Welcome Mat: Home news from around Metro Detroit

Maureen Feighan Kurth
Detroit News Design Writer

Kids, aging parents drive upswing in

double master suites

As demographics change — kids staying at home longer, for example — a new trend is emerging in new home construction: double master suites. According to Houseplans.com, there’s been a 27 percent increase in the number of people planning to build not one, but two master suites since 2014. James Roche, the website’s chief executive officer, views the upswing as a nod “to economic reality.” “People seem to be focusing on the spaces that they actually use rather than formal, infrequently used spaces,” says Roche in an email. “...Kids cannot afford to move out right away. Parents living at home (if they have their own space) is a better and less expensive alternative, and wholly owning a second home especially one that is only used a few weeks a year is not economically efficient.” The increase was found primarily among 35 to 55-year-olds and was based on plan sales, cost-to-build report sales and “Saved” plans. Housplans.com, founded in 2004, provides ready-made plans for new construction homes; plans can be customized based on architectural style, square footage, number of bedrooms, and other factors.

Six homes featured on Dearborn

Symphony Orchestra’s home tour on Saturday

Metro Detroit’s home tour season officially kicks off Saturday with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra’s 34th Annual Home Tour. Six homes in the city’s Country Club Estates neighborhood, including a 1929 home and a 2012 new construction home, are on this year’s tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A special point of interest on this year’s tour is the city’s Commandants Quarters on Michigan Avenue at Monroe. Built in the 1930s, it’s Dearborn’s oldest building and was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1956 and placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1970. It will be open from 12-3 p.m. Tickets are $20 day of the tour or $15 presale. To buy tickets online, go to dearbornsymphony.org and click on “Events.” A special lunch also is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at tour headquarters, the Dearborn Country Club, 800 N. Military. A free shuttle is available during the tour. Call (313) 565-2424 for information.

Grand Hotel opens new

Carleton Varney-designed suites

When Mackinac Island’s iconic Grand Hotel opened for its 129th season earlier this month, it opened with several new Cupola suites decorated by well-known designer Carleton Varney. Varney, president of Dorothy Draper Inc. in New York, has been the Grand Hotel’s decorator for 40 years. The suites on the fourth floor feature Varney’s signature bright colors and floral patterns. The suites — which comprise four bedrooms and two parlors — offer a spectacular view of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, says Grand Hotel President R. D. “Dan” Musser III. “The new rooms are in keeping with our goal of maintaining a sense of continuity and timelessness at Grand Hotel, while at the same time adjusting to changes in the world around us by making improvements and adding amenities for guests to enjoy.” The Grand Hotel has 390 rooms.

Shelby DIY show

offers painting,

refurbishing tips

If you missed this month’s do-it-yourself cover story — classes and workshops abound across Metro Detroit to learn everything from how to paint furniture to pottery — there’s another way to get some great tips on customizing your own furniture. Patty Henning, a talented decorative painter who owns Fabulous Finishes in Shelby Township, stars in a series called “Shelby DIY” on Shelby Township’s local cable TV station. Henning offers a wide range of painting and finishing techniques. The shows can found on youtube.com; just search for “Shelby DIY.” Henning also writes an informative blog, fabfinisher.com. Henning says the show, which started in September, has been really fun and she’s getting great feedback from customers. “We’ll hear ‘When are you going to do another show?’ or we’ll get a surge of folks coming in, interested in counters, after the show on counters went live,” says Henning, who films a new show every month. Shelby TV is on Channel 5 on Comcast, Channel 10 on WOW, and Channel 99 on AT&T in the Shelby Township and Utica.

New KSI design center hosts

design, color trends seminars

Kitchen remodeling projects are daunting. According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of a major kitchen remodel in the Midwest is $57,000. No wonder why planning is so critical. Design centers abound throughout Metro Detroit to offer remodeling ideas and vignettes. KSI Kitchen & Bath recently opened its seventh design center, a new facility in Ann Arbor. It features vignettes of the latest trends in cabinetry, countertops and other kitchen and bath products. To celebrate, KSI also is hosting a design event on Wednesday for interior designers and architects at the new design center, 3365 Washtenaw. Karen Wistrom, vice president of Dura Cabinetry and an interior designer herself, will speak about color and design trends during two different sessions, one at 10 a.m. and another at 1 p.m. To RSVP, go to ksikitchens.com/event-annarbor.html.