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interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sweet juniper

by Grace Bonney

i am a hopeless sweet juniper addict. i’ve been following the lives of dutch, wood and juniper for over a year now and was thrilled when i caught a little glimpse into their home a few months ago. the threesome packed up and moved from san francisco to detroit and in the process mentioned that they lived in an apartment designed by mies van der rohe and shared a quick photo of their bedroom with a vintage case study bed. my design radar went off so i’ve been watching closely to see how things progressed with their new home. finally i got up the guts to ask if they’d be interested in sharing their home with us here and to my sheer delight- they were! so i’m thrilled to introduce you to the home of sweet juniper…just click here for more (full-sized) photos. [thanks dutch, wood and juniper!] here is an intro from dutch:

“We moved from San Francisco to Detroit about six months ago; we had been living in a 500-square-foot one-bedroom, and we moved into a 1500-square-foot 1960 townhouse designed by Mies van der Rohe where our mortgage is half what rent had been in San Francisco. The importance of Michigan often gets overlooked as midcentury modern becomes more and more trendy. Herman Miller, Steelcase, Haworth are still make modern furnishings here in Michigan. Grand Rapids and Holland were once filled with now-defunct furniture companies that made iconic designs by Paul McCobb and others. There is still an abundance of amazing furniture (at very reasonable prices) in the thrift stores and antique malls.

Detroit is where modernism was born. You can see the spot where Henry Ford built his first automobile. It’s now an old movie palace that has been turned into a parking lot. Just a few miles from downtown Detroit lies Cranbrook Academy of Art, where a man named Charles Eames used to get dressed up in a tuxedo to attend faculty cocktail parts with Elial Saarinen (who designed the entire school), smoking with Elial’s son Eero and Harry Bertoia, Gyo Obata, and flirting with Florence Knoll, eventually catching the eyes of a young teacher named Ray Kaiser. For sixty years the products those two designed together have been assembled by Dutch craftsmen across the state.

Eero designed many of his iconic buildings from Detroit, including GM’s breathtaking Technical Center in Warren. The world’s largest concentration of buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe lies just steps from the heart of downtown Detroit, set in a beautifully-landscaped park that has become one of the most successful urban redevelopment projects in the country, despite its location in a city that has itself outlived its usefulness in the eyes of much of the world. Moving here, I really wanted to buy as many vintage furnishings that I could that were made (or designed) here in Michigan. The most important and interesting features of the Mies townhouses are the full walls of glass in every room. We are not designers or artists. I am just a stay at home dad.”


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Comments

  • Yes Michigan!!!!! My heart always swells with pride when I see photos of Detroit, my tough, gritty, hard working, creative home town. I had no idea that Eero Saarinen built the Tech Center. My Dad used to work there! Maybe I’ll swing by there this weekend when I’m visiting, for old times sake.

    Beautiful house! I love all the light you get. I’m in love with your bedroom!

  • Very clean…where are all the baby toys? My husband and I are shocked at the surprising lack of plastic tubs overflowing with toys and Legos ;-)

    Annemarie

  • Aside from being majorly jealous of this home (What I’d give to live in a Mies apartment) I love the way they’ve pared down their furniture and objects so that just the beauty of each piece shines through. No clutter- it’s wonderful.

    Who’s the furry friend?

    Janet in Ann Arbor

  • the turquoise in the office is sherwin williams “reflecting pool,” but it is a little less vibrant in real life.

    the hat on the little girl was deadstock from the 1950s– a friend of ours picked it up some place in Brooklyn where this guy puts all these things he found sitting in a warehouse out on a rack on the sidewalk. I know that is so not helpful.

    thanks, everyone, for saying such nice things.

  • i’ve been reading sweet juniper for a while now and i must say, i was hooked from the get go. now seeing the fantabulous home they hole up in, i am jealous, along with hooked.

    i have to ask…..is that a bowling table/score keeper (sorry, i so don’t know the correct term for it) in front of the bookcase w/the computer on it?

  • yeah michigan! i grew up on the lakeshore and am still inspired by my youth there.

    thanks for bringing the midwest back into the design scene, not enough is said about the creative people living it up in the middle!

  • Wow, this post came at the best time! I am living in East Lansing (after years in California) and was feeling bad about being back here. Well, not anymore! Btw, the Michigan Modernism Show is this coming weekend in Southfield….

  • Love Dutch, Wood and Juniper but am aghast at the “just” a stay at home dad comment. Never apologize for being able to fulfill this role for your family. They’re lucky to have you.
    Me2

  • Super….Sweet Juniper and Design*Sponge, my two favorite blogs together! What could be better?
    Dutch, Wood, and Juniper’s home is really lovely.
    I would also love to see a full tour of Grace’s home….the sneak peaks look great.

  • So cool to see where Juniper & co. live – they make me want to move to Detroit because they make it look gorgeous.

  • I love the pics of the apartment towers above the couch. Those are some of my favorites from juniper’s Flickr photos. Thanks for such a great look inside. I was an architecture history major in college and will go back to studying when baby grows up. Am so jealous of the new juniper digs.

  • Kitchen?

    Kitchen!

    Please?

    Thanks for the peek! You’ve made a lovely space.

    We have some of those ninjas, in 3-D form.

  • what a serendipitous moment when i viewed your blog this evening! i knew the view looked familiar…
    i also lived in a mies van der rohe high rise-the pavilion apartments which is adjacent to the nicolet/joilet townhouses in lafayette park….i had an apartment fire and was forced to move out of the building i loved so well-after a 12 year stint of east coast living i moved back to the pavilion because of the incredible architecture and floor to ceiling windows which were allowed me the luxury of light for painting….i am now living in ann arbor, another little cultural mecca in mi…thanks for the photos of an incredible dwelling in a treasured community!

  • Thank you for sharing this. We’ve just left Michigan (Lansing) for Chicago because of the economic troubles there, but your post left me feeling homesick.

    Beautiful space.

  • Hi Dutch! I read Sweet Juniper all the time and just sort of built this image in my head of what your home looked like. It wasn’t this. But this is gorgeous, thank you for sharing. I share really similar tastes with you guys, but my husband does not, so decorating our new place together is a constant tug of war (so far I’m winning ;)

    Thank you for sharing!

    Leyre

  • I love reading that blog and their home is just what I thought it could be and more…great taste and fun for little Juniper!

  • My heart just jumped a little bit when I saw this beautiful home. I grew up right near these condos and have always coveted them. So lovely.

  • Deeeeeetroit in the house.

    Lovely work and sooooo peaceful. I would give anything to live surrounded by windows :) Do you get windex by the gallon? :)

    Thank you for sharing

    Msmelle

  • My heart swelled with pride reading about a celebration of our downtrodden state (Michigan) and its treasures in architecture and design.

    Your home is just beautiful – we, too, have been searching for something with a little soul, which is lacking in Metro Detroit these days, sadly.

    Thank you so much for letting us in to your beautiful home!

  • Very nice home. I love the bright colors of Juniper’s room. I also very much love her Wedgehead. We are an UglyDoll family.

  • I am a regular reader of Sweet Juniper, and I had to see the pictures of your home. I am so impressed!! I had no idea such a beautiful home could be found in a city that is sometimes not-so-beautiful. As are most of the others who posted, I am a native of Michigan (Charlevoix, to be exact) and your posts about your adventures make me homesick.

  • I was so excited to read this blog entry. I attended Cranbrook growing up and lived only 5 miles away and only now, by moving away, have I realized its true beauty and importance. I love the history that Cranbrook offers Detroit.

    Detroit is not dead!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hi Dutch. Your home is simply stunning and the details are fantastic. I would love to talk with you about a possble feature for Detroit Home. It’s rare to find homeowners who’re so passionate and knowledgeable about Detroit and Michigan-based deisgn. Let me know if you’d ever be interested in this sort of thing. Best.

  • I love your house- thanks for letting us in. And “I am just a stay at home dad.” ? Not JUST. It is a very important position. .
    01

  • I love your Juniper blog – it’s great to see there are other Dad’s out there like me! Question – Where did you get the big pillows on Juniper’s bed…my wife is IN LOVE with them.

  • I love this post! I had no clue what I was leaving behind when I moved to Arizona from Michigan straight out of school last year. If I had the chance, I would come back just for the history! I definitely plan on taking a day to explore the thrift stores when I visit. :-) Thank you!!!!

  • I have seen those mobiles in museum exhibits and in magazine articles but never have been able to find out who makes it or where i can find one. can anyone help?!?

  • Love the bedroom. Could you share the paint colors? It looks like a light green on the walls and a shade of pale yellow on the ceiling?

  • I love that Jared said “It’s Bay area meets D’town”…lol…..and a native Detroiter, this home is about as pure Motor City as it gets! Many of my friends live in Lafayette (the Mies complex of townhouses and towers). Modernism abounds in Detroit, no matter how many people try to quash it.

    And no one says D-town. ;)

  • I just got sent over this blog. Love it! Big supporter of the Mies. Grew up there too. Glad that you are getting the word out on the great communities within the city. Thankyou.
    Lizzy T

  • sorry alan, that’s not true. birkerts designed 1300 lafayette. mies van der rohe designed the buildings across lafayette street.

    • tricia

      i think their neighbor’s house was in dwell, but i’ll check. the building they live in (a mies van der rohe complex) is amazing.

      grace :)

  • Is that a German Shorthaired Pointer I spy? I grew up with three of them. They’re the best! They certainly make it challenging to keep a home clean and hair-free, but they sure add to the love and happiness of any family.

  • I’ve lived in Detroit and now Ferndale, and I know this building, I was in one of the units when a friend’s friend had passed and willed him the apartment. What an amazing space, and I love what you’ve done with yours. From what I can recall, these are very coveted condos and rarely come up for sale. Is it still a co-op?

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