Personal Shopper – Stephen Knollenberg

Photograph by Cybelle Codish

If you were an interior designer, you’d likely know where to go for the finest fabrics, furniture, and art. But you’re not. So shopping for home décor is probably more of a hit-or-miss proposition.

In an effort to help you navigate the area’s hot spots, we went to designer Stephen Knollenberg and asked for his five favorite shops and galleries around town. A talented designer and winner of Detroit Home’s 2005 Rising Star award, Knollenberg started a firm in his own name in 2002, has offices in both Birmingham and Washington, D.C., and had his work featured in Architectural Digest and The New York Times, among others. Striking a timeless balance between old and new, his work has earned him a reputation for well-edited interiors and clean, careful composition. Here are his five favorites, in no particular order.

1. The Apple Store (Somerset Collection, Troy; 248-822-0081). “Whether you’re accessory-scaping your study desk, coffee table, or kitchen island, nothing gives your space a more fresh, modern feel than a new Apple laptop. I’m a recent convert. Technology is part of every minute of our lives today, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t look great. Check out the MacBook Air.”

2. Haberman Fabrics (Royal Oak; 248-541-0010). “Haberman’s gets top-notch overstock apparel fabrics straight from 7th Avenue in New York. Pick up a bolt of Italian Loro Piana cashmere at a fraction of the cost. Cover a chair.”

3. ArtSpace II (Birmingham; 248-258-1540).“Whatever your budget — from Picassos to prints — [owner] Lois Cohn has an abundance of quality, orignal consigned artwork for your bare walls. Pick up a vintage limited edition Ellsworth Kelly print and give your room a modern pedigree.”

4. John K. King Books (Detroit; 313-961-0622). “A city treasure. Take a Saturday afternoon and go downtown for a few hours to browse. With more than a million volumes and 35 years of buying and selling rare used books worldwide, there are few people anywhere more on top of the book game thanJohn King — and he’s right in our backyard. Want to spiff up your library bookshelves? Get a cart and start up the aisles. You can pick out the spines you like best and mix ’em in with your collection. More serious collectors should check out the rare-book room.”

5. Hill Gallery (Birmingham; 248-540-9288). “One of the city’s best galleries for folk pieces and contemporary art. With the stock market [fluctuating] at anybody’s guess and real-estate values ever slumping, consider a good piece of art as a less volatile investment. Your kids may thank you later.”

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