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BY Sharon Gittleman
ROYAL OAK – When it comes to creating beautiful homes, gays and lesbians have a long tradition to uphold. Where can you turn to find the most exciting accessories that will keep you a la mode –
Right in your own hometown.
At ChoZen By BC, fragrance is the Next Big Thing.
“You try to appeal to all the senses,” said owner BC Cabangbang. “You have sight, you have textures and your home is attractive-looking. Then you have scent. Your home should be appealing and inviting.”
Fragrance can add a “Top Chef,” touch to your abode even if the closest you come to a homemade meal is the carry out counter at your local diner.
“I have gingerbread and apple pie candles and one that smells like croissants,” he said.
Diffusers are another option.
“You put it in a vessel with some alcohol. When the room gets warm it will naturally expand. It’s more natural,” he said. “There’s also home fragrance you spray.”
You can choose anything from exotic flowers to clean fresh scents, he said.
Lamps are also popular with ChoZen patrons, he said.
“It’s like jewelry for the home,” he said.
A polish-free nickel surface is one finish choice. Crystal is another favorite, said Cabangbang.
“Eco-friendly,” is the byword at Contempo Home in Ferndale.
“We have an ethanol burning fireplace, with no chimney or venting required. They are made out of stainless steel,” said owner Keith Priemer.
Towels fashioned from bamboo fibers is another environmentally gentle item. Soy candles are also on the shelves.
“They are cleaner and longer burning and throw off a stronger scent than paraffin,” he said.
Trends aren’t what draws customers to Contempo Home, said Priemer.
“Our pieces are unique,” he said.
Handmade items are a popular choice at the store.
If you’d like your rooms’ accessories to reflect a unified style, but you don’t have the time or talent to put it together you can call on Contempo Home for help, said Priemer. The store offers consulting and design services.
Another nearby shop can help you narrow down your decor selections.
Africa is BeautifulHome owner’s Violeine Oliver’s inspiration
“I think if you’re looking to update your home and make sure it reflects your personality, the store is perfect, because everything is made and comes from the Ivory Coast,” she said.
One of a kind furniture constructed from exotic teak or mahogany wood is the store’s specialty, she said.
“It comes from the earth,” she said. “It’s so beautiful, you don’t need to do much with it.”
You’ll find chairs, coffee tables, shelves, and accent pieces with clean simple lines, at BeautifulHome.
“I also sell African art and home accessories,” she said. “I have a little bit of everything – baskets, fabrics and contemporary statues and wooden vases.”
BeautifulHome designs fit in with any decors, she said.
Blending patterns is a good decision, especially when it comes to mixing old and new, said R2 Home owner Gwenn Rosseau.
“Dont have everything matchy matchy,” she said. “Like, maybe a really modern stainless steel bowl with an Asian tabletop statue. Think of contrasts, with something modern, clean and shiny and something with a bit of a patina and texture – pieces that have a little roughness with a little smoothness. It shows the yin and yang of things.”
Black accessories are another eye-catching possibility, she said.
“It looks more modern,” she said. “Itis interesting.”
Whether your fancy runs to crystal lamps or wooden chaise longues, you’ll find works of art for your home at these LGBT-friendly stores.
ChoZen by BC is located at 120 W. Fourth St., in Royal Oak. Hours: noon – 6 p.m. on Mon., noon – 9 on Tues., and Wed.; noon – 10 on Thurs., and Fri., noon – 11 p.m. on Sat., and 2-5 p.m. on Sun.
Contempo Home’s address is 255 W. 9 Mile Rd., in Ferndale. Hours: noon – 4 p.m., Sun.; closed on Mon., noon – 7 p.m., Tues. – Thurs.; noon – 8 p.m., on Sat.
BeautifulHome is at 22963 Woodward Ave., in Ferndale. Hours: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Tues. – Sat.; noon – 5 p.m. on Sun.; Closed on Mon.
R2 Home can be found at 22941 Woodward Ave., in Ferndale. Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Mon. – Fri.; 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sat.