An Event Planner’s Modern, Quiet Quonset Hut in Detroit

updated Apr 30, 2019

An Event Planner’s Modern, Quiet Quonset Hut in Detroit

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Haley Lertola
Location: True North — Detroit, Michigan
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: 1/2 year, renting

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Haley Lertola owns an event planning and design company, Detroit Cultivated, where she’s “committed to disrupting the Detroit event industry by creating inspired experiences that incorporate sustainable practices. One of the goals of each event is to transport guests to a truly original setting. In late 2016 we planned a dinner party for a corporate client in the two original Quonset huts. I loved every minute of working in the Quonset hut. I felt inspired by its unique shape and the natural light that was let in on such on a cold, December day in Michigan.”

“When I discovered that they were in the process of building nine more huts I knew immediately that I wanted to move into one. So, in May 2017 I moved in! I live in the hut, but also run my business out of it. It has the perfect open floor plan that allows me to conduct meetings and occasionally host events. I truly could not imagine a better live-work space to suit my lifestyle of entertaining and party hosting. Additionally, it is the perfect backdrop to bring clients to begin the creative process of planning an event.”

Haley’s house is located in True North, a community of Quonset huts in Detroit, developed by Prince Concepts and designed by architect Edwin Chan. “Each hut is designed specifically to be an inspirational, minimalist live-work environment, and placed strategically among other huts to create natural outdoor communal areas,” describes Haley. “They basically blur the line between my inside and outside worlds, while providing all the modern comforts we’re used to.”

The Quonset hut was originally developed during WWII when the US Navy needed an all-purpose, lightweight building that could be shipped anywhere and assembled easily without skilled labor. They used them as medical offices, housing, bakeries, and all sorts of purposes. And it’s simply beautiful to see this functional structure — enhanced by Haley’s elegant style — used for a contemporary home.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Simple, elegant, modern, and clean.

Inspiration: The geometry of the Quonset huts versus traditional housing.

Favorite Element: I love the 12-foot sliding doors that open up to the outdoor courtyard as well as the polycarbonate walls that let in natural light. Both break down the barrier between indoor and outside worlds.

Biggest Challenge: Reimagining my relationship with my belongings in a completely open environment.

What Friends Say: “Can I come over to your Quonsi?” “How’s hut life?” and “I don’t know if I could ever live here. (Turn to significant other) Babe, could you ever live here?”

Biggest Indulgence: I live pretty simply and value sleep. My biggest indulgence is my mattress.

Best Advice: Every beautiful thing should be functional and every functional thing should be beautiful.

Dream Sources: Nora and Hugh, my two favorite Detroit shops for decadent everyday goods. El Dorado General Store, my favorite Detroit shop for vintage finds. Elle Decor, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine. Instagram, Pinterest, and Houzz.


No paint!

Repair Shop Service Desk – Eastern Market Antiques

Mid-century modern strap chairs – Oddfellows Antiques
Sweater Throw blanket – West Elm
Fiddle-Leaf Fig Tree – Pot + Box
Cat Hut! – MelenaStudio

Vintage Fowler Wooden Slat Folding Chairs – Antique Find

Chemex Classic Coffee Maker – Hugh
Muuto Silent Vase – Nora

Vintage African Mud Cloth – Eldorado General Store
Meditation crystals + candles – Eldorado General Store
Flower House Detroit Book

Alchemy Slow Living Facial Products – Alchemy Slow Living

Thanks, Haley!

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