15 Interiors Every Design Lover Must See in Person
Saarinen House, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
“Saarinen House is Eliel Saarinen’s Art Deco masterwork and the jewel of Cranbrook’s architectural treasures. Designed in the late 1920s and located at the heart of Cranbrook Academy of Art, Saarinen House served as the home and studio of the Finnish-American designer Eliel Saarinen—Cranbrook’s first resident architect and the Art Academy’s first president and the head of the architecture department—and Loja Saarinen—the first head of the weaving department.” — Julie Fracker, director of communications at Cranbrook Academy of Art and Art Museum
The African Meeting House, Boston, Massachusetts
“The African Meeting House, circa 1806, in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood is the oldest existing Black church built by Black artisans, and it conveys the story of the abolitionist movement as the embodiment of social change. The beautifully restored space is owned by the Museum of African American History, and has unique elliptic-shaped interiors, balcony, and pew seats. The interior colors are a muted soft golden yellow and white, with rich walnut wood tones on the original floors. As visitors move through this [space], they will hear creaking floorboards and see sunlight streaming inside for an unparalleled experience with our past and present.” — Brent Leggs
Graham Court Apartments, New York, New York
“The building that my husband and I have called home for the last decade—Graham Court Apartments in Harlem—is historically, culturally, and architecturally significant; a piece of New York City history that looks like it’s been pulled from a time capsule. Built at the turn of the 19th century—commissioned by the William Waldorf Astor, and designed by notable architecture firm Clinton and Russell—this building has seen such an incredible amount of cultural change in over 100 years of its existence.
“The building played an important part of the Harlem Renaissance. In the 21st century, there has been a second cultural upheaval of sorts, but this time in regards to the gentrification of the neighborhood—unfortunately, not unlike many original New York neighborhoods, lots of original tenants and families have been slowly pushed out.
“In regards to the grandiose architecture, the original Guastavino mosaic tiles still sit in every exterior entryway. The flooring is also hand-cut mosaic tile, and there are lights that nod to the original Tiffany fixtures. It’s a building that appears to have been pulled straight out of the turn of the century. It’s also been the backdrop for such films as American Gangster, Jungle Fever, New Jack City, and Sugar Hill.” — Dawn Roberson, executive director, Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA)