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Tour the Spectacular Renovation of the Designers' Show House 2016

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You're going to want to see this

Designer Show House Downstairs Michelle & Chris Gerard

The Junior League of Detroit's Designers' Show House 2016 opens this weekend, and you're going to want to take the tour.

Architects Benjamin and Straight designed the 5,300-square-foot English Tudor house in 1927 for American aircraft designer and VP of Engineering at Packard Motor Car Company, Colonel Jesse G. Vincent. Among the many unique features of the house is a canal that runs from Lake St. Clair through the yard to a dry dock under the living room.

We last saw the house in November, but it took quite a while to refinish the floors, so the 20 designers have only been working on these rooms since the first week of March. The full list of designers can be found here.

This is what the house looked like when we visited last November.


Each designer worked independently, but you'll see common themes running through the rooms. Many drew inspiration from the lake, so you'll see many shades of teal, turquoise, and dark blue. If the windows in the room faced the lake, the designers chose to make the sight line as clear as possible so you could gaze at the lake from these rooms. Here's a look downstairs.


One of the most notable changes is the kitchen. Like many kitchens of its time, it was divided into a few rooms before. The designers opened it up just a bit to make it more functional, painted the original cabinets, and used the original hardware and counters. The kitchen floors were the only floors in the house to be replaced. Brian Clay Collins Designs, LLC from Grosse Pointe redesigned the kitchen.

Upstairs, you'll see a ladies' changing room, a very serene bedroom, the boudoir, a sitting room to overlook the lake, and a gentleman's club room. Notice the textures in the walls, carpets, and furniture. The third floor, which was a ballroom, has been turned into a french apartment by designers from Ethan Allen. Notice the wall treatment and the size of the furniture, which was quite a challenge to get up the stairs!


The next part of the house is the family game room, a guest bedroom, the maid's changing room, and a pub downstairs. The fireplace in the pub doesn't work, but the tiling is original. You'll also see the dry dock that runs under the living room, the patio, greenhouse (all the vegetables were planted by the kids!), and the tiny house, which we featured here. The landscape teams were still finishing when we toured.


The completed Designers’ Show House will be open for public viewing Saturday, May 7 through Sunday, May 22, 2016. Hours of operation are: Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. Ticket prices are $20 prior to May 6 and $25 at the door. Contact the Junior League of Detroit office (313) 881-0040 or visit jldetroit.org to purchase tickets on-line and for retail ticket locations.

Proceeds from the 2016 Designers’ Show House will support the Junior League of Detroit’s new health and nutrition initiative – Project EAT – which will work to provide and support healthy eating opportunities for the children of Detroit and their families. In its newest partnership with Humble Design, a local non-profit, the JLD will be outfitting kitchens with essentials such as small appliances, pots and pans and utensils, for families who need assistance.