Say happy birthday to Detroit with fun city-inspired decor, accents

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

I’ll say this, Detroit. Three hundred and seventeen looks good on you.

As the city celebrates its birthday on Tuesday, it’s hard to imagine what French explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac must’ve seen when he first set foot in this area. He named it “Detroit” which means “strait” in French. 

The city has changed dramatically over the last three centuries, for better and for worse. And as its latest renaissance continues to gain steam with new businesses and restaurants opening up all over – construction has even started on the old Hudson’s site downtown – Detroit love is spilling into our home decor. From accents and art to tableware and pillows, there are endless ways to infuse a little bit of the Motor City into your home.

This fun, colorful Detroit pillow from Yellow Door Art Market in Berkley will add a little Motor City to your decor.

City Bird, an adorable gift and home decor store on Canfield in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood, offers a wide mix of Detroit flavor, including art, tableware and more. It even has fun throw pillows of various Detroit landmarks such as the Guardian building and the old Michigan Central Depot.

Pewabic Pottery, meanwhile, also has a wide range of Detroit tiles. It’s Postcards from Detroit series, like City Bird's pillows, features some of the city’s most iconic locations, including Belle Isle and Eastern Market.

“We have so many Detroit possibilities,” said Pewabic’s Cara Catallo.

For suburbanites looking to infuse a little Detroit love into their homes, there is both the Detroit Shoppe at Somerset Mall and Berkley’s Yellow Door Art Market.

The Detroit Shoppe, which is actually a nonprofit, features wares and goods from 65 different vendors, including the Henry Ford, Pewabic and Woodward Throwbacks. Woodward Throwbacks makes Detroit signs from salvaged wood and offers “Detroit” glassware. 

Vendors “receive back 100 percent back of everything we sell of theirs,” said manager Erin Berline. “We have a very loyal guest base and much of our business comes from repeat visitors.”

Yellow Door Art Market, meanwhile, features one-of-a-kind Detroit goods, everything from coasters to bright throw pillows, from dozens of local artisans.

On Etsy, the online marketplace of handmade goods, unique Detroit art abounds. There are subway-style posters with Detroit landmarks, canvas-style Detroit maps and more.

Uncommon Green creates rock glasses with a custom made map of Detroit etched into the glass. They're available on Etsy.

Boston-based artist Brian Johnson of the UncommonGreen makes glass rocks glasses with a city map etched right into the glass. Johnson said he and his team spends countless hours “curating each city map to get them into our unique aesthetic and to incorporate the streets, neighborhoods, and landmarks that we feel best exemplify the city.”

“Then we use special tooling we’ve developed to laser engrave the map into the surface of the glass in crisp detail all the way around the glass,” said Johnson in an email. “Finally we hand inspect and clean each glass before we ship them out to customers. We have a blast doing it and our customers love receiving and using them.”

So whether you're just visiting Detroit or you proudly call it home, mark the city's birthday with a Detroit-inspired gift to yourself. Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac would approve.

(313) 223-4686

Twitter: @mfeighan

Detroit decor

City Bird: 460 W. Canfield, Detroit. (313) 831-9146;

Detroit Mercantile: 3434 Russell Strett, Detroit. (313) 831-9000;

Pewabic Pottery: 10125 E. Jefferson, Detroit.

Pure Detroit: Locations inside the Fisher Building and Guardian Building.

The Detroit Shoppe: 2800 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy or at the David Whitney Building in Detroit. (248) 816-5470;

The UnCommon Green:

Yellow Door Art Market:  3141 12 Mile Road in Berkley. (248) 336-2038;