Strut Magazine | Metro Detroit's New Magazine for Smart, Sexy, Sassy Women


Detroit has a long history of little magazines. In 2005 a new magazine called Strut appeared. The creator's hope was that their monthly e mag would appeal to women’s intellects without being too heavy and intellectual.
This was the magazine's website.
Content is from the site's 2006 archived pages.

What's Strut

It's metro Detroit's new magazine for smart, sexy, sassy women. Strut is produced by Third Street Publications, the specialty publishing division of Detroit Newspaper Partnership, L.P.

Every month readers enjoy

  • Local essays
  • Profiles of metro Detroit women making a difference
  • Original paintings and photography
  • Up-to-the-minute fashions and jewelry from local shops
  • Scrumptious recipes and entertaining ideas from local chefs
  • Health and beauty trends
  • An extensive local events calendar

and much, much, much more.



"In 2004 I was recruited as a developer to work on Strut helping build out both the back end and content management systems for the startup. By 2006, the original software was showing its age and I was charged with a big legacy modernization project to bring the entire system into the new world. We did not want to discard all the customer and advertiser data, but needed to revamp all the systems to make use of cloud technology, data mining capability, and advanced computer assisted auto-archiving. Legacy modernization achieved all that, but just in time to see the magazine shut down. But what we learned in the interim was that sometimes older systems die, sometimes they can be revived, or like Frankenstein, re-animated! This is the way the future is made from the past!" Jason Hildebrandt


In This Issue: December 2006

Nationally Ranked Fitness Competitor on Discipline
Family Trees
Alex in Wonderland
In Step With... Frankie Darcell
Strike a pose: SUKHASANA
Most for the Hosts
Aspirations and Achievements
Collections on Holiday


Nationally Ranked Fitness Competitor on Discipline

Nicole Wilkins of Sterling Heights knows discipline. A fierce fitness competitor, Wilkins must train carefully not to build large muscles, but to create a lean, symmetrical physique. To accomplish this, Wilkins eats every three hours and drinks a gallon of water each day. She does two sessions of cardio each day, in addition to training clients at Top Shape Fitness in Sterling Heights, where she is a personal trainer.

The hard work has served her well – she made it to the NPC National Bodybuilding and Fitness championships in November, where she placed fifth in her height class. We caught up with her this month to find out what keeps her motivated, and how she unwinds.

Full Name: Nicole Marie Wilkins
City: Sterling Heights
Age: 22

What kind of car do you drive?

Ford Taurus

What music are you listening to now?

I listen to all types of music. It really depends on my mood. If I am working out, I love to listen to dance music, and if I’m driving in the car, I like pop music or R&B.

What are you reading?

I am a gossip magazine lover, and have a habit of buying them every week. However, I am reading The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella. I enjoy fiction books that are fast and easy to read.

What is the importance of discipline?

Discipline is the No. 1 factor when trying to achieve any goal in life. If I did not have discipline, I would not be able to keep myself on track for this competition. Discipline is necessary to avoid food that is not on my nutrition plan, at social activities, and also to get enough sleep and get through the many hours of working out that is required to bring my physique to look the best I possibly can.

What are three things that motivate you?

The first thing that motivates me is myself. I am very determined and hardworking. I love competition and pushing myself to the next level. The thought of someone else working just as hard as me makes me want to try even more. I am also motivated by my friends, family and clients. I want my clients to be proud and see that with hard work, anything is possible. I want to set a good example.

What’s been the toughest part about training for this most recent competition?

After I won the Motor City Classic, I decided to compete at Nationals, so the hardest part about getting ready for this show is really just the fact that it has been a continuing prep, from one show to another, for a total of almost six months.

It takes a lot of physical and mental power to get through each day. The amount of time and energy I have put toward this show is the most I have ever done. Whether I do well or not against the other competitors, I will know that I have tried and done everything I could to bring in the best package that I have at this stage of my life. I can only continue to make improvements from here on out.

What are a few qualities you earned through competition that help you in other areas of your life?

Self-discipline, dedication, time management and self confidence. When getting ready for a major competition, missing workouts and meals just don’t cut it. You have to be prepared and focused, day in and day out. Because I am not home much of the day, I have learned to manage my time wisely. At night, I prepare for the next day by going through all that needs to be accomplished. I have to fit in the time to grocery shop, cook my meals, fit in a workout, and still spend time with friends and family.

It takes a lot of self-confidence to stand up on stage and compete against the best bodies in the nation, but afterward, the feeling is so rewarding, knowing that you tried your best and put in all the hours of training.


Family Trees

Written by Jeanine Matlow

As a nail technician, grandmother and mother, Suad Patros is in the business of pampering others. This leaves little time for treating herself or her home to much of anything during the busy holiday season.

So every year, Patros’ son Chris, a designer specializing in events and displays, delivers the royal treatment to two artificial trees in the family’s Farmington Hills home. Though the decorations change slightly each year, the trees maintain certain elements of sentimental value for the family – not to mention visual impact.


Make it meaningful.
The dining room tree, purchased 28 years ago, was first used when Patros’ husband returned home from the hospital. The tree was symbolic of his recovery and has been on display ever since.

Incorporate the exotic.
Here, peacock feathers add drama as an unexpected tree topper.

Think outside the box.
A gold lace dress worn by Suad to her brother’s wedding (also 28 years ago) was reworked as an impromptu tree skirt. If you can’t sacrifice a favorite outfit, consider fabric remnants or draperies. Sometimes even old necklaces are strung as garland. Ribbons don’t always have to end up on your packages. Save some for your tree and use as a colorful garland. It’s guaranteed to spruce things up this holiday season.

Raise your tree to a whole new level.
The second tree in the family room rests in a large white urn, a welcome departure from the average metal tree stand. A sheer curtain, formerly used on a window in the home, is wrapped around the tree, adding subtle glamour to the look. An urn can also help to keep little hands (and paws) out of the tinsel altogether. Try a miniature version of this look with smaller urns filled with trees flanking a fireplace.

Super-size it.
Remember scale when choosing and decorating your tree. Don’t be afraid to go for something a little larger than usual to create more drama and impact in a smaller space.

Pick your pattern.
Repetition of shapes and colors will prevent things from looking too cluttered. Be sure to use some of the same elements (such as ornaments) when decorating your tree.


Alex in Wonderland

Written by Liz Hill


It’s totally normal for your first real gig to be the warm-up act for Ted Nugent, right? NOT! But Alex Winston’s first two live performances, other than a few acoustic sets in coffeehouses, were just that – opening for “The Nuge” at DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival this past August.

The 19-year-old Winston, a tiny little thing whose talent for belting out rock songs is bigger than she is, began playing guitar and taking opera lessons when she was 10 years old. But despite her petite, cuter-than-cute appearance – and the fact that she only graduated from Bloomfield Hills Andover High School in Bloomfield Township last June – Winston is a full-on rock goddess. One listen to her song Would You Still Be … and you’ll be thinking, “Why isn’t she on MTV?” But the cool thing is, Winston doesn’t care what MTV thinks.

“There have been industry people that I’ve spoken to,” she says, “and it’s either ‘You’re too rock for pop’ or ‘You’re too pop for rock.’ … They wanna pigeonhole me into some certain category ... But I’m not doing it to be a celebrity and make millions. I’m doing it because I love what I do.”

Something tells me though, doing what she loves to do will make Winston into a celebrity in no time. Currently writing and recording songs with producing duo Chris Peters (bass player for local band-turnedworldwide sensation Electric Six) and his brother Drew, Winston is doing all the right things to ensure success.

Her Michelle Branch-with-a-dash-of-Avril Lavigne approach (“I write better when I’m angry”) is perfect for a time in popular music when boy bands are a thing of the past and rock ‘n’ roll continues to edge into the pop market. And she’s not waiting around for the next Ted Nugent gig, either.

With Chris Peters currently on tour with E6, Winston says, “I’m just gonna get out there and do the acoustic Lilith Fair thing,” referring to smaller gigs without a full band. “I just don’t wanna waste time.”


In Step With... Frankie Darcell

Written by Sandra Dalka-Prysby

“All in divine order,” is the phrase and mantra that helps Frankie Darcell manage her packed schedule and work toward her goals. Along with her successful career as a radio and television show host, the divorced mom (Darcell has a 10-year-old daughter, Phallon) also organizes conferences and workshops to help other women achieve their best.

Part of Darcell’s help comes in the meditations that she shares with her 1.5 million listeners during her weekday radio show, The Midday MIX. “I began to offer meditations on the air in 2001 when I had my own personal challenge and shared some affirmations about it with listeners,” she says. “I realized then how powerful positive motivation can be for me and my audience.” The meditations, which focus on the glory and power of women, are popular segments of her show and are also on her Web site,

Darcell hit the Detroit radio scene in 1993 after stints at a number of stations, beginning at her alma mater, Morgan State University in Baltimore. After she gained popularity at stations in Virginia and North Carolina, a former program director at WJLB FM (WMXD’s sister station) in Detroit invited Darcell to do a talk show centered on women’s issues – her passion. She came to WMXD, which she calls “the grown-up version” of WJLB, in 2001.

“This is hardly a job. I love what I’m doing,” Darcell says.

Age: 42

Hometown: Detroit

What do you drive? A Lexus coupe Do you exercise? “Not unless you call walking to and from my car in the garage every day exercise!”

What book are you currently reading? “Tavis Smiley’s new book, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America.”

Who are you listening to? Jazz artist Rachel Ferrell, R&B and jazz singer Will Downing, and Christina Aguilera.

How she unwinds: “I have a core group of friends, especially three girlfriends, including one that I’ve known for 36 years, who I can kick back with and have fun. And there are my professional friends, including the man I spend the most time with, my producer of five years, Greg Little.”

Why girls who play sports become leaders in the boardroom: Darcell, a Kodak All-American in college basketball, says that boys learn how to compete by playing sports and games such as Gameboy, while girls play with dolls and wear bows in their hair. “This needs to change if women are ever to successfully compete in business,” she says.

Advice for women in 2007? “Having such role models as Michigan’s first female governor, Jennifer Granholm, have helped, but women need to not only get into the game (in terms of their personal and professional growth), but they need to … not let emotion get the best of their judgment.”

Most important issue facing local women in 2006? The ban on affirmative action. “A ban of affirmative action is more of a social issue than a race issue. It affects all women,” she says.

Besides affirmative action, what do you consider to have been the most important local issue in 2006? “Public education continues to be one of the most pressing problems of our time. For Detroit and Michigan to be repaired, providing good education for all our children is crucial.”



Most for the Hosts

Goodness knows you’ll be at your share of get-togethers this season. Some you’ll be attending, some you’ll be planning yourself. We’ve collected a few gift ideas perfect for your favorite party people.


Aprons are as practical as they are pretty, and Jessie Steele has created a line that accents most any outfit – or party décor scheme. Most are trimmed in ribbon or rick-rack and include two or three pockets for whatever a busy host might need to have on hand. All are machine washable.

Bib AVA Cherries Red, $42
Bib AVA ‘50s Kitchen, $42
Chef’s Onyx, $42

Available at Ribbons, 239 S. Woodward Ave., Birmingham, 248.258.9574. For more information, and to browse styles, check out or call 877.9.Jessie


The Red Hat Micro-Winery has no relation to the 50+ women’s club – though both use the red hat as a symbol of marching to a different drummer. An urban winery, this St. Clair Shores company does not grow its own grapes, but instead buys grapes from a variety of regions. This system allows them to produce 45 different wines with more than 20 different varietal grapes from at least 12 countries. The Red Hat offers these gift and hosting ideas for a unique holiday.

Wine tasting at your home
For $69, trained consultants will help you host a wine tasting for up to 12 people by presenting and educating you and your guests with six wines that you can keep and serve.

Wine tasting at the Red Hat
If you want to entertain but don’t have the time, consider hosting a wine party at the Red Hat. Enjoy the company of good friends; avoid the setup and cleanup.

Private labels
Simplify gift giving by creating custom labels for single bottles or cases.

Gift baskets
One-stop shopping for everything from a dinner-for-two basket, complete with wine glasses, pasta sauce and dessert, to hostess baskets chock-full of fine cheeses and crackers. Wines complement selections in each basket. $35-$75.

Located at 24601 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores. $10, average bottle. Event costs vary. For more information, call 586.445.4848 or check out

Strut discount! Until December 24, mention Strut and receive a 10 percent discount at Red Hat Micro-Winery.



Aspirations and Achievements

Written by Sandra Dalka-Prysby 
Coming Together: The women behind Noel Night

For many metro Detroiters, the holidays wouldn’t be as merry without Noel Night. Produced by the University Cultural Center Association, the event animates Midtown Detroit with 70 musical and dance performances, as well as storytelling and other family activities, at 27 locations in and around the Cultural Center.

But without the dedication and passion of Maureen Riley, UCCA’s special events director, and Njia Kai, performing arts director, this annual holiday celebration would not be nearly as magical. Riley has been heading the event for the past six years; Kai has secured Noel Night’s topnotch entertainment for 11 years. (In addition, the two women are the driving force behind UCCA’s June event, Detroit Festival of the Arts.)

Riley, 52, a theater graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee who has an extensive background in stage management, was lured from Milwaukee to Michigan in 1994 to handle special events at The Palace of Auburn Hills. In 2000, the Oakland Township resident began working for the UCCA.

“After five years in this position and a few years as a freelance consultant, I was excited to join the UCCA so I could better use my fine arts degree,” she says. An added advantage of her position, according to Riley, has been that it has given her the opportunity to learn so much more about Detroit.

Kai, 51, a Detroit resident, wife and mother of four, was a film major at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and has been involved in community events and productions for more than 25 years. “Detroit has an abundance of creative and talented actors, artists, musicians, musical groups, dancers and other entertainers,” she says. “I love my role in Noel Night. ... The only problem I have with arranging the entertainment is that because there is an abundance … it’s hard to limit selections.”

According to Riley, what she finds most gratifying about this event is the joyful and welcoming spirit that fills the streets on Noel Night. “It’s a great way for the Midtown Detroit community to open its doors to people from all over the metro area and it reminds event-goers of the great treasures the city has to offer.”

What’s your favorite holiday observance or tradition?

Riley: “Opening presents, because my husband is a great giftgiver.” Also, while she enjoys spending time with extended family in Arizona, “It’s not quite the same as being in the Midwest.The temperature is warmer, there’s no snow and it’s harder to get into the Christmas spirit.”

Kai: “Celebrating the seven days of Kwanzaa (December 26- January 1). Kwanzaa, which means ‘first fruits,’ was established 39 years ago as an observance and not a holiday. It’s a time for African Americans to remember, reward and celebrate family, community and culture.”

What’s your favorite part of Noel Night?

Riley: “I love the sing-along at the end of the evening with the Salvation Army Band. Thousands gather in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts, songbooks are distributed and everybody sings Christmas carols. It’s a diverse gathering, but everyone joins in. Hot cocoa is passed out by the Salvation Army.” She says that this evening finale is so heartwarming because everyone smiles and sings in one community voice. “It truly is a special time when everyone comes together.”

Kai: “I love the community vibration of the evening and that the streets are filled with people. There’s bustling, happy entertainment and a great party atmosphere.” Kai also likes that there’s something for everyone – no matter what their age, culture or religious belief – including storytellers who cover Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

How do you define tradition?
Riley: “It is discovering activities that you enjoy and that you want to repeat year after year and from generation to generation.”

Kai: “A tradition is a stabilizer and a moment from which to count.”

Name a Noel Night tradition that has evolved. What do you think about this evolution?

Both Riley and Kai agree that the whole night – a tradition for many families – has evolved in the growth of attendance and the number of organizations, museums and merchants involved. “As the Midtown Detroit area has grown with new museums opening over the years, so has Noel Night,” Kai says.

What is the importance of tradition for the Detroit?

Riley: “Traditions such as Noel Night, Detroit Festival of the Arts and America’s Thanksgiving Parade not only bring large numbers of people to the city, but they afford the opportunity for metro residents to renew their appreciation for all that Detroit has to offer.”

Kai: “Traditions help bring everyone together.”

What? 34th Annual Noel Night, Saturday, December 2
When? 5-9:30 p.m.
Where? Midtown Detroit (Willis on the south; Palmer, north; Second, west; Brush, east). Major streets, including Woodward, will be closed to traffic to allow visitors to walk to the Noel Night locations.
How much? Free.
More information? Visit

Giving Back

As a young girl, Najah Bazzy took to heart her grandmother’s words: “When you smile at people, especially the aged and those in need, you are providing the greatest charity of all.”

Today a wife, mother of four and registered nurse, Bazzy has done more than just smile – the humanitarian works she has spurred have improved lives here and abroad. For Bazzy, giving to others is not just a holiday tradition; it is a way of life.

Raised in southern Dearborn on the border of Detroit, Bazzy, a Muslim of Lebanese descent, learned to care for others early. “I grew up helping to care for my brother who has muscular dystrophy. I learned through helping with my brother and elderly family members that caring for the sick and elderly was what I wanted for my life’s work. And I learned by growing up in such a diverse neighborhood that I wanted to help everyone,” she says.

Nursing continued to be the gateway for Bazzy to help others. While working at Detroit’s Sinai Hospital (now Sinai- Grace Hospital) from 1982 to 1992, Bazzy was inspired by the hospital’s sensitivity to the cultural and religious beliefs of patients and their families. In 1996 she became a transcultural nurse clinical specialist at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, where she worked toward bringing changes in hospital policy, patient satisfaction and culturally competent care. She left Oakwood in 2004, and in 2005, she established Diversity Specialists and its daughter company, Transcultural Healthcare Solutions, LLC. Through the latter, Bazzy serves as a consultant and lecturer on sensitivity and diversity to healthcare providers.

Bazzy has approached cultural awareness in more direct ways, as well. While she was working at Oakwood, a large influx of refugees from Iraq and Bosnia came to the hospital for treatment. In caring for these refugees, Bazzy noticed that they needed certain things that the hospital couldn’t provide. In response, she formed Bayt Al Zahra (house of enlightened flower), which provides food, clothing, furniture, medication and counseling for refugees and others in need. She also founded a program called Plots for Tots, a fund that provides for the proper burial of infants and children whose families are unable to pay for these services.

Bazzy’s mission to provide for human needs expanded to an international level when she returned from her third visit to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 2005. “This journey provided me with the clarity to know what was to be my next step and to embrace the words of a young woman who had been killed under the Saddam regime,” Bazzy says. She formed Zaman International, an organization that comprises Bayt Al Zahra, Plots for Tots and other humanitarian programs. According to Bazzy, these words, “It shall not be that time will leave its imprint on me, but rather I shall leave my imprint on time,” are her personal creed, as well as a focus of Zaman.

This season, Zaman International has launched its “I Hope” campaign. Bazzy says that needy individuals are invited to put their requests in a “hope chest” on the organization’s Web site. Zaman will seek funding to meet these requests.

Age: 46
City: Canton

What is your favorite personal tradition? “Ramadan is, for me, the most important time of the year. [Ramadan is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and consists of a month of prayers, fasting, charity and self-accountability.] My favorite tradition of Ramadan is the fasting. We all know that there is hunger around the world, but by fasting, I have the opportunity to feel what hunger feels like. This makes me more sensitive and charitable to those who are faced with hunger on a daily basis.”

You set an example of humanitarian work, not just at special times during the year, but every day. How can others follow your example? “By giving to and loving all mankind, and by making acts of kindness a part of your daily life.”

Are you a willing volunteer looking for good works to do? Visit Zaman International.


Collections on Holiday

Written by Jeanine Matlow  
Shari Wooster and her husband Scott love to entertain, often hosting wine parties for crowds of 100. But during the holidays, Shari’s extensive collections of fairies and figurines often steal the show.

Professional decorator Cindy Duncan put together last year’s look. With two boys and a career as senior account manager for Guidant Corp., Shari needed a little help – and a fresh eye – in displaying her many treasures.

Lladró porcelain figurines were displayed in the entertainment center with an accent of garland across the top. More garland, wrapped around the banister, furthered the motif. And Shari’s Mark Roberts fairies, each handmade and wired for flexible poses, served as ideal ornaments for the Woosters’ 15-foot Christmas tree.

Make collections work for the holidays:

Turn over a new look
Some ornaments look even better upside down. Experiment with your usual suspects and try to reinvent them each year.

Deck the house
Spread the holiday cheer throughout your home. Unexpected places benefit from the details of your efforts. For instance, wreaths can be hung in bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.

Put cheer in its place
Functional items such as plate racks, china cabinets, etc. deserve a holiday boost. Replace the objects usually displayed in them with festive knick-knacks.

Think year-round
Consider items that can be displayed throughout the year and then placed on the tree for Christmas. This frees up the room for other holiday items to fill up the empty spaces.


The Strut Home Listings 2006

Almost everything to feather your nest

Spring's here and that nesting instinct is kicking into overdrive. This list of shops from small boutiques to major garden centers will help you feather your nest with the best, from across metro Detroit.


At Last
21035 Mack Ave.
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
313-417-0884 Specialties: Dishes, vases, floral accents, dolls and furniture - everything is here to help you create a charming, peaceful paradise in your own home.

The Dried Flower
20455 Mack Ave.
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
Specialties: This quaint corner shop offers wonderful faux flower designs, from wreaths, centerpieces and cut flowers for vase displays to antiques and more.

Earth Lore Inc.
895 Wing St.
Plymouth, MI 48170
Specialties: You've come to the right place for books on feng shui design philosophy; statuary from Hindu, Native American, Egyptian, Celtic and other cultures from around the world; and incense, tapestries, wind chimes and meditation CDs for ultimate at-home relaxation.

Fuschia Frog
320 E. Maple
Birmingham, MI 48009
Specialties: While it's a great gift source, this fun shop is also filled with cute home accents, including candles, glassware, message pillows, tableware and more.

322 S. Main St.
Plymouth, MI 48170
Specialties: Gifts and home accents abound, in the quaint Main Street shopping district. Rabbit knickknacks share space with jazz musician and golfer figurines; birdhouses and antiqued birdcages; clocks and bookends; wall art (in subjects ranging from women's shoes and flowers to sports nostalgia); and decorative mini plate racks and sets.

High Wire Girls

32799 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073

25875 Novie Rd.
Novi, MI 48375
Specialties: While known for its jewelry, this Woodward shop offers just as much to accent your home, including a fun selection of quirky frames and vases. The staff will even transform your idea into custom wall art with special twists of wire and beads.

116 E. Seventh St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Specialties: This very pretty store offers a variety of vignettes featuring furniture, bedding and accents to help you visualize shabby chic pieces in your own home re-do. There's even a section for nurseries and kids' rooms. Design services are available.

La Strada d'Eleganza
P.O. Box 537
Milford, MI 48381
Specialties: This family-run boutique offers French and Italian linens, tableware and themed accessories that perfect a room or the event you're planning. Gift baskets, floral design and interior design also are offered.

Mia Mahalo
470 S. Washington Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Specialties: Who says earth-conscious and style-conscious are mutually exclusive? Shop here for hemp bedding, earth-friendly furniture, candles and more.

Paris Deux
325 E. Fourth St.
Royal Oak, MI 48009
Specialties: This home version of its sister store down Fourth Street is a vintage home paradise. Imagine a carved vanity with tons of tiny drawers, elegant buffet tables, embroidered table linens and glassware, in addition to a wall full of vintage hats and a back room of dresses that couldn't fit in the shop on 112 Fourth St.

1000 Brush St.
Detroit, MI 48226
Specialties: Love your home for sentimental reasons, with bookends, home fragrance beads, candles and specialty clocks from this shop in Greektown's Atheneum Hotel.

621 S. Washington Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Specialties: If you're going for mod, you'd best come here. You'll see some '60s-inspired funky chairs and couches, but the highlights are in the humorous glassware, colorful tableware and fun wall art.

Sweet Peas
2006 Cole St.
Birmingham, MI 48009
Specialties: This boutique is a gem in Birmingham's emerging Rail District. It's a great source for antiques and accents for your own home, or a gift for someone else's. Don't forget to walk upstairs and check out the section dedicated to baby rooms.

Terry's Enchanted Garden
19338 Livernois Ave.
Detroit, MI 48221
Specialties: Enchant your living space with comfy accent pillows, lamps, calming candles, unique picture frames and beautiful houseplants.

Traditions Ltd.
120 N. Center St.
Northville, MI 48167
Specialties: Unique and fun home accents, from cabbage leaf placemats to brightly colored polka dot toss pillows and artistically decorated ottomans. Traditions is stuffed full of everything for the home; you'll need a good hour or two to sort through the collections of one-of-a-kind vases, knickknacks, furniture and accessories for any home decor.

Arts for the home

Anne's Crafts
110 N. Center St.
Northville, MI 48167
Specialties: Complete source for stencils; faux finish; and wood, furniture and glass painting supplies and classes. Anne's carries the state's largest selection of stencils, stencil paint, brushes and related materials. Stencil classes are available for those new to the art.

The Art Center
57 Macomb Place
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
Specialties: A gallery with fine art exhibits that change every few months, the center also carries cute items in its gift shop, such as glassware, ceramic pieces, paintings, and even knit hats and other wearable art.

Art on the Avenue
19132 Livernois Ave.
Detroit, MI 48214
Specialties: Focusing on African and African American art, the shop is stocked full of art from all over the world, including textiles, sculptures, furniture and more. A favorite among designers looking to create an eclectic and ethnically diverse look for clients.

Axiom Glass
1604 Clay Ave., 5th floor, Russell Industrial Complex
Detroit, MI 48211
Specialties: Andrew and Robert Madvin create colorful, one-of-a-kind glass art (Andrew's large glass flowers adorn many a hip lawn). The artists are available by appointment.

Dancing Eye Gallery

101 N. Center Street
Northville, MI 48167

133 E. Walled Lake Dr.
Walled Lake, MI 48390
Specialties: This shop represents a number of local artists in showcasing original tile works and other eclectic finds.

Detroit Antiques Mall
828 W. Fisher Fwy.
Detroit, MI 48226
Specialties: Yes, it's an antique store - with everything from furry hats to armoires - but if you keep your eyes open, you'll discover beautiful works of art - including frames, paintings, kitsch sculptures.

Detroit Custom Framing & Art Gallery
19571 Mack Ave.
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
Specialties: Bring the walls in your home to life with beautiful original oil paintings, or let this shop's experts frame the wonderful prints you've collected over time.

Sherrus Gallery of Fine Art
109 N. Center St.
Northville, MI 48167
Specialties: This new gallery features emerging national and international artists, collectors' art and custom framing. Sherrus specializes in oil and acrylics, sculpture and fine art glass.

Somewhere In Time Gallery & Custom Framing
21211 Mack Ave.
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
Specialties: Every type of art from spiritual to abstract - paintings, charcoal drawings, watercolors - but most pieces are less funky and more traditional in style.

Village Picture Framing & Art Gallery
1026 Monroe St.
Dearborn, MI 48124
Specialties: In Dearborn for 20 years, Village does custom framing but also carries unique pieces of art, from glass and sculpture to limited edition "flat art." Other offerings include lamps, wine stoppers, birdbaths, and raku-fired ceramics.

Consignment Bargain Box
510 S. Washington
Royal Oak, MI 48067

3671 Highland Rd.
Waterford, MI 48328

23330 Farmington Rd.
Farmington, MI 48336

506 S. Washington Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Specialties: This consignment shop offers a line of new furniture in addition to consignment pieces that range from art to antiques, major maker furniture, linens and accessories. Check out the Web site for an idea of what each store might be carrying right now.

Rescued Treasures
43584 Van Dyke
Sterling Heights, MI 43584
Specialties: Treasures, yes! Junk, no! If your home decorating funds never seem to stretch far enough or you've been searching endlessly for that one-of-a-kind chandelier and just can't find it, look no further. One of our visits found furniture, housewares, collectibles and even a piano.

Designers and Decorators

2:37 AM
Detroit, MI 48201
Specialties: A unique urban design team, specializing in high quality models and design/build projects.

Au Courant Interior Design
25943 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Specialties: These designers use splashes of color and various textures to add interest to the design.

Baker Street Draperies
33432 Oakland St.
Farmington, MI 48336
Specialties: Whether you're aiming for a room that matches a beloved collection or you seek funky ostrich-edged accessories, Baker Street can help you pull it together, from draperies to accessories.

Carlson Design Products
5283 S. Old US-23
Brighton, MI 48114
Specialties: Imagine walls of hardware, custom-designed mirrors and glass, and one of the most extensive selections of accessories outside a "big box" shop.

Conversation Pieces LLC
Farmington Hills (home business)
Specialties: Decorating made personal through the witty incorporation of personal style and collections.

Duez Amie Interiors
23839 McMillan Rd.
Warren, MI 48091
Specialties: This designer focuses on creating a comfortable space with cutting edge materials.

Long Bath Design Gallery
190 E. Main St.
Northville, MI 48167
Specialties: Long has been a mainstay of bath design for almost 30 years, offering everything from inspirational design vignettes to towels, rugs and mirrors.

Margeaux Interiors Inc.
1944 Cragin Drive
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Specialties: From art deco and contemporary looks to embellished elegance, this interior design company offers almost any look.

Paolina's Custom Draperies
6620 Cobb Drive
Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Specialties: Paolina's has been customizing Detroiters' homes since 1960. This husband and wife team creates stunning window treatments, linens and throw pillows using Old World craftsmanship. Luxurious Italian woven rugs are also available for purchase.

Spare Parts
33317 Grand River Ave.
Farmington, MI 48336
Specialties: If you love lace pillows and distressed antique furniture, let this decorator pull your home's shabby chic look together.

(home business)
Specialties: These partners help you rearrange the things you own, to create a home that looks like yours - only better.

Outdoor rooms: Gardens, plants and accessories

Glenda's Florist
40575 Grand River Ave.
Novi, MI 48375
Specialties: Perfect for out-of-the-ordinary items you need to complete your outdoor room, in addition to a wide selection of hanging plants, potted plants and flowers.

La Pergola Exterior Design
14051 W. 11 Mile Rd.
Oak Park, MI 48237
Specialties: Hidden on an industrial street is an oasis for your yard. Come here to have a classic custom arbor designed for your yard, or select terra cotta pots, Italian marble dinette sets, sun dials and more.

Terry's Enchanted Garden
19338 Livernois Ave.
Detroit, MI 48221
Specialties: Enchant your living space with beautiful houseplants.