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CBS News Detroit: Tips For Adding Local Flair To Your Home From A Detroit Designer

CBS News Detroit // February 2013

Bringing a bit of flair to your home and, at the same time, incorporating a few local elements is easy if you understand the area where you live and the history around you. These elements are key, says interior designer Margaret Presti of Margeaux Interiors in Birmingham, to adding a bit of local touch to your home.

Incorporate Salvaged Items

With the long history of the Detroit area and its many historic homes, there is the opportunity to add elements of these architectural wonders to your abode.

"Incorporating salvaged items such as doors, moldings, windows and architectural elements discarded from local buildings allows you to bring a local flair while capturing the past," Presti says. "You can bring these into a living space with great effect."

There are many salvage businesses in the area, but one of the best is Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit. ASWD is a non-profit organization working to repurpose various materials from some of the most historic homes in the Detroit area that have fallen to the wrecking ball. This warehouse is located at 4885 15th Street in Detroit.

Historic Homes as Wall Art

Another option Presti suggests is the use of images of historic homes as wall art.

"This can be done by using your own taken photographs of historical buildings in your area as art," Presti said. "Then transfer these images to black and white prints in a series, focusing in on architectural details for a much greater impact."

A simple trip around Detroit and older established communities, such as Birmingham to the north and Wyandotte in the Downriver area, will present ample opportunities to create images of some of the best historic architecture the area has to offer.

Repurpose Old Items

Along with the use of repurposed design elements, Presti suggests thinking outside the box and transforming the use of a discarded object in a different manner." Perhaps discarded wood flooring material could be used as an interesting wall treatment," Presti said. "Or a gear from a local metal stamping factory could be used as a table base."

Add In Musical Elements

With the Detroit area known around the world as Motown, incorporating elements of this musical history into an interior design would also add a bit of local flare.

"Records displayed on a wall in a media room or microphones used as an accent on a table are one option," Presti said. "And, of course, the Temptations playing in the background would add that much more."

Tie in the Motor City

Incorporating the Motor City theme into the home could be as easy as using classic images of automobiles to adding a chrome hood ornament displayed on a cocktail table. "For the more daring, even discarded parts displayed in a unique way can add that Motor City flair to the home," she added.

Keep it Local

Though there can be a strong look to the past, it must be remembered that the Detroit area has a thriving community of artists and musicians, Presti added. With this in mind, she suggests looking for the work of local artist and furniture artisans for adding a fresh look to the living space.

About Margaret Presti:

Margaret Presti is the principal interior designer at Margeaux Interiors Inc., which she established in 1998. Located in Birmingham, the studio works with clients on a variety of projects, varying in scope, budget and design preferences. Examples of the firm's work can be found at the Margeaux Interiors website.