“Every day is a discovery,” Isabelle Weiss says of her home in the Method Development lofts at the Detroit Design District. “And I work an oatmeal bowl away from where I live. Indeed, the 33-year-old occupies a loft located just an elevator ride above her business, I.M. Weiss Gallery.
Located at the border between the city’s North End and Milwaukee Junction, the three-story building — formerly the Maurice Fox Ford sales and service station — features retail space on the first floor and 18 industrial-style lofts on the second and third floors.
Weiss’ gallery (previously known as Next:Space) supports Detroit artists and designers who create functional art objects. The gallery is on the first floor of the building and neighbors a clothing store, design firm, and comic book shop.
“I like the industrial atmosphere here,” Weiss says. “It’s close to everything, but off the beaten path.”
Here, we take a peek at her gallery (which was once a mechanic shop) and tour her loft, where every item has a story behind it.
An impressive tower sculpture (between the windows in the photo above) by Korean American artist Mary Kim, who graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, impresses.
“It’s my favorite color: red, Weiss says. “And [Kim has] created a sculpture using several pieces of wood in various shades of red that are all the same size.”
Vintage lamps and a chair (where Weiss is seated in the photo above) are from Marketplace Antiques Gallery in Detroit.
“I learned so much from Marketplace owner Marvin Nash about midcentury design,” Weiss says.
Also in this space are a Matt Eaton painting, two monoprints by artist Deborah Friedman, a thread necklace by Detroit artist Elizabeth Youngblood, and triangular mirrors from Ferndale design studio Alex Drew & No One.
Works by Cody Norman, a designer, self-taught engineer, and Cranbrook Academy of Art alum, also adorn the apartment. “I have the first lamp he ever made [called a Jellyfish Lamp] (in front of the bookcase in the photo above) and have been representing his work since he was just starting at Cranbrook.”
She also owns a planter, “M4_6” (under the plant in the photo above), and a vessel from Norman’s Turbulence series that she keeps on a shelf in her living room.
Please be seated
The LT chair (grey chair under the window in the photo above), made of aluminum and bent steel, is “super sculptural,” Weiss says. It was designed by Colin Tury of Midwest Common, a design studio located in Modern Development’s building.
Several Paula Schubatis pieces adorn the apartment. They include a mix of woven textiles, found materials, and more. “I have a collection of her pillows (on the green chair in the photo above) and cushions made from a wide range of materials, including recycled plastic bags, foam pellets, [and] reclaimed textiles,” Weiss says. She also has a Schubatis wall tapestry in her bedroom.
Weiss’ office (above) is within the gallery and is not separated by walls. Her desk sits in front of an old brick wall, on which she “left the old graffiti and a million layers of paint,” she says. “I chose to keep the industrial bones and even color-matched the paint to drywall. It’s an environment that speaks to our art objects that are born from this great industrial context of Detroit; we shouldn’t hide that.”
It grows on you
A vessel (on the gray shelves in the photo above), made by metalsmith and College for Creative Studies student Cassidy Kaufman, started as a flat sheet of metal that was then hammered into a form. “It has a very unusual patina, made with Miracle-Gro,” Weiss says.
The painting above the bed in the photo above is by Detroit artist Luke Mack.
The polished concrete flooring is original.
Rooms with a view
Through her apartment’s living room window is “the money view,” Weiss says. Looking west on East Grand Boulevard, she can see Chroma, the Fisher Building, and “some amazing sunsets.”