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r.o.i. Design Attends Spring Design Shows

r.o.i. Design Attends Spring Design Shows

At r.o.i. Design, we like to stay on top of new products and current trends in the design world. One important way that we do this is by attending design shows to see these new products and trends firsthand. This spring, we attended two major design shows, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City and NeoCon in Chicago. Read on to learn more about we saw and discovered.

ICFF, New York City

Thirty years ago this show started as an international furniture show, introducing new ideas and new materials for furniture. But today it is not limited to furniture.  They describe themselves as North American’s platform for global design, showcasing the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next. ICFF NYC hosts more than 800 exhibitors from more than 40 countries in 11 categories from furniture to materials to kitchen and bath to fabricators.

r.o.i. Design spent a day at the show and came away with a couple of observations. LED lighting promotes creativity in all product design, but the decorative lighting designs were breathtaking. A couple of memorable showcases were Featherbeams decorative faux trusses and metalwork, Puff Buff Design, LED lights in vinyl bubbles that are shipped unassembled from Poland, and Knuckles and Other Good Joints, beautiful metal joinery that promotes custom table designs.

ICFF is part of Design Week in NYC and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum was part of the Design Week agenda. They were featuring two major exhibits, “Access+Ability” and “Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color”.

“Access+Ability” is an exposition of product designs that enable humans to freely engage with their environment. There has been a surge of design with and by people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. Fueled by advances in research, technology, and fabrication, this proliferation of functional, life-enhancing products is creating unprecedented access in homes, schools, workplaces, and the world at large. “Access+Ability” features over 70 innovative designs developed in the last decade.

The second exhibit, “Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color” explores the elusive, complex phenomenon of color perception and how it has captivated artists, designers, scientists, and sages. Featuring over 190 objects spanning antiquity to the present from the extraordinary collections of Smithsonian Libraries and Cooper Hewitt, the exhibition reveals how designers apply the theories of the world’s greatest color thinkers to bring order and excitement to the visual world.

NeoCon 2018, Chicago

We took a day trip to Chicago again this year to attend NeoCon. This year marked the 50th annual Neocon! While the six-plus hours on the road (round-trip) made for a long, hurried day, we still enjoyed the opportunity to see what is new in the world of commercial furnishings.

As usual, NeoCon was crowded with industry professionals on six floors of the Merchandise Mart. Some floors are occupied by the permanent showrooms of larger established manufacturers of furniture, textiles, carpet, and wallcovering. Other floors are full of booths represented by smaller groups and some newcomers. Large or small, many of these exhibitors have something unique, exciting, or just plain beautiful to introduce each year. This year was no exception, as we saw many items to whet our designer appetite.

Here are some of the trends and cool stuff we saw at NeoCon this year.

The styles and colors of the late-midcentury modern style are coming back in retro full-force. This style is super-chic right now in the commercial office industry. Of course, these styles are updated to today’s standards of technology, sustainability, and environmental quality.

Intricate and complex geometric patterns are trending. We saw a lot of these tessellations in fabrics, wall panels, and even light fixtures at this year’s NeoCon.

Adjustable Desks – This trend actually took off a few years ago, but it was interesting to see how almost everyone has adjustable height workstations now. There are some great designs out there. Heck, even r.o.i. Design created custom adjustable desks recently for one of our clients!

We noticed a lot of furniture now features natural wood paired up with powder-coated metals. When past trends in furniture were all wood or no wood at all, these new designs seem to strike a balance between the two.


Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery Moves Across the Parking Lot

Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery Moves Across the Parking Lot

Breweries and their eateries often want their space to feel like their guests are joining them in the warehouse while they are brewing beer. But Gravel Bottom Brewery Ada, MI had to move to a brand-new storefront to allow for the downtown Ada development project to put in a street.

All Photos: Courtesy of Gravel Bottom Brewery

First Companies’ Craig Schroeder called r.o.i. Design looking for design help to make the new space feel more like a brewery warehouse.

Owner Matt Michiels really liked his existing space and was hoping to re-create the look and feel. To r.o.i. Design that meant a warm paint scheme, industrial warehouse lights, reclaimed wood and vintage looking brick. We asked them to hang used wood pallets from the ceiling to add texture and hide some acoustic treatment.

All Photos: Courtesy of Gravel Bottom Brewery

Matt added an amazing concrete bar top to his new bar, as well as some incredible beer.

Congratulations to Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery and First Companies for making a place that looks like it has been in Ada for decades!

From 13 “On Your Side”, May 11, 2018 edition.

Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery in Ada is reopening after moving to a new location.

The brewery moved into a larger space as a part of the Ada Village redevelopment project. But, the company says that the new location still offers a familiar, cozy feel that it has become known for as the neighborhood brewery.

“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making this feel similar to what the other Gravel Bottom was: welcoming and comfortable,” said owner Matt Michiels…

For more about Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery visit: gravelbottom.com


All Photos: Courtesy of Gravel Bottom Brewery

Wok & Mortar is a New Spin on Asian Cuisine

Wok & Mortar is a New Spin on Asian Cuisine

Eat Good, Drink Good, Live Good.

This is the motto at Wok & Mortar, the newest dining establishment in East Grand Rapids’ Gaslight Village. They feature fresh Asian dishes inspired by the street food of the markets in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Large South and East facing windows provide the space with plenty of natural light, bringing out the natural tones of the wood.

r.o.i. Design met VaChong and Bobbiesee Ku, owners of Wok & Mortar, when we helped with the design of their Asian Fusion restaurant in Frankfort, MI. When they decided that they wanted to open a new restaurant in Grand Rapids, they called for our help again.

A Transformation

The space was previously occupied by a Biggby Coffee Shop. We set out to transform the space into a modern Asian restaurant with an updated urban vibe. The previous space was not a restaurant with a full-service commercial kitchen. So, it was a bit of a challenge to make the changeover. We brought in the help of Pinnacle Construction to manage the remodel. Great Lakes West Foodservice Equipment Service provided the kitchen equipment. In addition to interior design, we took on the role of “owner’s advocate”. We oversaw the entire remodeling project, from leasing the space to upgrading utilities, and finally to promote the grand opening.

Communal Table and Order Counter. Customers can watch their meal being prepared in the large pass-through opening to the kitchen.

The interior features a wood wall made of reclaimed wood from shipping pallets. We also designed and had fabricated a custom communal table for the center of the space. It also features the reclaimed pallet wood, along with shelves to display the various sauces they offer for sale. The color palette consisted of mostly subdued grays. This allowed the wood features and graphic signage to stand out.

Reclaimed Pallet Wood Wall and Communal Table

Logo and Menu Design

r.o.i. Design was also asked by Wok & Mortar to design their logo. We went back and forth with a few concepts but finally landed on a design that incorporated the “W” and “M” from Wok & Mortar into flames over a wok. After that, we also designed the exterior sign, along with their menu boards and take-out menu.

Colorful menu boards allow customers to build their own dish. Orders can be placed using a self-serve kiosk or with the Wok & Mortar smartphone app.

The “W” and “M” from Wok & Mortar are incorporated into the flames in the wok for the restaurant’s logo.

Committed to Community at the Hope College Bookstore

Committed to Community at the Hope College Bookstore

Hope College is committed to building community through retail. Their newly renovated bookstore is conveniently located next to the new Bultman Student Center on campus inside the DeWitt Cultural Center. When they learned that they were going to have a new neighbor three years ago, and their visibility to campus was going to be enhanced, they engaged r.o.i. Design to assist them in upgrading their appearance and “retail game”.

r.o.i. Design helped them rethink their store fixture plan and flow, designing a new cash out experience, and added color and texture to the space. The new Bultman Student Center construction took away 20% of the store floor space to allow for new connecting hallways between buildings, but through the wizardry of design, Hope College 2017-2018 returning customers thought the store got bigger!

The bookstore and their online store are the “go-to” spot for all things Hope College, from books to logowear. Learn more about the Hope College Bookstore website.

Racing at Grand Rapids Grand Prix

Racing at Grand Rapids Grand Prix

Grand Rapids Grand Prix (GRGP) is the first West Michigan Indoor Adult Go-Kart Racing Facility! It is also r.o.i. Design’s first race track facility design!

Using the inspiration of cars, flags, and fun, we decked out the space with groovy colors and lights.

Victor Edgar, the owner of GRGP, loves fast cars and has raced a variety of wheeled vehicles. In 2017, he decided to develop an indoor racing experience. The former Courthouse (basketball facility) in Byron Center was the perfect spot; great space for racing, dining, and special events, easy on and off from US-131S, right next to the popular Tanger Outlet Mall.

From the Grand Rapids Grand Prix website:

“Beautifully re-designed building to accommodate state of the art indoor racing. Our facility provides a real racing experience with a track that even professionals find challenging. Our double-decker layout creates a weightless sensation coming over and down our table top hill. Reach speeds exceeding 40mph on our front straightaway and feel the G-forces while you sweep through our challenging corners.”

“Right now we are promoting our lunch hour race and eat specials Tuesday through Friday,” says Edgar. “But our team building and corporate events are gaining real popularity during the week as well. Our weekends are really busy and it is hopping in here, so we can’t accommodate every request for special events on weekends, but come on down and check us out.”

Hours of operation are on their website www.grandrapidsgrandprix.com along with special promotions. Café Monza has a great menu for race-side dining.

Introducing Our New Full-Time Designer

Introducing Our New Full-Time Designer

Megan Hoekzema, our new full-time DesignerMegan Hoekzema, Our New Full-Time Designer

We are happy to announce that r.o.i. Design has a new full-time Designer. Megan Hoekzema has been with us since January 2017 as our Design Assistant. She was finishing up her Senior year at Kendall College of Art & Design while interning with r.o.i. Design. Megan finished her degree in Interior Design in December 2017 and agreed to start full-time with us January 2018.

Megan brings many skills to the team, including creativity, organization, motivation, and a willingness to learn. She is also skilled in CAD and 3D Rendering, which is a great asset to our team. We are excited to be able to expand our design offerings to our clients with Megan’s addition.

r.o.i. Design looks forward to working with Megan, and to help her grow as a Designer and Professional, both in hard and soft skills. We also anticipate she will be helping r.o.i. Design grow as a full-service Creative Design and Procurement studio!

Check out Megan’s r.o.i. Design Team Page