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Design

Upper story

Good design moves to Detroit

Tree Wall coat racks by Michael Young.
Smoke Dining Chair by Maarten Baas.
Susan Cohn's stainless steel "Cohndom" box.
Ron Gilad's VaseMaker.
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Published 6/20/2007

Local design fiends will recall Mezzanine from its Main Street Ann Arbor location — an expansive showroom full of artful furniture and decor by mostly European designers (especially of the Northern and Scandinavian ilk, with a few American lines thrown in for good measure). Owner Joe Posch has recently relocated and set up fresh digs in Detroit's Comerica Park neighborhood. It's a hip, well-lit second floor space on the corner of Broadway and Grand River that will eventually house three separate shopping areas. The front room of the shop contains decorative accessories, furniture and lighting. By the Fourth of July, the second area will be stocked with books, design and culture magazines, an eclectic mix of music plus office accessories and stationery. The store's third and final room will open around Labor Day, showcasing a range of household items — tabletop and kitchen accessories, dinnerware and barware.

"I like clean lines, but not stuff that's overly minimalist," says Posch of Mezzanine's distinctive aesthetic. "I tend to be drawn to things that involve natural materials. Not necessarily 'warm modern,' but definitely 'down-to-earth modern.'" What exactly does that entail? On a recent visit to the new space, Posch showed off a few of his favorite things:

Elliptical stainless steel chain necklace. $600. Anodized aluminum earrings. $135. More like wearable art than mere adornment, these ultra sleek pieces were created by Berlin designer Carl Dau, whose materials of choice most often include stainless steel, silver and titanium.

Chiringuito Twister cocktail stirrers. $24. These eye-catching cobalt stirrers can be used alone or twirled together, "boy scout style," to blend drinks. "You rub them together like you're trying to start a fire," explains Posch. By Alessi of Italy.

Set of two tea infusers. $197. Looking more like a desktop sculpture than kitchen implement, these tea infusers are a Bauhaus design of the late '20s. By Otto Rittweger and Josef Knaus.

Wine Cooler. $80. A clever, stylish way to keep your wine cool, sans fridge. Just soak the terra cotta holder in water then place it over the bottle. The evaporating moisture will help it stay chilled. By Makkum.

Visser Sofa/Daybed. Starts at $3,700. One of Posch's personal favorites, this versatile piece comes with a movable armrest and can be easily transformed into a guest bed. Available in a range of fabrics and colors. By Netherlands designer Martin Visser.

Bigfoot Table. $5,420. "I love this whole line," says Posch. "This piece is solid European oak. It's architectural but rustic at the same time. It has an incredible aesthetic." By German designers Philip Mainzer and Florian Asche.

Stainless steel condom storage box. $49.50. Cheekily named the "Cohndom," this sleek container by Susan Cohn offers a 007-worthy way to tote your Trojans.

VaseMaker. $28. Transform anything that holds water — wine glasses, jars, bottles — into an instant single-stem vase. By Ron Gilad.

Tree Wall coat rack. Large, $443 or small, $357. White lacquered coat hangers offer a whimsical way to hang your hat or umbrella, trench and anorak. By Swedish designer Michael Young.

Bravoure Rug. $1,950. "Instead of emphasizing pattern, this company works with color and texture. This particular rug is all hand-tufted. It's super plush, like walking on a feather bed." By Netherlands designer Danskin.

Smoke Dining Chair. $1,678. "The pieces in this line are actually set on fire. After the flames are extinguished, the object is sealed with an epoxy. Every single one is different. What I like about this design is that it's a classic form but it's been mutated in such a way that it becomes really contemporary." By Netherlands designer Maarten Baas.

 

Mezzanine is on the second floor at 206 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit. Call 313-887-0900 or visit mezzanine-online.com.

Christina Kallery is a freelance writer. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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