This 123-Year-Old Detroit House Was Transformed into a Cozy, One-of-a-Kind Home

published May 13, 2024

This 123-Year-Old Detroit House Was Transformed into a Cozy, One-of-a-Kind Home

published May 13, 2024
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Bo Shepherd and Kyle Dubay are designers, artists, and the founders of Woodward Throwbacks, where they make furniture and remake spaces using reclaimed materials. And when it came to the 1,800-square-foot, three-bedroom house in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood they bought 10 years ago for $165k, they applied their salvaged style to every room.

“The house was lived in when we bought it and didn’t require major renovations, unlike most of our projects. So this house was always more about small updates and really just cosmetically making the house more our style,” Kyle explains.

“Our biggest challenge has been figuring out what to take on and what not to,” Kyle begins. “The house is old, built in 1901. It’s in great shape, but there have been things we’d like to do here and there. But once you start ripping things out of these old homes, it can open up way more problems or work than you intend. So we’ve focused more on doing cosmetic things like refinishing the original floors, fixing plaster walls, and modernizing the kitchen.” 

“We are fortunate the previous owners took care of the home, but also set it up nicely.  They had converted the house to force air system. And they turned one of the bedrooms into a large bathroom. Thus converting the original bathroom into a laundry room. Both are huge luxuries in an old home like ours.”  

The couple recently published their first book, “Throwbacks Home Interiors,” which features more of their projects with salvaged elements. And they’ve since said goodbye to this house and are on to their next home adventure: They bought a 4,500-square-foot warehouse built in 1945 on the Eastside of Detroit that they’ll be converting themselves.



  • Powder Room Walls — Benjamin Moore “Golden Mist in Eggshell”
  • Powder Room Beadboard — Benjamin Moore “Black Satin in Matte”
  • Whole Home — Benjamin Moore “Chantilly Lace”
  • Kitchen Accent Wall — Benjamin Moore “Salamander in Eggshell”


  • Vintage Gold Velvet Sofa — Craigslist
  • Coffee Table — Woodward Throwbacks
  • End Tables — Vintage
  • Artwork — Vintage





  • Wall Sconce — Schoolhouse
  • Ceiling Light — Vintage
  • Mirror and Shelves —Custom Woodward Throwbacks
  • Toilet — Build

Thanks, Bo and Kyle!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.