A Historic Detroit House Has an All-Black Kitchen, Marvelous Marble, and a Blend of Original and Modern Details

published Apr 21, 2022

A Historic Detroit House Has an All-Black Kitchen, Marvelous Marble, and a Blend of Original and Modern Details

published Apr 21, 2022
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Home Type
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Name: Doug, Hilary, and kids Haze and Sway Schwartz
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Size: 4,500 square feet
Type of Home: House
Years lived in: 2 years, owned

Doug and Hilary say they always wanted a historic house, and so it was ideal when they came across this large one in Detroit, which was built in the 1930s by George McKnight. “We have put a lot of love and care into the home since purchasing it in 2020, and have tried to maintain the character while making it functional for a family of four!” explains Hilary.

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Their renovation was a large project, and Hilary says updates were made to the bathrooms and the kitchen. They also took some walls down, painted, added central air conditioning, refinished the radiators, updated the electrical and plumbing, and did some major flooring repairs. But while modern amenities were added, historical charm wasn’t subtracted. “We were able to keep all of the original wood floors throughout the house and have them refinished, which I thought was very cool. There was very unique leaded glass within the kitchen cabinets, so we removed the glass, had it restored, and retrofitted new cabinets to fit. Since our home is historic, we had to have the windows restored and replaced instead of getting new ones, which is a slow process but exciting to see happen.”

Hilary and Doug both share a love of design, fashion, and art. Hilary studied fashion design in college and later developed a passion for event planning and interior design. Doug launched a sensory marketing agency in 2014 called DetroitWick (@detroitwick on Instagram) where they make and manufacture candles and scent-related products for companies. In 2018, they founded a wellness company called Trip Wipes (@tripwipes on Instagram).

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I would definitely say my style is modern-traditional, although I like to add unexpected pieces for interest. Everything I picked out for our home was carefully curated and feels special. When I love something, I know right away, and I have to have it. Luckily Doug and I mostly agree! I really tried to create the perfect balance of new and old.

Inspiration: I wanted to create a unique space that really reflected our personalities. I was very inspired by the history of the home and the character. I have a very long list of designers that I absolutely love and got a lot of the design inspiration from. A few of my favorites are Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro, Nicholas Obeid, and Brigette Romanek.

Favorite Element: The leaded glass windows (original to the home) and limestone fireplaces (added in reno) are my favorite elements, because they feel inviting and homey.

Biggest Challenge: This was my first time doing any kind of renovation, so it was overwhelming at first to have so many options! Also, the never-ending projects of a historic home (if you know, you know) is tough, as well as furnishing during a time when everything takes a year to be delivered!

What Friends Say: Everyone always loves my kitchen because the black is an unexpected choice. It is definitely one of everyone’s favorite places to hang out.

Biggest Embarrassment: The amount of times I changed my mind on bathroom designs. 

Biggest Indulgence: Ultrafragola Mirror 

Proudest DIY: I was pregnant during a lot of our renovations, and most were too big for me to be able to help, anyways. I didn’t really get to DIY anything, but I have done a few paint touch-ups since moving in.

Best Advice: Find pieces and designs for your home that make you happy, and don’t rush to find your style!



  • Kitchen and Stairs — Farrow & Ball “Off Black”
  • White Walls and Trim — Farrow & Ball “Wevet”
  • Dining Room and Living Room — Farrow & Ball “Strong White”


  • Faye Toogood for Driade Roly Poly Armchair — 1stDibs
  • Chandeliere Pulsar — Eichholtz
  • Clean Patterson Art — Louis Buhl Gallery 


  • Cloud Modular Sectional — RH Modern
  • Wool Area Rug — The Citizenry 
  • Barrel Coffee Table — Soho Home
  • Nera Coffee Table — Lulu & Georgia
  • Nelson Saucer Bubble Pendant — DWR
  • Pierre Paulin Tongue Chairs (reupholstered with Knoll textiles) — 1stDibs
  • Vintage Stools — Objet


  • Ultrafragola Mirror by Ettore Sottsass — 1stDibs
  • Tulip Table — Saarinen 
  • Maren Dining Chair — Anthropologie
  • Chambers Chandelier with TR Bulbs — Soren Rose 
  • Long School Bench — Vogue Vintage 





  • Floral Print Wallpaper — Floral Print Wallpaper | GUCCI® US
  • Sink — Original Sink 
  • Specchio Wall Mirror — CB2
  • Edie Alabaster Flush Mount — CB2
  • Athena Ribbed Glass Round Waste Can — CB2
  • Athena Ribbed Glass Round Tray — CB2
  • Byredo Vetyver Hand Wash — FWRD
  • Flora Print Candle — Gucci
  • Tile, limeaid color — Virginia tile 


Thanks Hilary and Doug!

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.