Welcome Mat: Home news, events around Metro Detroit

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Birmingham designer Corey Damen Jenkins is designing a signature collection for Leathercraft.

Local designer creates line for Leathercraft

Christmas came early for Birmingham interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins. Late last month, Jenkins announced that he is teaming up with furniture manufacturer Leathercraft on his own line of furniture that will be introduced at the spring 2016 High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina. The Corey Damen Jenkins for Leathercraft line is an “ambitious fusion of haute couture fashion, acrylic elements, and intricate details,” according to a news release. Jenkins says he met with Leathercraft in October about creating a line to give the brand a younger, fresher look and introduce it to younger buyers. The new line will feature 15 pieces, including two sofas, a banquette, and slipper fireside chairs. Jenkins says he also wanted to design niche pieces that are often hard to find. “They are things that are designed to fill the blanks,” says Jenkins.

Auburn Hills resident Brent Waldrup uses 54,000 lights in his home light display.

Auburn Hills light display features 54,000 lights

Clark Griswold has nothing on some of today’s holiday light fanatics. Just watch ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” co-hosted this year by Traverse City’s own Carter Oosterhouse in which families vie to create the ultimate outdoor holiday light display. Locally, Brent Waldrep is seriously into holiday lights. For years, Waldrep has created an ambitious display called Our Dancing Lights at his family’s home in Auburn Hills. This year’s display – which is also choreographed to blink and dance to music – features 54,000 lights and about a mile of extension cord. Waldrup uses a software program designed by Light-o-rama to make the lights dance. Waldrep’s display at 3111 Paramount Lane will stay up through Jan. 2. It’s on from 5-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tune in to radio station 91.3 FM to hear the music. Go to ourdancinglights.com.

Sherwin-Williams has named Alabaster, a white hue, its Color of the Year for 2016.

Sherwin-Williams names Alabaster its Color of the Year

Is white a color? Sherwin-Williams says not only is white a color, it has named Alabaster, a white hue, its Color of the Year for 2016. Calling it a hue “symbolic of new beginnings” in the new year, “Alabaster represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness, well-being and an atmosphere that is pure,” said Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, Sherwin-Williams. “It provides an oasis of calmness, spirituality and ‘less is more’ visual relief. Alabaster is neither stark nor overly warm, but rather an understated and alluring hue of white.” Albaster is a big departure from Coral Reef, Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year for 2015.

Edison style patio lights are available at Detroit Garden Works.

Edison style lights come in range of styles, shapes

If vintage is your thing, even light bulbs can have an antique look these days. A variety of retailers sell Edison style lights – large antique style lights that come in a variety of shapes and styles. Lights & Decor for All Occasions (lightsforalloccasions.com), a Maryland company, offers a range of vintage and antique style lights on strings. Many are heavy-duty LED lights that can be used year-round both indoors or outdoors. Locally Detroit Garden Works in Sylvan Lake sells a very cool type of Edison-style patio lights with large bulbs, either in an elongated or round shape. The patio lights span 35 feet and cost $295. It also sells single bulbs on a strand. The bulbs come in either an elongated or round style. Detroit Garden Works is at 1794 Pontiac Drive. Call (248) 335-8089.

The National Audubon Society relies on volunteers for its annual Christmas Bird Count.

Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count seeks volunteers

It’s called the Christmas Bird Count, but for the National Audubon Society, it’s a three-week count to track and tally bird populations to assess their health. Conducted by volunteers, this year’s count kicked off Monday and continues until Jan. 5. Each count occurs on a specific day in an established 15-mile wide diameter circle, and is organized by a count compiler. The Christmas Bird Count started in 1900 as a way to counter a tradition in the late 19th century called the Christmas “Side Hunt.” Hunters would pick sides to see who could bring in the biggest pile of feathered quarry. Worried about declining bird populations, ornithologist Frank M. Chapman, an early officer in the Audubon Society, proposed a new holiday tradition — a “Christmas Bird Census” that would count birds, not hunt them. To register to volunteer to help with this year’s Christmas Bird Count, go to audubon.org.