Summer School

Cranbrook Museum Triton PoolOver the summer I had some downtime during a wedding celebration in Birmingham, Michigan. My husband was in the wedding party, I didn’t know anybody, and I was in Birmingham, MI…

But somewhere in the far reaches of my brain I remembered that Cranbrook Academy was nearby.

Reed Krakoff, the  new director, states

“You probably know Cranbrook as a famous school of art and design, and you’re right. For more than 75 years, Cranbrook has been home to some of the world’s most renowned designers and artists. Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Daniel Libeskind, Michael and Katherine McCoy, and Jun Kaneko have all taught here, to name only a few. Our students have included Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Jack Lenor Larsen, Nick Cave, Tony Matelli, Niels Diffrient, Lorraine Wild, and Hani Rashid. It’s reasonable to say that the work emanating from Cranbrook in the 20th century changed the way people live, and the way they understand art and design.”

So while your mind goes to…Bertoia Side Chair


Eames Lounge Chair


… the buildings and grounds were actually designed by a man inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement- Eliel Saarinen.

It was incredible to see how a Finnish architect,and his wife Loja, who were so dedicated to pastoral beauty inspired a son so dedicated to modernism.Saarinen House Sign

Side view, Saarinen House, Cranbrook Academy

The tour guide sums up the home’s aesthetic perfectly-

“Saarinen House exemplifies Eliel Saarinen’s belief that every aspect of design should work in harmony—from the plan of a city to the architecture of a house and its smallest details—even the silverware pattern. By combining ideas from the Arts and Crafts Movement with more modern Art Deco elements, and through careful use of related colors and repeated geometric shapes, the Saarinens designed their house to be a total work of art.”

Each door has it’s own design. No surface is left unresolved.

Side door, Cranbrook Academy Campus

No photos are allowed inside the home but you can check out the official information here-

Interior Formal Dining Room, Saarinen House

Saarinen’s house is inspired beauty.

Demanding beauty, even in everyday cutlery or a painted interior of a closet, enhances our enjoyment of the moment.


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