See your dream house at Haute House

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 25, 2013

Looking for a way to jazz up a room or two in your home?

Top interior designers will let their imaginations run wild to create custom room designs in 24 showrooms during the Haute House event at the Michigan Design Center Oct. 10.

There is no charge to attend, and attendees are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys suitable for ages 5-12 to benefit the Troy Fire Department Children’s Charity. The charity helps 70-100 underprivileged kids purchase gifts for family members, while the donated toys will be distributed to the children as gifts during the Troy Fire Department’s annual Christmas party.

Susan Todebush, vice president and general manager of the MDC, said the custom room settings will give people a sense of how design professionals transform ordinary rooms into spaces that are not only beautiful but personal, created specifically for people who use them.

Attendees may vote for their favorite spaces on People’s Choice ballots and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a gift card to Michigan Design Center showrooms.

The vignettes the designers create will include an artist’s studio, a breakfast room, living and dining rooms, a foyer, a grand salon, a home office, a traditional-transitional kitchen, a lounge, a master bedroom, a library, and a powder room.

The rooms will feature furnishings and accessories available at MDC showrooms.

Designer Marianne Jones of Marianne Jones LLC will create a women’s library in partnership with the F. Schumacher Showroom.

Her reasons for participating in the project are to build awareness of her own designer style, to show people what’s possible and because she “cares about the cause.”

As a tenant at the MDC in Troy, “I value what the Troy Fire Department does,” she said.

She said she wants to show what’s possible in a small space. Her design for the library will feature whimsical wallpaper with a pop of color for a contemporary twist, a linen damask fabric chair with warm wood and a metal base that was her grandmother’s chair reupholstered with fabric designed by Alessandra Branca.

“It’s a great format for the general public, who would love to see what’s new in design,” Jones said. “A lot of people are looking for fresh ideas. It’s a great way to show people what’s possible.”

In the Marie Howard Showroom, Amanda Sinistaj of Ellwood Interiors will create a master bedroom “retreat” aptly titled “Horsing Around” to reflect an equestrian theme featuring bits, bridles and saddle wear.

“It’s supposed to be fun and lighthearted,” she said.

She noted that while she’s used to working within her clients’ budgets and timelines, this time, she had to work within her own set budget and timeline.

“It was challenging for sure and a chance to show consumers what we’re made of,” she said.

Lauren Combs, showroom manager for Ann Sacks, which sells tile, stone, plumbing fixtures, mirrors and kitchen backsplashes, agreed. The Ann Sacks showroom will feature a bathroom vignette with a deep soaking tub, a solid bronze sink and a wooden vanity.

Combs said one of the goals of the vignettes is to present a “dream house that inspires.”

Combs added that the MDC has been open to the general public, free of charge, for four years and that items in 95 percent of the showrooms at the Michigan Design Center may be purchased by consumers.

“This event is about making customers comfortable visiting the Michigan Design Center,” she said.

Haute House will be held at the Michigan Design Center, 1700 Stutz Drive, north of Maple, between Crooks and Coolidge, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 10. For more information, call (248) 649-4772 or visit