An interior designer finds his own version of Central Park living in a downtown Detroit midcentury high-rise
Interior designer Bob Endres says the dramatic view from his downtown Detroit home adds another layer of interest. Decorative elements in the living room include a reproduction metal sculpture elevated on a Lucite pedestal and an Ellsworth Kelly lithograph displayed on an easel. A Michael Mahoney painting is displayed on a back wall painted in Benjamin Moore’s Volcano Gray. Black-and-white framed pieces are by Jason Karolak. Furnishings include a circa-1950s Knoll daybed and vintage Edward J. Wormley Dunbar chairs and sofa. The rug is Moroccan.
Photographs by Justin Maconochie
Bob Endres is a man in love. His real-estate romance began unexpectedly with his introduction to a mousy little place that took his affections by surprise.
“It was a forgotten space for about five years until I walked in and saw — and of course it spoke to me,” he says.
“I bought it with no expectations other than it was a bargain that I couldn’t pass up.”
He gushes: “We have a 24-hour concierge desk, 24-hour secure garage, two beautiful swimming pools, a fitness center — and it’s a really quiet building.”
But this is no sudden infatuation. After a yearlong courtship that employed his interior-designer skills, Endres happily cites the practical assets of his 1,500-square-foot high-rise home, saying, “The air conditioning is ice-cold and the water pressure is good.”
After living at 1300 East Lafayette near downtown Detroit for a year, Endres reports he and his architectural paramour are happily ensconced. “I find it a very nice, comfortable, neighborly place to live,” he says.
Perhaps love really is “lovelier the second time around.” Seven years ago, Endres lived in Detroit’s Lafayette Park neighborhood. But that relationship ended when he sold and moved to Oakland County.
“I’d really regretted the sale of my Lafayette ‘court’ house,” says Endres, an interior designer for Gorman’s, Troy. After redoing two suburban homes, Endres came full circle and rented a Mies van der Rohe-designed two-story townhouse for a year while he weighed his real-estate options.
He surprised himself by choosing a fourth-floor co-op in the same neighborhood, a residence he says gives him a Central Park-style view of trees and noteworthy midcentury high-rise structures.
He also notes changes that occurred during his seven-year hiatus from Lafayette Park.
“There’s an enormous number of families,” he says. “It’s a real neighborhood — people riding bikes and walking dogs.”
Inside his own space, Endres reconfigured walls, eliminated a closet, and added cork flooring (after first removing Austin Powers shag carpet). Being a frequent mover and professional designer aided the transformation.
Along with editing and rearranging his collection of art, furnishings, and accents, Endres taps a variety of sources from a wide retail spectrum.
“My house starts with Home Goods and Ikea and then West Elm, T.J .Maxx, resale shops, and flea markets, and then finding really good midcentury pieces,” he says.
“For the really good stuff, I go to art galleries and Hermès and other names we all know.”
Now that he’s settled in, Endres is taking in the wider view — a perspective aided by his window panorama.
“It’s really nice to sort of be on the edge or fringe of Detroit coming back,” Endres says. “There’s serious money investing in the city. It’s private money. We can continue to build on that.”