

Karin Skiba was a student at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies in the late 1960s and early ’70s when she fell in love with Brush Park. In 2013, Skiba, now an art gallery director in California, returned to Detroit to photograph some of the city’s old homes and churches, which she turned into a series of collages for an exhibit at Cal Poly University in Ponoma, California. The exhibition “gave me the impetus to really make a series about my hometown,” writes Skiba in an email. One featured house in Skiba’s collages is the Ransom Gillis house, designed in 1876 by architect Henry Brush. Earlier this spring, “Rehab Addict” Nicole Curtis hinted the Victorian may be her next Detroit project. Skiba’s collage featuring the Gillis house will be displayed at at CCS alumni show, which opens today and runs through May 29 at the Valade Family Gallery.

Bad soil or no space?

Try straw bale gardening

Do you have limited space for a garden or bad soil? Maybe you should consider straw bale gardening. It’s exactly what it suggests — a garden in which the straw bale acts as the container. The straw has to be conditioned for planting — which takes 10-14 days, according to Michigan State University Extension — and then a layer of dirt is spread across the straw bale for the seedlings. Author and horticulture expert Joel Karsten, who has written several books about straw bale gardening, says the straw actually releases heat as it decomposes, creating “an extraordinarily productive, warm, moist and nutrient-rich rooting environment for young seedlings,” according to his website. Karsten says straw bale gardening works in any climate, particularly colder climates, and “essentially anything with roots grows well,” though he suggests avoiding perennial rooted crops. Straw bales are “instant gardens, with automated watering and no weeding!” he says. For tips, visit strawbalegardens.com or go to msue.anr.msu.edu/ and search for “straw bale gardening.”

Cranbrook presents

lecture on famed

architect Albert Kahn

Albert Kahn’s name is synonmous with iconic buildings and homes across Metro Detroit: Cranbrook House, Belle Isle Aquarium, the Highland Park Ford Plant. On Sunday at 4 p.m., Cranbrook will present “The Many Faces of Architect Albert Kahn” at the deSalle Auditorium at the Cranbrook Art Museum. Eric Hill, an architect and architectural historian who is a professor at the University of Michigan and has a Bloomfield Hills practice, will “survey the breadth of Albert Kahn’s legacy to Detroit, America, and the world,” according to Cranbrook Art Museum. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults and seniors; free for students with ID. The Cranbrook Art Museum is at 39221 Woodward in Bloomfield Hills. Visit cranbrook.edu or call (248) 645-3323.