Putting On a Show House – 30 days and counting!

You would think by April it would be dry, warm and sunny. Well it is dry and sunny, but it certainly isn’t warm. Lets hope within the next 30 days things take a turn for the better and we can put away our winter jackets.

I say 30 days because that is the time frame until the door of 15500 Windmill Pointe, our 21st Designers’ Show House, opens to the public. It has come around so fast, and we are still working hard on completing many projects and finalizing our list of events.

We have some great things going on, and over the next couple of weeks we will be sharing with you some exciting news, including:

  • Info about our first ever tiny house
  • The fabulous prizes we have for this years raffle
  • An update about some very exciting events, including a ‘Packard Prohibition Party’ on May 13th
  • News about our Market Place and café
  • A superb image of the house, created by a renowned artist

In the mean time, don’t forget about our Preview Party on May 6th, tickets are available for purchase by clicking here.

Stay tuned, 30 days goes by rather quickly and May 7th will soon be here – not long now!!

Written by Katie Doelle
© 2016 Junior League of Detroit


Putting On a Show House – A Room With a View

Where to begin? February came and went so quickly; even with an extra day this year we still could have done with more time to catch up on our many projects.

The opening day is getting closer; we are now just 9 weeks away from when the doors officially open on May 7th.

All the committees have been incredibly busy, and we have many great events to look forward to including ‘a first’ for the Designer’s Show House – a Tiny House. This will be located in the grounds of the show house and we are very excited given the popularity of tiny houses right now. We wait in anticipation to see how the small shed is transformed; it will certainly have a great view of the lake.

Since our last blog post the house has undergone many changes – the floors, heating system, electrics, plumbing and the kitchen have been transformed, and continue to be upgraded. The photo’s below offer a small glimpse as to the extent of the changes the house is currently witnessing. It is hard to keep up with the daily alterations, and I think we have all swallowed more than our fair share of dust.

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That said, the house is going to look superb and it is our pleasure to announce the 2016 Designers’ Show House room assignments’, welcoming some new designers and many old friends.

We are very excited by the plans these talented designers have for each and every room; all visitors to the show house will be guaranteed a room with a view, both inside and out.

Full details, room assignments and contact details can be found by clicking here.

In another exciting development advanced tickets are now on sale – purchase your tickets before May 6th to get them at the advanced price of $20 per person. Tickets during the event are $25 per person.

Stay tuned for the upcoming press releases, which will be appearing soon in the local media. We will be have details about the opening party on May 6th, updates on all the events that will be taking place at the house during May 7th – May 22nd, along with exciting news about a very special Packard weekend, May 13-15, including Packard vehicles on display and a Packard Prohibition Party on Friday, May 13.

For now, we can only hope the weather starts to improve and we can start working on the garden and transforming it into a beautiful lush lawn. After all a room with a view of the lake is a rather pretty one…a view of the diggers…not so much.

lake 2 Digger 2

Written by Katie Doelle
© 2016 Junior League of Detroit

Putting On a Show House – ‘You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Book’!

Happy New Year! We’re back and raring to go as we begin the countdown to the main event.

You might think we have been sitting back over the Christmas period with our feet up eating candy. Well, maybe a day here and there, but for the most part there has been a lot of meeting and planning, fueled by the odd glass of wine or two, all in name of the festive season of course.

Aside from preparing for our special events, generating plans for the new Marketplace and focusing on the Café (to be located in the original lower level Tavern Room), one of our biggest projects at the moment is planning the Program Book. This is always a key component to any show house and provides us with the opportunity to share information about the residence, profile the work of our wonderful designers, list our sponsors and make sure everyone is up-to-date with all that is going on.

Just before Christmas we had a meeting to start planning the format of the book, the numbers of pages and what goes where and when. As we sat finalizing the time line for production a little voice from the end of the table said “You’re gonna need a bigger book”! We continued to finalize the dates, and then we hear it again “You’re gonna need a bigger book”! It suddenly dawned on us this was indeed right. Given that we are inviting several landscape designers to showcase their work and we are promoting the event as the ‘Designer Show House and Gardens’, then we are indeed going to need a bigger book. Good job we discovered this now before we set sail and there was no turning back.

While the process of creating the program book continues, our thoughts this week turn to the designer’s breakfast. This event provides us with the opportunity to meet with the designer’s, to talk with them more about the event and gives everyone the chance to get to know each other. Over the coming months we will be seeing them a lot at the house as they begin transforming the rooms. Judging by the huge amount of work going on in the kitchen right now visitors in May will be in for a treat.

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JLDHistory[1]With any Show House sponsorship plays a huge part in our ability to hold the event. For over 100 years, many programs and projects serving the Metro Detroit community were spearheaded and/or initiated by the Junior League of Detroit in collaboration with community leaders, businesses and other non-profit organizations. The generous donations from our sponsors play a big part in making these projects happen. Just from this years event alone we anticipate hosting close to 10,000 visitors and hope to raise a quarter of a million dollars to return to the community.

If you would like to consider helping us continue our long tradition of serving the needs of children and families in the metro Detroit area please feel free to contact the Sponsorship Chairman, Lena Carlile, at 313-378-4113 or by email: lcarlile@wealthsp.com – Thank you! Full details can be found by clicking on the image to the left.

As we look forward in hope that spring is just around the corner, we would like to say thank you for reading our blog. Don’t go away, there will be more news coming soon, including updates on our designs, and by next month we will hopefully have determined just how big the program book needs to be.

Written by Katie Doelle
© 2016 Junior League of Detroit

Putting On a Show House – Its Sneak A Peek Weekend

As we race towards November and the holiday season we would like to take a moment to tell you about an event that is quickly approaching– Sneak A Peek Weekend, our first major event of the show house. And with a superb view like this, we don’t think you will be disappointed.


Since our last blog post, ‘Putting On a Show House – It’s Starting’, there has been a flurry of meetings, events and planning sessions, held at various locations around Grosse Pointe. Between the 2 chairs, the 3 sub chairs and the 18 committees that have the responsibility of putting this fabulous event together over the next 8 months, things are moving fast.

First up is the Sneak A Peek weekend on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15. The event provides a great opportunity to tour the home and “Sneak a Peek” at the undecorated house before the design work begins. Admission to Sneak A Peek” is $5 per person, purchased at the door, and street parking on Windmill Pointe Drive will be allowed for the event. The house is not wheelchair accessible, and does not have an elevator.

Aside from the tour of the house we will also have an area in the garage for visitors to purchase tickets for the DSH event in May, a ‘Deck the Halls’ gift area, featuring fresh wreaths and bows along with a Project EAT display.

Project Eat logo_red

Project EAT is the JLD’s community impact initiative that is made possible from proceeds from the Designers’ Show House. In its newest partnership with Humble Design, a local non-profit, the JLD is outfitting kitchens with essentials such as small appliances, pots and pans and utensils, for families who need assistance. Our Kitchen Kits help provide well-equipped kitchens to those in need so they can cook healthy food.

Sneak A Peek weekend promises to be an exciting event, the planning and preparation continues in earnest as we prepare to welcome the public into this fabulous home for the first time. From the major details of how many volunteers we need to staff the event to the minor details such as who has a car big enough to transport all the signage.

After the doors to Sneak A Peek close we turn our attention to the Afterglow Gala Party on Saturday, November 21st. The Afterglow gala party is an elegant evening featuring entertainment by Rennie Kaufmann, food, beverages and dancing. It promises to be a superb affair. So join friends, and family to kick off the holiday season in style. The party begins at 9pm, tickets are $77 online (including processing fee) and can be purchased here.


We look forward to seeing you over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more news coming soon!

Written by Katie Doelle
© 2015 Junior League of Detroit

Drawn to perfection

The first designer to complete their project for the 2016 show house is Lisa Amori, owner of Rainy Day Art and Framing Company. This fabulous illustration of 15500 Windmill Pointe Drive captures the house beautifully.

Lisa’s illustration of past show house’s are always high point of the event.

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Rainy Day offers custom framing, which is a major part to the business. With over 25 years experience, they will impart artistic flair to help you create a beautiful and unique framed piece, including: paintings, sports jerseys, photos, diplomas, children’s art and keepsakes.

For full details please visit: rainydayartco.com

Putting On a Show House – It’s starting!

It’s mid September, the kids are back at school and the crisp autumn weather is just around the corner. Here at the Junior League of Detroit we are already turning our attention to our 21st biennial Designers’ Show House.

DSH logo

Given that the main event doesn’t start until May 7th 2016, and time seems to move so quickly we have started early. We have already begun to plan our Sneak A Peek weekend, which takes place on November 14th and 15th, 2015.

The Sneak A Peek weekend provides an excellent opportunity for members of the public to see the house. People come to this event for a number of reasons, some come to focus on the architecture, while others come to see the empty rooms before the wonderful interior designers transform them.

The house is amazing, and those of us who have seen it are very excited by its history, layout and uniqueness. Located at 15500 Windmill Pointe Drive, Grosse Pointe Park, the house was designed by architects Benjamin and Straight in 1927 for American aircraft designer and VP of Engineering at Packard Motor Car Company, Colonel Jesse G. Vincent.


The 5,256 sq ft English Tudor style home features a unique canal that runs from Lake St. Clair to a dry dock under the living room, While we can neither confirm nor deny stories of rum running, we can point out there is a basement tavern room complete with a bar located just steps away from the boathouse.


The Junior League of Detroit hopes to take advantage of the individuality of the home to introduce several activities at the Sneak A Peek weekend. At this stage this is still in the early planning phase, but we hope to have more information to share with you in next months blog post.

In the mean time the planning and preparation continues, and aside from the Sneak A Peek weekend there is much to think about – but that’s the way we like it and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Every month we will be writing a blog post to share updates, stories, event news, and covering all that is entailed when it comes to ‘Putting on a Show House’.

Welcome to the Junior League Designers’ Show House, the journey starts here!

Written by Katie Doelle
© 2015 Junior League of Detroit