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The Detroit News: Smart Solutions Designer’s Vignettes a Tribute to Detroit

The Detroit News // October 2011

There are many ways to celebrate the spirit of Detroit. As one local pro shows us, it can be rewarding to reference the Motor City with our selection of decor. Margaret Presti, interior designer and owner of Margeaux Interiors Inc. in Birmingham, paid tribute to the city with two separate vignettes at the Michigan Design Center in Troy.

“Detroit has so much beautiful architecture and magnificent history that can be highlighted in enlarged photos,” says Presti, who chose works by local artists, as well as salvaged, discarded and antique pieces that were sourced or reworked by some of the area’s top talents.

“In both vignettes, I wanted to mix old and new, and show Detroit in a positive light,” Presti says. The designer also made sure each space was comfortable and realistic.

In the first grouping, she created what she calls a “new vintage” look by placing pieces from the Michigan Design Center alongside eco-friendly selections from local artists, craftsmen and antiques shops.

“This vignette borrows from the timeless designs of Art Deco, Beaux Arts, Danish Modern and Jean-Michel Frank with a mix of antiques and recycled, locally produced and new pieces, along with expressions of Detroit history, making this a sophisticated, warm and relaxing space,” the designer says.

Presti began the first project with two salvaged doors that help to divide the room. Mismatched locks and apartment numbers add to the charm, while providing a sense of wonder and mystery, she says. Strips of glass tiles from Cercan Tile fill in the gap for the glass that was missing from the transoms. The console table and end table are from Judy Frankel Antiques in Troy. Danish modern chairs that would have been discarded were refinished by Birmingham based Becky Jaglois. Walls were given a Venetian plaster finish. An old camera and microphone that belong to the designer act as decorative accessories for the space.

The coffee table was made in Detroit. Black-and-white photos by Keith Emmerich that depict Detroit locations appear in both vignettes. The sculpture and blown-glass bowl were made by local artists and are sold through TRA Art Group in Troy.

A second vignette was created for the Celebrations event that was held earlier this month. Wooden casting patterns, discovered by a metal artist at his Detroit studio that was a former gear factory, were made into a coffee table. The Detroit skyline painting is by Detroit-based artist Timothy Orikri. Old vinyl records by local groups join books that feature the history of Detroit. A bowl from Pewabic Pottery, Faygo pop and Better Made snacks provide a homegrown touch.

As Presti proves, our local sources allow us to capture the essence of Detroit while expressing a sense of pride. “My interpretation was looking at the positive movement that surrounds the city and celebrating the greatness of those elements every day,” she says.

For information, call (248)593-9774 or go to Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at

Matlow, Jeanie “Smart Solutions Designer’s vignettes a tribute to Detroit “ Detroit News / Detroit Free Press October, 21, 2011