Volume 3 Issue 1
Coming Up Next- Novi Home Improvement Show Featuring ASID MI Designers
Opportunities to volunteer and GROW your clientele! 

"Ask an ASID Designer"  

"Ask a Designer" is featured again at the annual HBA's Novi Home Improvement Show, January 23-25, 2015.  


Visit for more information on the show. Venue: Suburban Collection Showplace.


The Home Show Committee coordinates the concept, design, and installation of a 40'x20' booth space where ASID volunteers will be on hand to provide FREE 15 minute consultations to potential clients. The Home Builders Association draws a crowd of over 20,000 consumers that are interested in remodeling their homes and learning about products and services. Through consultations and explaining why someone should hire an ASID designer, many volunteers have earned new clients in past shows.

Our 2015 booth design concept includes 4 living room vignettes, each representing a different style, where clients can learn more about their tastes while talking with a professional. Industry Partners; RJ Thomas & Marie Howard from the Michigan Design Center, BoConcept of Birmingham and Scott Shuptrine in Royal Oak will be represented.

We need volunteers! With a day and half of set-up, three full days of the show, and coordinating the 4 stylized vignettes - we'd like to expand our committee and fill shifts for the weekend show.  


Contact a committee member today to get involved. Sign up to volunteer by using this google link:



Linda Shears: 248-877-3994, Dwane Adle 248-224-3777, Tina Rossi (inside the Ann Sacks showroom), Rebecca Luckhardt: 248-930-9492, and the ASID Office, Debbie: 248-649-6770.


Special Memorial Service to Celebrate a Late and Dear ASID Designer



Please plan to join ASID MI in celebrating Linda's accomplishments and contributions to our design community on February 1st. 


We ask that if you plan to attend, please bring a dish to share with the group and a story to tell about how Linda impacted your life or design career. 


If you have questions about how you might be able to contribute to this event in other ways, please contact a board member about ways that we are seeking help to put on this event. 


(contact information can be found at the base of this email)


A Note From Your President
Cynthia Hensice, ASID



One of our new Industry Partners are inviting designers to a Focus Group January 17 at their facility on Stutz Avenue.  Their Showroom is across from the Michigan Design Center and showcases contemporary Italian and German companies specializing in closets, bath suites and kitchens.  They are interested in bringing the Designer and Supplier together to discuss different strategies in having the designer/supplier business profitable for both.  This is a good avenue for Independent Designers to see if a relationship can be formed, and on what terms.  Emerging Professionals can respond to listen to the discussion if seating allows.  Please email by January 5 with your interest and a brief sentence why you should be selected.

As President, one of my core beliefs that will strengthen the Society is the communication between our different member categories.  The time is scheduled for 4:00, let us know if that is convenient or would 6:00 be preferred.



You may have noticed via the email that we decided to cancel the Holiday Gathering.  It was a difficult decision as many look forward to getting together in a festive setting.  Inadequate attendance forced the decision.  Some called our Office after it was cancelled, very disappointed as they were planning to come, but didn't RSVP.  I, too, have been guilty of waiting to the last minute, however, when a Vendor is spending $1500.00 on food alone and the attendance doesn't warrant the cost, this is what can happen.   Let's try to be more considerate in the future,  these functions take a tremendous amount of energy from volunteers.  

We also acknowledge we should have the functions placed in the Calender much further in advance.  All you Industry Partners out there, we enjoy celebrating together, call or email us as soon as your schedule permits, for your slot next year, letting us know you are interested will insure this disappointment doesn't occur again.



Our Office had a renovation about nine years ago, time for CHANGE.  Even if we only add a few pieces and rearrange existing furniture, would you like to assist on the Committee?  Emerging Professionals, Allied, Industry Partners and Professionals are invited to respond.  We would like to send you some of our Wish List and let those creative juices begin.  We have a big rectangle, so the sky if just about the limit.  No we won't be putting in sky lights, we however think it's time to showcase the business we are good at - creative design!  Email us today, we will begin meetings in late January.


I hope everyone is enjoying the Season and not getting into too much stressful traffic, shopping, or deadlines.     


If you are and have a great seasonal recipe, share it with us.  To get us started, I just found out one can take a half gallon of vanilla ice cream, let it melt and add your rum!  Easy and good! 



A Note From Your President Elect
Jeff Kolp, Allied ASID


Hello Members,

   I hope that you all are enjoying the Holiday Season. With the New-year approaching we have some new and exciting things in the works. We are searching for committee members and volunteers to participate in some of our events and projects such as our Annual Design Awards and the Novi Home Show. We greatly appreciate your help and any time that you can contribute to these events. Please feel free to contact any of our board members if you would like to volunteer your time.


   With the events that we have planned throughout the year we would like to see more of an attendance. Please remember to RSVP to events so that we can have an accurate estimate of how many guests will be attending. We are always looking forward to seeing each and every one of you to discuss current projects that you may be working on or just to chit-chat. Remember that there are members and Industry Partners that can all contribute as resources to help assist you in completing your projects.

If any of you should have questions, comments or suggestions please know that we are open and willing to take all of these into consideration. I wish a Happy New Year to you all.


A Note From Your Member-At-Large
Tina Rossi, Allied ASID


   The ASID Michigan Chapter would like to introduce a new industry parter Michael Alessio of Alessio Custom Interiors.

   Mike is a true craftsman with extensive experience in renovations, kitchens and baths, wine cellars and unique cabinetry and millwork.  He has jumped right into our chapter volunteering to manufacture and donate materials for our booth at the Novi home show this year.  The structure will be portable, reusable and proudly display the ASID logo.  Thank you Mike! There is still time to sign up for a an opportunity to be apart of this annual event! Meet other designers and promote your business! See you January 23-25.


A Note From Your Membership Director
Christina Bliss, Allied ASID


  Its a new year, and like every year before, I look forward to better things.  Mostly better things tend to happen; however, what makes this year special is I truly hope to be a part of those things. Whether I am fortunate to be at the helm or if I am only able to support these things is yet to be known.  As a part of my new years resolution, I would like to share these discoveries with everyone in the design community.  Please check the events calendar on the ASID Michigan website to see happenings in the Metro Detroit area.  Experience something new, discover something old, expose yourself to the best, most interesting things Michigan has to offer. 

A Note From Your Emerging Professional Director
Korinne Ishmel, Allied ASID


   Growing up in school our classroom environment has changed over the years.  We went from chalkboards to dry erase boards, from the old overhead projectors with the film paper to smart boards with interactive displays. For a long time, however, one thing seemed to stay the same - homework! We listened to the teacher/instructor at school, took notes, watched demonstrations, and they assigned homework which we were to do at 'home'. Change is on the horizon! I just wanted to share a little bit of an interesting article I recently read from our winter issue of ASID ICON. It was written by our National Chair, Stephanie Clemons and was entitled "Classrooms Offer a Glimpse at Design Future". It shared the concept of flipping the classroom. That means students will be listening to lectures and reviewing online material at home and working on their assignments in the classroom with help from other students and instructors. This flipped classroom structure also has to have design that supports the new learning style. That would include using wireless technology and mobile furnishings to support more collaboration. 


To read more about this new design concept and its rewarding benefits, check out page 2 of the winter 2014 issue of ASID ICON.

Member Spotlight: Thomas Grabowski, FASID
Below are some fascinating thoughts from our distinguished member. He was also awarded the Linda Thomas Memorial Award last last year by our 2014 ASID MI Board of Directors

   One day when I was a pre-school and my mother asked me to take the doilies off the furniture in the living room and throw them down the clothe shoot.  I promptly threw them into the toilet and flushed.  That was my first comment on interior decoration.  Then, I was the kid sitting on the curb in front of our house arranging twigs, popsicle-sticks, pebbles and other debris that accumulated at the sewer, fashioning them into spaces with make believe furnishings within the spaces.  Indoors, in the basement, I'd use building blocks, Lincoln logs, cardboard and balsa wood creating walls of spaces with furnishings within.  That was my first attempt at space planning and construction.  My grandmother taught me how to sew and crochet.  Yes, I made doll-clothes.  I was extremely artsy-craftsy.  Also, like many of us designers-to-be, my parents indulged me in re-arranging the furnishings in our home from time to time, and partake in decisions in purchases of home furnishings.

   Art classes were always my favorite in school.  In high school I was selected as one of three students from each public school in Detroit to attend Saturday morning painting and drawing classes at the DIA.  By junior year I had pretty much exhausted the art class offerings at my high school, thinking that commercial art might be for me.  I had also taken some drafting classes, liked them and thought perhaps I should consider architecture.  Then I saw a class offering called interior decorating, being held in the homemaking department.  I took it...  This was the first year, 1965, that the J.L. HUDSON CO. sponsored an interior decorating competition for Detroit high school students. Our class project was to enter the competition.  The article headline in THE DETROIT NEWS, the day after the awards presentation read:  BOY BEATS 900 GIRLS, WINS INTERIOR DECORATING PRIZE.  My award was the choice of either $500.00 in home furnishings or a one year paid tuition to any university in Michigan offering interior design.  How lucky can a guy be????  The following summer I was invited to work in the Hudson's downtown studio for one day, gratis.  I did, met with the director, was encouraged to attend MSU and there would be an interior design position available to me (no interview required), upon receiving my degree.  WOW!  There I was, not quite seventeen years old and I had a job waiting for me after college....

   I've been an interior designer for forty-five years.  Most of my career was spent at HUDSON'S then its' successors.  Ten years ago, when it became MACY'S I took early retirement and started my own business, GRABOWSKI DESIGNS.  Presently my practice consists mostly of consultations for repeat clientele and their referrals.  I am basically now semi-retired.  As long as my phone rings and emails arrive with requests for my service, I will continue to work.  When I began as a young interior designer I never fathomed that this would be a good job in my senior years, but it works for me, and I love it!

   I was a student member and officer of the MSU AID chapter.  (AID was one of the predecessors of ASID.)  In 1975 I became an associate member of ASID and worked on the program committee due to the encouragement of my friend Brian Collins ASID (now FASID).  I sat for and passed the NCIDQ exam in 1977 and became a professional member of ASID.  Brian Collins has continued to be my inspiration for ASID involvement and I have followed his lead, and times worked in tandem, in the roles we've played on ASID chapter level and on the national level.  We have both been awarded fellows membership (the "F") and both recipients of the Linda Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award.  These are honors of great esteem.  I am forever grateful to Brian for egging me on.

   What is my favorite part of ASID membership?  Oh the people I've met, the places I've been, the events I've enjoyed, the things I've learned, the life-long friendships I've acquired, is all that I like best!  Amongst my favorite things is people like Linda Thomas, ASID; workhorse who unrelentingly served our chapter and CIDR with her talents and endurance, an inspiration to all who knew her.  And, Dianne Offer, ASID, my friend who patiently mentored me in starting my own business. I have been fortunate to have worked with many of our local chapter members, members on the national level from across the U.S.A. when I served on the national board, and people from the U.S.A. and Canada when I served on NCIDQ's board as V.P. of exam development.  ASID offered me the opportunity to work and grow and my rewards in return have been awesome!  Twenty-one years ago I even met my wife on a blind date that was arranged by our then chapter administrator.

   Client appreciation is the most satisfying part of my job.  Knowing that I have worked with them in producing an environment that makes their lives more functional, more attractive and improves their psyche, this I find most rewarding. 

   The most challenging part of my job is finding just the right product to satisfy the design requirement.

My favorite project is when the client comes to me with some sort of inventory, a history, things that are meaningful and pleasing to them.  I then have the givens to build on to create a more pleasing interior.

Mario Buatta, "The Prince of Chintz", is the designer I admire most.  He's entertaining.  He makes me laugh.  And, when I look at photos of his work I am less critical of what I see than when I look at the work of other "well- known" designers.

   ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST is my preferred trade magazine.

Lastly, students, respect your teachers.  Even if you think their agendas include matter that is more than you think you need to know, pay attention, i.e. structural, technical facts.  You do need to be able to communicate intelligently with architects and tradespeople, understanding what can and cannot be accomplished and why.  Be prepared to be able to communicate with your clients (programming) and be able to sell your design, work with them to solve their problems in creating a better safer environment.


This is an image of a living/dining room of one of my Bloomfield Hills clients. I worked long and hard to get them to add some color to the walls. Once it was done they absolutely loved it!

Here's to the bright new future of ASID Michigan.


Your 2015 Board of Directors

President Cynthia Hensie, ASID
President Elect Jeff Kolp, Allied ASID
Member at Large Tina Rossi, Allied ASID
Membership Director Christina Bliss, ASID
Financial Director Rebecca L. Luckhardt, ASID Industry Partner
Professional Development Director Cynthia A. Hahn, Allied ASID
Communications Director Brittany Walsh, Allied ASID
Emerging Professional Director Korinne Ishmel, Allied ASID
Student Representative to the Board Eitan Mendelson, Student ASID

Quote of the Month
Brought to you by: Brittany Walsh

"We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential." 
Ellen Goodman


In This Issue
Quick Links
Upcoming Events

Upcoming events are posted to our website and social media DAILY! Keep watch for information on upcoming CEUs, networking opportunities and more!

Save the Date 
The Linda Thomas Memorial is scheduled for February 1st. 
Please plan to attend and being a dish and story to share to celebrate Linda's life.

Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn   
American Society of Interior Designers - Michigan Chapter | 248.649.6770 | Email us |

1700 Stutz Drive
Suite #102E
Troy, MI 48084

ASID: The Core of the Design Community

Copyright � 2014. All Rights Reserved.