Design Getaway: Detroit, MI
Motor City puts the pedal to the metal with reimaginied locales and a bevy of creative talent.
Get a taste of Detroit’s heritage at Vinsetta Garage (photo above), a car-repair shop turned trendy eatery. Located just outside the city limits in the suburb of Berkley, the new restaurant pays homage to the region’s automotive past with details such as vintage industrial lights and old service tickets on the walls—though the gas pumps have been replaced with charging stations for electric cars. The classic menu offers burgers, steak, pasta and pizza, but those who want to step off the assembly line can create a customized meal.
In 2009, siblings Andy and Emily Linn began selling their own lines of Detroit-themed products alongside pieces from fellow local designers at their Midtown store, City Bird. They expanded late last year, opening a neighboring housewares store, Nest. And now, the duo’s encyclopedic knowledge of the city has been compiled into a forthcoming guidebook, Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit.
The crowd-sourced, community-supported Detroit Design Festival exposes attendees to the city’s burgeoning creative class, such as artist Sean Hages, who was responsible for 2011’s Grubwork Comminute (pictured). This year’s event will take place September 19 through 23 and includes studio tours, fashion shows and public art installations.
Free Art Fridays is a weekly citywide scavenger hunt that aims to raise awareness of Detroit’s landmarks and art scene. Artists hide small-scale paintings, sculptures and other ephemeral artworks throughout the city and release clues to their whereabouts on Facebook and Twitter. Those who locate the pieces get to exercise finders’-keepers’ rights.
Honor & Folly makes it easy to feel at home in Detroit. The newly opened two-room inn in Corktown is a revamped masonry apartment above the popular restaurant Slows Bar B Q. Owner and former design-magazine editor Meghan McEwen drew on her style sensibilities when furnishing the rooms, which are decked out in local wares, most of which are available for purchase. The inn also offers cooking classes and design events in the common living room and open kitchen.