WHO: Michigan State University graduate and principal of Birmingham-based Ellwood Interiors, Amanda Sinistaj, below, has 15 years of experience creating dream homes for her clients. With a clean and timeless aesthetic that she refers to as “livable luxury,” Sinistaj leads a motivated team of talented interior designers who craft luxurious living spaces that have earned multiple Detroit Home Design Awards.
DESIGNER’S GOAL: The homeowners gave Sinistaj free reign when it came to the design of the lower level of their Novi home. “Our delightful homeowners gave me the opportunity to push the envelope and design something that I wanted,” Sinistaj says. The designer says she envisioned the space as being “a bit moody, with a little edge to it.” When it came to the wallpaper, she discovered a nearly perfect pattern through Detroit Wallpaper. “We liked the sugar skull wallpaper, with perhaps a little less sugar,” she says. Fortunately, the company was able to customize the print to the designer’s specifications. “We removed a few things, tweaked the color, and altered the scale by enlarging it so the skulls peeked out just over the edge of the mirror,” Sinistaj says. The powder room set the stage for the rest of the lower level, constructed with the help of LUXE Homes Design + Build, which includes a custom bar, entertainment zone, and exercise room.
Bold colors and prints are huge right now. The more unique, bigger the scale, and bolder the color, the better.
— Amanda Sinistaj
Amanda Sinistaj’s tips for using wallpaper:
• Scale can change the feel of a room; by doing a large-scale paper, you can make a very bold statement.
• Set the mood with color. In this example, we wanted the vibe to feel broody, so charcoal and black made sense. Don’t be afraid of dark colors in a small space — what you’ve heard is a myth. They don’t necessarily make a room feel smaller.
• Consider the requirements of your wallpaper. There are multiple types of wallcoverings: vinyl, paper, or commercial grade, for example. It’s important to note where it’s going and what the material should be. Does the area get high use and does the wallpaper need to be durable and easy to clean? Are your walls square, or do you have clipped ceilings that may impact the pattern? Take a look around your room and decipher what may be needed for an appropriate application.
• You can create nice focal points with wallpaper on accent walls in bedrooms or on ceilings in dining rooms. However, be aware that too many unique things lessen the impact a focal wall can have.
INFORMATION: 248-703-7157, ellwoodinteriors.com.
GET THE GOODS
A. Detroit Wallpaper. Dia de los Muertos custom wallpaper, price upon request, Ellwood Interiors; B. Walker Zanger sterling row tuxedo porcelain tile in charcoal, price upon request, Virginia Tile, Michigan Design Center, Troy; C. Classic bud vase in iridescent glaze, $150, Pewabic Pottery, Detroit; D. 30-inch ADA floating concrete ramp sink in charcoal, starting at $1,300, Trueform Concrete, trueformconcrete.com; E. Uttermost crenulated mini-urn in matte white, price upon request, Ellwood Interiors; F. Jason Wu for Brizo widespread lavatory faucet in matte black, $738, Brizo, brizo.com; G. Tech Lighting Manette pendant in transparent smoke/black, price upon request, Ellwood Interiors; H. Infinity black round wall mirror, 24 inches, $149, CB2, cb2.com
WHO: With more than 15 years of experience since graduating from Michigan State University’s interior design program, Dayna Flory Rasschaert, below, of Bloomfield Hills-based Dayna Flory Interiors, has been busy making a name for herself. Recognized early in her career for her exceptional skills, Rasschaert was honored in 2011 with the prestigious Detroit Home Brian Killian Rising Star Award and is a frequent Detroit Home Design Award winner.
DESIGNER’S GOAL: Tasked with transforming Nick and Shanna Gorga’s Bloomfield Hills home, Rasschaert saw this powder room as a blank canvas. “We kept the existing vanity and plumbing, but needed to add some personality,” she says. The wallpaper was the inspiration, or jumping-off point, for the design, and the other elements — such as the black-and-white light fixture, black lacquered mirror, and abstract artwork — fell into place later. “There’s no window in the space, so adding a touch of nature and something with visual depth really transported the space, giving it a ‘wow’ moment,” Rasschaert says.
I love a wallpaper that tells a story and starts a conversation.
— Dayna Flory Rasschaert
Dayna Flory Rasschaert’s tips for using wallpaper:
• When looking for wallpaper, you’re often looking at small samples, and it’s sometimes difficult to visualize an entire room covered in the paper. I find it helpful to look at installation images online to visualize what your particular paper is going to do in the space.
• For those who want to start incorporating wallpaper into their décor, powder rooms are a perfect place to start. They’re a remote space where you can tuck away a surprise — a bit of fun for you and your guests!
• Don’t play it safe — go for it! Use the wallpaper that makes you happy. Seize the opportunity to do something a little bolder than the rest of your home.
• Wallpaper itself is a work of art, and layering a piece of framed art on the paper elevates the depth of the design.
INFORMATION: 248-219-5380, daynafloryinteriors.com
GET THE GOODS
A. Schumacher Birches wallpaper in black and white, price upon request, Dayna Flory Interiors; B. Wendover Art Group Loops 3, abstract print, price upon request, Dayna Flory Interiors; C. Marbella lacquered mirror in black, $341, Shades of Light, shadesoflight.com; D. Jax sconce, to the trade, The Urban Electric Co., urbanelectric.com; E. Santal 26 vintage candle, 6.9 oz., $65, Le Labo, Detroit; F. Totem 12.5-inch vase in white, $34, West Elm, Birmingham; G. Hinoki hand soap, 16.9 fl. oz., $38, Le Labo, Detroit