Find Cool Art for Your Walls (in Metro Detroit and Beyond)

Yes, it can be overwhelming, but I’ve got the scoop on a lot of talented artists who will bring life to your walls!  Why am I not suggesting you purchase prints from a store?  Once you get to know these artists, you’ll understand that it’s not only just about their beautiful work, but also who they are and what they stand for as human beings.  Side bonus: the beauty of working directly with an artist means that they are oftentimes open to custom inquiries and can create “perfect fit” sizes and schemes for your home.  I cannot possibly touch on everyone in one journal entry alone, so I would like to start by highlighting a range of mediums by six very special artists (in no particular order).  As good old Lamar from “Reading Rainbow” would say – don’t take my word for it!  Check out their websites and social media accounts for more!

Katie Bramlage, ceramic artist.  Web: Instagram: @_katiebramlage_

“Cavebaskets” by Katie Bramlage

Branding herself as a modern cavegirl, Katie’s ceramics are inspired by treasures “swept ashore” by Michigan’s Great Lakes.  Her one-of-a-kind totems have a humble yet elegant quality and can be purchased ready to hang or in separate pieces.  Katie offers workshops on totem-making if you’d like to get involved in the process!  Her hand-woven ceramic baskets and plates satisfy the tastes of bohemians and classicists alike and can be hung on a wall or used on your tabletop.  (And yes, she accepts custom inquiries.).  Vases, plates, and light fixture shades (yes, you read that right!) are also in her repertoire.

Not only is Katie a talented artist, but an authentically kind and giving person; I’ve always left our conversations feeling grateful, uplifted and inspired.  She sums it up best on her website with this sentiment: “I value quality craftsmanship, sharing knowledge, uplifting others, celebrating the imperfect, slowing down, being in nature, and the life.”  And yes, it’s all true.  I could barely believe it when Katie agreed to lend me a large chunk of her inventory for a table setting photoshoot upon meeting me for the first time!  Just like her work, she’s a rare and special find.  Find her Friday-Sunday at The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, Michigan.

Long White Beard Furniture. Web: Instagram: @longwhitebeardfurniture

Wall clock by Long White Beard Furniture

Started by Shelby Holtzman and Dan Erickson with the goal of creating heirloom-quality pieces, Long White Beard makes both residential and commercial furniture and furnishings.  But don’t be scared off by their breadth of project types; they take a very personalized approach and welcome custom inquiries. Their unostentatious design style leaves no room for hiding poor quality behind fussy details.  Indeed, the impeccable craftsmanship and usage of high-quality materials mean that their pieces will quietly outshine any flashy, inferior-quality items in the room. 

As far as wall art goes, products range from hangable, live edge cutting/charcuterie boards, to clean-lined wood and metal shelving, and elegant clocks, stained to showcase the natural beauty of the wood grain.  As business partners, Shelby and Dan take on different arms of the company, but it is clear that they share the same goal and passion for providing customized, high-end experiences and products for their clients out of their Ferndale, Michigan workshop. Stop into their showroom and check them out!

Ann Feldshue, fine artist. Web:

“The Meadow” and a piece from the “Botanamoeba” series by Ann Feldshue

Ann has been an artist her entire life and has worked with all painting mediums.  Now working primarily with acrylics, she creates both realistic and abstract works in her Dunedin, Florida studio.  If you find yourself in the Tampa/Clearwater area, you’re quite close to Dunedin, a quaint town and an artist’s oasis, full of studios and shops.  Ann’s showroom is open to the public on weekdays, and she has arranged her building to serve as studio and gallery space for several other local artists as well.  Ann will great you with a smile, an easy laugh, and maybe you’ll get lucky and meet her cute pug, Marvin. 

Her wide range in styles means that she has something for every taste; she has done trompe l’oeil on walls, faux finishes on furniture that you’d have to touch to believe for yourself, portraits, stills, landscapes, and a lovely array of abstract and playful artwork, such as her “Botanamoeba” collection (if you’ve been following me on social media, you have seen two of her Botanamoeba paintings in my client’s kitchen.  Ann welcomes custom inquiries, but if you need some inspiration, check out her studio and past commissions.  Don’t be shy – she isn’t!

Krane Home by Sharon Lee, textile designer and fine artist. Web: Instagram: @kranehome

This image pictures “Gingham Jungle” in Jade Wallpaper, “Monkeys and Pomegranates” and “Tigers and Wildflowers” original paintings/prints, and “Painted Wave” in Celadon fabric on the table, all by Krane Home

Trying to decide between making a statement with wallpaper, drapery panels, or framed art?  Krane Home sells all of the above!  And I’d argue that you can and should incorporate all three rather than picking just one!  Sharon is inspired by her Korean American heritage and looks to traditional Korean forms when creating her modern designs that are in her words, “timeless and classic.”  And I couldn’t agree more!  She sells both original paintings and art prints directly from her website, but also takes on private commissions.  Her wallpaper is meticulously hand-screened onto clay coated paper, meaning that it is breathable and acceptable in bathroom applications and easy to remove!  Don’t believe me?  Check out the both the bathroom tour and wallpaper removal videos.

Sharon is based in Santa Monica, California, and while her designs are evocative of a more temperate climate, they are certainly welcome in and translatable to the Midwest.  She has floral, gingham, and basketweave patterns for the traditional Midwestern palate.  Feeling like branching out a bit?  Banana leaves, monkeys, tigers, and pineapples can be found in her patterns as well!  I for one am in full support of it all!  In the longer winter months, us Midwesterners need reminders of days when the breeze is warm, and the sun is beckoning.  Furthermore, Sharon’s designs are a reminder that all art has cultural influence, and all art is welcome for everyone to enjoy.  Not only should our homes be places of beauty and respite from the world, but also spaces where we continue to learn and grow.  On a personal level, Krane Home products give me the opportunity to do just that.  Please take time to check out her website, and if you’re not a local to Santa Monica, take a virtual tour of her studio.

Jennifer Stefanek, fine artist. Web: Instagram: @thepicadillyproject

“A Vibrant Start” by Jennifer Stefanek

The first time I saw Jen’s work, I was walking around an art fair, distracted by my busy toddler.  When I saw Jen’s booth, I did both and mental and physical double take.  I made my husband and son turn around so I could get a closer look at Jen’s paintings.  Reading her website later, my experience of her work was exactly as she describes herself as an artist, “…capturing the beautiful details of the world around me, spending time lingering in the intricate details of a moment in time…” The saturated color and textural quality of oil and cold wax on canvas bring a vibrancy to Jen’s floral paintings that command attention and invite the observer in for a closer look at the beauty in each brush stroke.  While this medium is her main focus, Jen also produces peaceful landscapes and stunningly realistic graphite and colored pencil drawings.  She also welcomes inquiries for private commissions

As with Katie, Jen shocked me with her generosity and trust the first time we met when she lent me two of her original paintings to take to a client’s home.  And her florals are so impactful that my client immediately fell in love and bought one of them on the spot!  Make sure you check out her website and Instagram account to see Jen’s unique round compositions as well!

Willa Rose Floral by Julia Griffin, floral designer. Web: Instagram: @willarosefloral

Dried Floral Wreath by Willa Rose Floral

Both a cut flower farm and floral design studio in Detroit, Michigan, Julia provides locally grown floral designs for a variety of events and weddings.  She incorporates rare and unique flowers grown on her Core City, Detroit farm along with plants from other local flower farms.  The result is a truly organic and ethereal manifestation that will leave you feeling like you just walked out of a dream.  Think I’m overreacting?  Check out her extensive portfolio

So what does her business have to with providing art for your walls?  Being committed to preserving nature at every step in the process, Julia also offers workshops that use her dried flowers to create beautiful one-of-a-kind wreaths and pressed flower framed art.  I attended one of her workshops with a dear friend back in December, and not only was it a fun girls’ afternoon (with brunch and bubbly included!), but I returned home with a lovely wreath to hang and a new skillset (I discovered that I love floral tape!).  It’s pretty awesome that artists like Julia give you the opportunity to create art of your own, especially with her expertly grown and dried blooms and greenery!

I want to thank you for committing yourself to learn more about each of these artists.  Ponder on this: their creations are acts of love toward humankind because they choose to share these pieces with us.  I would like to thank them all for expanding our minds and enriching our world.  If you are reading this and are an artist that I didn’t feature, know that I am speaking to you as well!  Now to my clients out there: will you accept this generous offering and fill your home with works of art? I’d love to help!

  • Jen Stefanek
    Posted at 15:57h, 11 February Reply

    Thank you so much for including me in this thoughtful journal entry!

    • Margaret
      Posted at 11:41h, 18 February Reply

      My pleasure, Jen! Thank you for your work!!

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