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2018 Design House Has Unprecedented Star Power

by Lisa Diggs

It’s almost time for another Designer’s Show House. The biennial event always draws throngs of people eager to see a stunning home, with new twists contrived through the creative genius of some of the region’s top interior designers. This, the twenty second home, has star power attached like none before. The original owners were Charles and Sarah Fisher, as in Fisher Body, Fisher Building, Fisher Theatre, Fisher Freeway…you get the idea.  

Enter the new owner, actor and entrepreneur, Hill Harper. Harper, who is probably best known for his television roles on The Good Doctor and CSI:NY, has made a big splash in the city in the last year or so, not only by purchasing the Fisher Mansion, but also the Roasting Plant coffee house located near Campus Martius. Last month he established a new youth empowerment program in partnership with Wayne State University and some local companies. It seems it should come as no surprise that he offered his new home to the Junior League for the fundraising event. 

The 18,000-square-foot English Tudor-style home, located at 670 West Boston Boulevard, was built in 1922 by architect George D. Mason. The ample space provides an ideal canvas for the designers’ talents with fourteen bedrooms and bathrooms, six fireplaces, and even four vaults--one of which once served as a prohibition speakeasy and liquor vault. There are rare Flint Faience tiles and recently unearthed hand-painted and carved wooden Chinoiserie medallions. If all of that isn't reason enough to attend, just strolling through the neighborhood is worth the trip.

In addition to boudoirs and powder rooms, designers will tackle a sun room, library, living room, sitting room, kitchen, porch, billiard room, artist’s studio, and even a ballroom. To add additional star power to this year’s event, HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse and his sister, Sienna, will reimagine the property’s wine cellar and pub. It’s an appropriate assignment for Oosterhouse who owns Bonobo Winery with his brother in his hometown of Traverse City.   

While other designers working on the showcase hail from outside the state, the vast majority are from Michigan including: Corey Damen Jenkins (Birmingham), Jeanine White-Haith (Grosse Pointe), Michael Coyne (Troy), Krista Nye Nicholas (Ann Arbor), Jane Henderson (Ann Arbor), Diane Woolsey (Grosse Pointe Farms), Niki Serras (Birmingham), Chandra Moore (Detroit), Donna Connelly (Troy), Tom Gibbs (Ferndale), Isabelle Weiss of (Ferndale), Kevin Serba (Birmingham), Tiffany Edison (Ann Arbor), Elizabeth Meda (Grosse Pointe Woods), Laurie Bolach (Pleasant Ridge), Erica Harrison (Detroit), Stacy Evans (Detroit), Angie Lane (Tecumseh), Becky Stoitsiades (Rochester), Anne Strickland (Birmingham), Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger (Bloomfield Hills), Loretta Crenshaw, (Detroit), Joel Baird (Detroit), Phyllis Whitehead (Troy), Sam Sobh (Grosse Pointe Park), and Elizabeth Barrett (Birmingham).

Tickets are $35 in advance and may be purchased online, or $40 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Junior League of Detroit’s many community programs, including grants, college scholarships, as well as partnerships with Cass Community Social Services, Forgotten Harvest and the Empowerment Plan.

The showcase is open to the public on:

Sat 9/15-Sun 9/16
Thurs 9/20-Sun 9/23
Thurs 9/27-Sun 9/30
Thurs 10/4- Sun 10/7

The hours are Thurs-Sat 10am-5pm and Sun noon-5pm. Street parking is only available on Boston Blvd, Second, Third and Chicago Blvd.  


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