A Cozy Corktown ‘Penthouse’ Features the Chicest Work-Play Space

In this month’s I Need My Space feature, we step into a local office, den, and guest room
work-play space corktown
Stacy Mulloy photographed in her work-play space in Corktown.

When Stacy Mulloy and her husband, Brian, were looking for a place to call home, they decided on Detroit’s Corktown. As the original destination for Irish immigrants to the city (including those fleeing the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s), the friendly area was named after Ireland’s County Cork.

“We were living in San Francisco and wanted to make our way back to where we grew up. Corktown has a real family feel, with multiple generations living here,” Mulloy says. She loves its openness and says there’s a common phrase used among its residents — “the Corktown 15,” which means, “add 15 minutes to anything you’re doing,” like running errands or grabbing a coffee, because you’re bound to stop and chat with neighbors and passersby, Mulloy explains. 

The building where the couple lives (at Bagley and Trumbull) was built in 1870. They bought it about nine years ago. “It had great bones, but man, did it have a mess going on inside,” recalls Mulloy, whose husband is a real estate developer. “The construction project was a labor of love.” The two moved in four years ago and live on the top floor (third story). “It’s our ‘penthouse,’ ” she says with a laugh. With 1,000 cozy square feet and a deck they use year-round that doubles their living space, their home literally seems to embrace them (and their three dogs). 

Located in their building are three apartments and six small businesses. “There’s a hairdresser, spa, oyster bar, vintage store, café, and optical boutique — all the amenities we need,” Mulloy says. She and Brian are in the process of building a new single-family home in north Corktown that they’ll eventually move into.

Here, Mulloy gives us a look at her favorite home-décor must-haves, in what she calls her “Jack-of-all-trades” room. The work-play space is her home office, den, and guest room, all wrapped into one.

A Closer Look at This Corktown Work-Play Space 

May we accommodate you?

A pull-out sofa bed with a Tempur-Pedic mattress and luxe bedding turns the room into an instant guest sanctuary.

Screen time

The Mulloys hired interior designer Anahi Hollis of Anahi Hollis Design, LLC, of Detroit, to make furniture pieces that are both functional and good looking. “It had to be modular and flexible,” Mulloy says, and we had to have a big screen for both work and for viewing movies. Her monitor can be turned in various directions for all kinds of work needs.
(Mulloy leads the direct-to-consumer merchandising team for 132-year-old workwear company Carhartt.) 

Fold here

Mulloy was super-efficient during COVID-19 lockdowns. “My desk takes up a small amount of space” and can fold up at the end of the day to make a shelf. She also has a computer printer shelf area built to exact specifications in her shelving system. The clean-lined leather desk chair, from West Elm, swivels and is on wheels so it can easily be moved
out of the space when needed.

Lasting leather

The easy chair and complementing sofa have been with Mulloy for 20 years. “You see a lot of history in them; they wear well over time.”

Under foot

The couple’s rug is from luluandgeorgia.com. “My husband picked it out.”

Book it

One wall brims with dozens of books, including Mulloy’s favorite reference tomes. Since she is a passionate gardener, her books cover such topics as herbs, spices, flowers, and gardening. “Keep Growing Detroit (an organization that promotes the concept that the majority of fruits and vegetables consumed by Detroiters are grown by residents within the city’s limits) got me involved in gardening and my community.”

Gotta have art

Mulloy loves color and picked up a large Fishtown (located in northwest Michigan’s Leland) painting by Greg Sobran while traveling Up North. “It has so many great colors in it.” She also is crazy about a pear-shaped black vase she found in Normandy, France. “My husband and I have a tradition of collecting art everywhere we travel so we can always reflect back, which has come in especially handy during COVID without being able to travel!” This particular piece says Toi et Moi (you and me) on it. ”How could I not love it?”

Drink up

A little bar set up on a couple of shelves in the built-ins flanking the sofa comes in handy when the work day is done.

Want to take a peek into more homes? Read our other I Need My Space features here