GTV Design Star finalist Mikel Welch recently was in town to host the Ruth Ellis Center's Voices fashion showcase and fundraiser. Before the show, the set designer for the Steve Harvey Show who has worked for First Lady Michelle Obama and Her Highness, Oprah, offered to give BLAC readers these four superstar design tips with a Detroit spin.
1. Don't recycle.
Take your empty glass Faygo bottles-or Vernors, if you are a ginger ale fan-and coat them with a thin layer of your favorite paint color. Fill them with flowers and arrange three together to make a home center vase in your living room.
Our tip: Vintage-styled Faygo and Vernors glass bottles can be purchased at The Detroit Shoppe at The Somerset Collection in Troy.
2. Love mistakes.
The "oops" paint section at Home Depot is where rejected custom paint mixes go to die–or to find new life with someone else. "That paint at the end of the night is returned to the paint department. And they have a rack called 'oops' paint. Basically, they will sell you these gallons of paint for about $5 or $6 a gallon as opposed to $30 or $40."
Our tip: The Home Depot at 29801 Southfield Road in Southfield has the largest selection of "oops" paint.
3. Frame your city.
Save a buck on vintage-styled city art by creating your own. Using a high-pixel camera-or even a smartphone with a black-and-white filter-take photos of your favorite city sites around Detroit. Have the photos enlarged to fit your desired frame size. "This is also a fun family activity. A lot of the time you live in the city, but you don't really explore the city. And I did this for Steve Harvey in his Chicago office."
Our tip: Go big! Get an oversize printing ($22-$129.99) of that Joe Louis fist at your area FedEx Office.
4. Embrace the Motor City.
Have you ever wanted to own a Cadillac? Would you settle for owning the inside? Use the interior fabrics purchased from automobile plants to reupholster your old couch or seats for durability meant to last. "The fabric stores will purchase the upholstery fabric from automobile plants that have been shut down. This fabric (which costs between $2-$4 a yard) is great because it is extremely durable and stain resistant."
Our tip: Not into DIY? Get help from a local business like Home Beautiful Upholstery in Oak Park (248-547-1169) or Hollywood Upholstery & Interiors in Mount Clemens (586-465-5164).