Mid-Century Meets Vintage in the Michigan Home of Two Graphic Designers

updated Apr 30, 2019

Mid-Century Meets Vintage in the Michigan Home of Two Graphic Designers

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Meg and Joe plus Lady and Benny (Dachshunds)
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Size: 1,350 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, owned

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Embracing the quirks — uneven floors, for instance — of an almost 100-year-old house is a challenge for people in the profession of precision. Like Meg and Joe, who are both graphic designers in the Metro Detroit area. But thanks to hard work, help from their families and a little patience, the couple has brightened and modernized their house in just a year. Meg and Joe stress that the house is still very much a work in progress. But they’ve done an admirable job refreshing the space and filling it with meaningful things.

It’s not surprising that two designers have a strong eye for details. On the surface, the home has a minimal appearance, but the art and objects within are rich with story. A cast-iron piggy bank once belonged to Joe’s grandmother. A vintage light was once used at a theater in Detroit.

And though Meg and Joe have indulged on some big purchases (like the West Elm sofa, beloved by both humans and dogs), they’re not afraid to spruce up found objects to add to their home. The Bertoia chairs in the office came from Craigslist and were painted. Once rusted, they’re now good as new.

Meg and Joe understand how powerful simple objects and a fresh coat of paint can be.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Mid-century with vintage elements, plants and wiener dogs.

Inspiration: Found objects, graphic design

Favorite Element: Our artwork. Nearly every piece was done by close friends or ourselves. Each one has a story.

Biggest Challenge: The entire house is still a work in progress. But that’s what we like about it — making it our own. We have AMAZING families who have helped us immensely along the way, and we couldn’t have done what we have without them. With our charming old house comes charming old floors, which proves challenging for items like our credenza that has our TV on it. Also rugs — with two dogs we don’t spend much on rugs and it can get tricky finding rugs that fit our aesthetic and budget.

What Friends Say: They’re amazed at our before and after photos.

Biggest Embarrassment: I wouldn’t call it an “embarrassment,” but the kitchen. It’s definitely next on our list. We haven’t done much to it since moving in. It works for now but we have a vision. Stay tuned on that one. After that, the exterior.

Proudest DIY: The desks in the home studio. It’s a quick solution for now, but actually turned out much better than we thought it would!

Biggest Indulgence: Our West Elm leather couch in the living room. Technically “no dogs allowed,” but they love it, too.

Best Advice: Be patient and take your time. When we first moved in, we wanted to have it furnished so quickly that we felt we had to get it all done at once. For us, it became important to pick items that were true to our style and held meaning to us. You also don’t have to spend a lot of money. Joe is great at finding things on Craigslist and fixing them up. For example, our Bertoia chairs were rusted when we found them but with powder-coating they are as good as new!


Paint color — Behr Ultra Pure White
Axel Leather Loveseat West Elm
Mid-Century Slats Coffee Table — Etsy
Mid-Century Wood Chair — Craigslist
Soderhamn Couch IKEA
Mailman Jute Rug — CB2 (No longer available)
America of Martinsville Credenza and Coffee Table — Craigslist
Jute Braided Rug RUGSUSA
White Planter West Elm
Brass Floor Lamp Target
Baskets — TARGET
Gold Mirror Target
White Floor Lamp IKEA
Large Target — Army Surplus Store

Paint color — Behr Ultra Pure White
Table — West Elm
Chairs — Dot and Bo
Church Pew—Bought from a Detroit church
Watercolor Julia Kostreva
Large Letterpressed Woodcut Don Kilpatrick
Custom Portrait of Lady Zach Fox
Mirror — IKEA
Brass Chandelier Sazerac Stiches
Flower Letterpress Print — Matt Holben

Paint color — Behr Ultra Pure White
Rug — ECarpetGallery (No longer available)
Desk — DIY / Home Depot
Bertoia Chairs — Craigslist
Sheepskin Pelts IKEA
Pendant Light Colin Tury

Paint color — Behr Ultra Pure White
Rug — Overstock
Mid-Century Modern Credenza — Craigslist
Applause Light — Vintage
Mirrored Wardrobe — IKEA
Brass Light Fixtures Etsy
Images — Oldsmobile News cover print featuring Joe’s grandma as a model.
Photograph of Joe in Northern Michigan at the Sleeping Bear Dunes where he proposed.

Rug — ECarpetGallery
Desk — Craigslist
Black Chair — Craigslist
Bed + Bedding — Ikea
End table with drawers — Craigslist
Brass Lamp and Green Lamp — Antique Store in Old Town, Lansing, Michigan
Steamer Trunk — Craigslist
Detroit Letterpress Printed Woodcuts — Detroit Wood Type Co.

Thanks, Meg and Joe!

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