Welcome Mat: Home news, events around Metro Detroit

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Pay attention to your front door as part of the 2016 Year of the Fire Monkey.

Year of Fire Monkey means reds, oranges at home

2016 is the Year of the Fire Monkey in Chinese Astrology. Local feng shui expert Dennis Fairchild says in Chinese astrology, “like spices, some years are ‘hot,’ others, not so much. In a Fire Monkey Year, people are driven and ambitious, so expect to see more people willing to take on risky projects or break protocol,” writes Fairchild in an email. Here are some other ideas for the Year of the Fire Monkey at home:

■Start at your front door, says Fairchild. “Clean your entry to welcome all the good luck that will come into your home and place of business in the new year. Wash, sweep, or vacuum the front steps, porch, entry hall, lobby – whatever the entry is where you live. Make this area clean, well lit, and inviting.”

■As a “hot” year, temperature-inducing colors rule: reds and oranges, as well as warm rosy terra-cotta. On your walls and with your accessories, “think ‘tropical jungle,’ where monkeys live, and things made from natural materials: cloth, nuts, clay,” says Fairchild.

■Feng shui luck this year comes from all things leather, says Fairchild. Think throw pillows, chairs, sofas, and ottomans. Emerald-dyed leather is big this year.

■Bring the outdoors indoors, Fairchild says. Buy furniture you can use both indoors and out, as well as plants for decoration. He says the lush round jade plant is 2016’s money magnet.

■Feng shui pays attention to floors. 2016’s Monkey Year prefers natural wood, bamboo flooring. For rugs, light, wood-toned sisal is a good choice, says Fairchild.

■Due to the ‘fire’ in this year’s Monkey, 2016’s feng shui decor is also all about light, Fairchid says. “Pendant lamps rule!” he says. “Think Tarzan, swinging from vine to vine; hanging items.”

Annie Sloan is now offering a Mini Project Pack.

Annie Sloan introduces Mini Project Pack

Chalk Paint founder and creator Annie Sloan is now offering mini kits for beginning DIY painters. Sloan’s Mini Project Pack lets customers pick two 4-ounce Chalk Paint colors, plus a mini-can of ‘Clear’ Soft Wax and a mini-can of ‘Dark’ Soft Wax, along with Annie’s own pure bristle paint brush. They’re available at Vera’s Daughter Home, 16849 Kercheval in Grosse Pointe and Holly’s Pigeon in the Parlour, 110 South Saginaw. Call (248) 634-7467.

Rachels Woods, owner of Artloft, recently opened a Detroit location.

Artloft opens Detroit location

Years ago, I bought some good friends a very cool metal sculpture for a wedding present called Jubilation. I bought it at one of the funnest store I could find in Birmingham: Artloft. Artloft – owned by Rachel Woods (pictured) – is known for its a whimsical mix of beautifully designed art, accents and home decor. And it now has a location in Detroit’s Midtown area. Artloft Midtown opened last year on Cass. It sells a variety items from artists and designers all over the world, including Michael Aram, Jonathan Adler, Carrol Boyes and Pablo Designs. Artloft is at 4160 Cass Avenue, Suite C, in Detroit and 123 W. Maple in Birmingham. Call (313) 818-0023 for the Detroit location and (248) 647-4007 for Birmingham. Visit artloftonline.com.

Kyle Hunton, owner of Hunt & Noyer Woodworks in Detroit, is one of eight designers competing on “Ellen’s Design Challenge.” It premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 18 on HGTV.

Detroit furniture maker competes on Ellen DeGeneres’ HGTV show

When Detroit furniture maker Kyle Huntoon first listened to the voicemail from funny lady Ellen DeGeneres’ production team asking if he’d be interested in competing on a reality show for furniture designers, he thought it was a joke. “I thought it was a prank call,” says Huntoon, a fourth-generation woodworker and owner of Hunt & Noyer Woodworks in Detroit. Soon, he realized it was the real deal. Huntoon, who is originally from the Jackson area, will face off against seven other furniture designers in “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” the second season of which premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 18 on HGTV. Designers from all over the country compete in weekly challenges, making different types of furniture and vying for the $100,000 grand prize. For Huntoon – who couldn’t spill the beans on how he did – the experience was about more than being on a reality show competition; it was about presenting Detroit in a positive way. “I was happy to be representing Detroit and all the makers here and (wanted) to put a positive light on the national stage,” says Huntoon, who makes mid-century modern inspired furniture.