• The Story Behind The Gallery Name And Its Mural

    We’re often asked where The Gallery got its name.  The answer is simple:  “The Gallery” seemed fitting because public art was part of the development approval process. But with no parameters of what public art should look like, our only vague conception in those early days of development was that it should represent something about Ann Arbor. 

    And in those early days, people began to express interest in the building, including Barbara Murphy and Gavin Eadie who has given me to permission to share this story.  (Otherwise, we don’t divulge our buyer’s names.)

  • Pocket Offices: Big Uses for Small Spaces

    As the demand to maximize square footage has increased, pocket offices have become a big trend in new home design.

    Pocket offices are compact spaces that are ideal for managing household affairs or for working from home, and they're great places for plugging in computers, iPads and cell phones.

    Otherwise - unless a spare bedroom is available to convert to a home office - bills can pile up on the kitchen counter and all our electronics are plugged in wherever we can find a spot. Pocket offices are the solution for managing this "clutter" that we all have.

  • Great White Paint

    No doubt about it.  White is one of the hardest colors to choose.

    That's because white is highly reflective and what surrounds it can impact how it looks.  So can the time of day, the time of year, and the lighting.

    And then there's this:  white isn't a single color but a range of shades with a variety of undertones.  Benjamin Moore has over 150 shades of white!

    So how do you find a "neutral" white, one that has a nice balance of warm and cool tones without being slightly pinkish, yellowish, bluish, or greenish?

  • Towel Warmers: A Luxury To Love

    Baby it’s cold outside!  And when you step out of your morning shower, nothing takes the chill off quite like a warm, toasty towel or a heated robe. 

    These days, you don’t have to go to a 5 star hotel to treat yourself to such luxury.  All you need is a towel warmer in your bathroom. And it’s not such an extravagance as you might think.

    Towel warmers are available in many different styles, finishes and configurations.  They can be hard-wired or plugged into a wall.  

  • HERS: The Measure of Energy Efficiency

    “Energy efficient” has described homes for years.  But how could you determine what “energy efficient” really meant, much less how much savings it could mean to you? Thanks to the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, energy efficiency is now measurable. 

    Much like calculating MPG in a car, HERS is a nationally recognized system that analyzes energy performance in new homes or homes that undergo complete renovations.  Lower scores mean higher efficiency and greater savings.

  • The Savvy Woman Who Invented the Dishwasher

    On an ordinary day in the 1880's, a Shelbyville, Ohio woman took some dirty dishes and made history.  Josephine Garis Cochran was the first person to build a working dish-washing machine, succeeding where others had failed.

    Born in 1839, Josephine married a successful merchant in 1858.  They entertained frequently, and Josephine grew frustrated that her fine china was chipping.  Believing that the cause was harsh handling by those who washed it, she began washing the dishes herself but soon thought there must be a better way to avoid the drudgery of manual washing.

  • Gray Is Warming Up

    Gray continues to be the most popular color in homes, but the cooler tones are waning in popularity as being a bit too sterile, while the warmer tones are gaining favor.

    These are hues that blend earth tones with gray to create an inviting neutral that works well in any space.

    If you're considering going "greige" on your walls but aren't sure how to choose from the hundreds of colors, Benjamin Moore has some great advice along with some lovely colors.  

  • Cable Rail Adds Contemporary Flair To Stairs

    Cable rail is equally at home on at outdoor deck or on interior stairs where it creates a stunning design element. Posts and caps can vary to add additional interest.

    In this example, our clients paired painted posts and cap, white walls, and lightly whitewashed white oak floors to achieve the light, airy look they wanted.

    Especially in contemporary architecture - where clean, simple lines are fundamental - cable rail is a versatile alternative to wood.  And it never needs painting!

    - Betsy de Parry, VP, Sales and Marketing,