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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