Homeward Bound

Former domino Editor-in-Chief Michelle Adams sets roots in her home state — and shares her expert advice with couples decorating their first home

Former domino editor-in-chief and founder of The Maryn, Michelle Adams, in her Ann Arbor home with her dog, Rufus. Photography by Marta Xochilt Perez

FOR EIGHT YEARS, Michelle Adams spent most of her days writing about home design, renovation trends, and emerging interior designers and artists. After all, as editor-in-chief of the wildly popular shelter magazine, domino, Adams was tasked with creating a magazine that showcased the best in casual, yet wholly sophisticated interior design that was easy, comfortable, and above all, stylish.

But after nearly a decade of living in New York City, living deadline to deadline, Adams decided to leave the Big Apple — and, for the moment, the magazine industry — and set down roots near her parents’ home in Ann Arbor. “I was on the road for seven months at a time working on photo shoots, editing stories,” says the Michigan State University graduate. “I never had the consistency I wanted in my life.” After searching online real estate listings, a small, circa-1920s bungalow in disrepair located in the Burns Park neighborhood caught her eye. “There was such a good vibe in this house,” she says. “Great bones, nice architectural details, and, in some ways, it was a blank canvas.”

Finally able to put to work all of the design tricks, tips, and renovation advice she’d gleaned over the years during her post at domino, Adams began renovating the home and, after four months, wrapped up the new design. Having put what she learned into motion in her renovation, Adams was ready to bring her unique personal style to consumers via The Maryn, an online boutique that features a carefully curated line of home décor and furnishings. “The vibe of the store is causal living with an influence by the sea,” she says. “It’s livable, but also sophisticated.” Full of pieces found via estate sales, antique markets, buying shows, and her travels around the world, The Maryn is Adams’ way of bringing her personal style to the reader she once informed of interior design news years ago. “I watched trends come and go for so many years as an editor,” she says. “The Maryn is about classic, timeless designs that stand the test of time.”

With years of editorial experience and a recent home renovation of her own, Adams is the perfect source for couples registering for and decorating their first home together. Here, she shares her tips and picks from her new online boutique, The Maryn.


Stick to the classics
Steer clear of trendy items and instead register for timeless decor (rather than pieces you’ll be sick of in 10 years).
Lafayette clear wineglass, $11, at themaryn.com.


Lighting is key
A home lit only by overhead lights can start to feel like a doctor’s office, so be sure to space lamps evenly throughout each room. Since they can be pricey, it’s helpful to register for a few.
Anderson lamp, $600, at themaryn.com.

Don’t forget the walls
Nothing makes a home feel decorated quite like art. Register for pieces that are personal to you, and don’t worry about any “rules.” If you like it, anything goes.
Fig Plant by Kate Roebuck for Artfully Walls, $170-$283, at themaryn.com.
Amp up the textiles
In theory, you’ll only have one opportunity to register for your home, so be sure to choose textiles that will go the extra mile. Crisp sheeting, high quality towels, and plush throws are staples that you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Trio indigo standard pillowcases, $51, at themaryn.com.
Choose solid dinnerware
Patterns and colors that are popular now will surely be out of style in the next five years, causing a home to quickly feel dated. When choosing dinnerware and serving pieces, I recommend registering for solid neutrals that can stick around even as your style evolves.
Abbesses large plate with blue rim, $19, at themaryn.com.