With expertise in commercial and residential construction, Sabrina Buchanan has excelled as the owner and operator of BASE Designs in Troy, Michigan, since 2020. Day-to-day, she is responsible for collaborating with architects on construction drawings, curating choices for flooring and other materials, designing furniture layouts, preparing or obtaining detailed renderings, presenting to clients, and managing projects. Ms. Buchanan’s design brand motto is “diverging from the norm,” as she takes pride in her unconventional approach and ensures that her work stands out against the field.
Ms. Buchanan was recognized by the Detroit Design Awards in 2023 for her design work on ZANA, an innovative restaurant concept she executed for The Tallulah Group. She earned first place in the Best Restaurant and Bar Design category and received an honorable mention in both Hour Detroit Magazine and SEEN Magazine for her work on ZANA. In preparation for her career, Ms. Buchanan attended Michigan State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 2000.
As a mother and committed member of her community, Ms. Buchanan contributes much of her time away from work and resources to support her children’s schools as well as schools in other nearby districts. She also participates in auctions, hosts luncheons, and makes donations to benefit students in need. Further, Ms. Buchanan enjoys creating memories with her family, traveling, cooking, and playing tennis.
Sharing a close bond with her father, Ms. Buchanan considers him to be her first mentor. As a child, she accompanied her father wherever he worked and absorbed knowledge from him like a sponge, laying the foundation for her expertise in spatial planning. Now, Ms. Buchanan’s father is a prominent commercial developer in Birmingham, Michigan, and owns an extensive property portfolio across the state. In addition to her father’s involvement in the real estate business, Ms. Buchanan’s husband works in industrial real estate and owns a car dealership. Moreover, she is the designated interior designer for all the properties owned by her family.
Throughout her career, Ms. Buchanan has successfully delivered high-level work on numerous projects. Among her achievements, she considers her design efforts for ZANA to be her most gratifying to date. The project consisted of transforming a 10,000-square-foot space, which previously housed another restaurant, into an environment befitting ZANA’s contemporary American and European-influenced cuisine. When Ms. Buchanan completed the aesthetically impressive project, the restaurant had barrel-vaulted ceilings, a bar with top-to-bottom gold trim, hand-blown imported glass lighting fixtures from the Czech Republic, multiple dining sections, and other commissioned artwork. ZANA also has mosaic tile and custom glasswork, which complement its open floor plan. Proudly, Ms. Buchanan views the restaurant as an elegant space, and her elite design secured her first-place win in the aforementioned Detroit Design Awards for 2023.
Continually active in her industry, Ms. Buchanan has multiple projects that she has submitted for award consideration. She believes that at least one of her submissions deserves to be, and will be, recognized with awards either in the Best Remodel or Best Makeover categories. In the future, after her children come of age, she plans to establish a small commercial building to house her design studio and retail staging space. Ms. Buchanan hopes to employ multiple staff members and collaborate with specialized builders on speculative residential construction projects. She will supervise the selection, curation, staging, and furnishing of all aspects of the interior design for these properties, which will then be offered to potential homebuyers as options for their new house. Across all her responsibilities, Ms. Buchanan’s favorite part is seeing a project come to fruition and witnessing the thrilled reactions of her clients, to whom she always aims to give more than they expected.