Downtown Indy Design Safari

The New Downtown: Downtown finally boasts drool-worthy design elements. Envy no longer: Lauded local interior designer Nikki Sutton plays tour guide for some of her favorite pieces—and how you can get the look.

This article is part of

Indianapolis Monthly’s The New Downtown package, which includes a guide to five hotspots, a few big city problems, and a look at what’s next for the city. For more content on navigating the new downtown, click here.

RCA Dome Fabric Lanterns


Where East 10th Street’s I-65 underpass

Who Storrow Kinsella Associates for the East 10th Street Civic Association, Indianapolis Fabrications

Sutton Says “This is my favorite repurposing of People for Urban Progress’s RCA Dome fabric.”

Get the Look Indianapolis Fabrications’s varied portfolio includes a custom bed frame and a BBQ trailer—a perfect hire for a one-of-a-kind element at home.

“Pipe Down!” Installation


Where Circa apartments

Who Kipp Normand, Nick Allman D+F

Sutton Says “This quirky mystery machine is comprised of an old air compressor and a tangle of corroded pipes, valves, and fittings that were salvaged from the Mitchel & Scott building.”

Get the Look Normand accepts commissions for “whimsical assemblages” that reimagine historic objects.

Merrill Street Platform


Where Cultural Trail in Fletcher Place

Who Luur for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

Sutton Says “Is it a bench? A sculpture? A ramp? Meh, who cares? Wedged in the middle of a charming pocket park, this sexy, dynamic little platform provides visitors a place to sit … or tilt.”

Get the Look Luur studio sells its furniture online and at its Carmel showroom.

Fire Station No. 7


Where Fort Wayne Avenue

Who Axis Architecture

Sutton Says “Axis was asked to scrap this design for fear its bold colors and modern form were not appropriate. A victory for good design in the city.”

Get the Look If you want to build an award-winning, innovative custom home, this is who you call.

The Vestibule at Union 50


Where 620 N. East St.

Who Phanomen/design, Centerline Studio

Sutton Says “This element cleverly communicates what is happening inside the restaurant while preserving the historic front facade.”

Get the Look Centerline makes custom architectural elements, such as staircases, tables, countertops, and shelving.

Indy Reads Books Counter


Where 911 Massachusetts Ave.

Who Nikki Sutton, Nick Allman D+F

Sutton Says “An exercise in resourcefulness. Nick—my fiance, incidentally—knocked my socks off by utilizing all of my free materials, like boxes of unsellable hardback books.”

Get the Look Nick Allman creates brilliantly detailed furniture and built-ins.