Today, wall art and décor in interior design is significant; it has the interest of the guest and is taking a larger portion of the remodeling and new construction budget.
Corridor Photo from HotelArts. CA
This trend in part is based on the emerging custom wall paper and specialty graphics category that is merging wall finishes with wall art. Technology has made custom printing and custom manufacturing fueling creativity in hospitality interior design.
Wall art is seen in public areas but also in corridors, sleeping areas, and vanity areas. It can be also seen on advertising, marketing and TV’s within the guest suites.
What is considered viable wall art now?
Guests accept items hung on the wall or covering the wall to be viable “décor” when
- The subject matter reflects the local area in content or creator
- It is graphic design reflecting either property brand or current trends
- The “art” is recognizable as current style in trend based on their own experience of media and current events
- The technology or method of producing is current and of interest (i.e. custom wall paper or oversized graphics)
How does an owner create a wall art program?
- Most interior design firms now provide art selection and art design services.
- Local graphic designers and art galleries are prepared to offer custom programs.
Image from The Guardian Pe. CA
What is the ROI of a wall art program?
A wall art program can promote and connect with regional organizations in either content or reference. This connection exposes the property to a non-user audience, promoting future business.
A wall art program can be copyrighted and be considered an asset of the property, being used in marketing, advertising and social media. Reprints can become “products for sale” through the property’s channels.
When a hospitality property can further describe their brand through visuals, that can also be considered “art”, it creates emotional and lasting impressions with their customers.
Wall art in hospitality is one of many ways properties are trying to be personal, expressing their values and interests. Art makes personal connections, a valuable asset in building customer loyalty.
Updating an interior by changing wall art and décor is far less disruptive than changing an architectural finish. It allows owners to “update” without upsetting room rentals.
Grand Valley State University
The new 40,000 SF marketplace retail facility at the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University will be open to students this month.
The planning of the store started in 2012 when the University Book Store team researched other university stores to see the trends in campus retail. We weren’t surprised to learn:
- Books are no longer the big seller. If students haven’t converted to electronic books, they probably are shopping online for the best price for used books. The name of the store is now officially GVSU Laker Store, no more “book” store.
- Food and technology are part of the experience. At GVSU Laker Store there will be a department where students can purchase hardware and software for most of their technology needs. Adjacent to the store, outside the door, Starbucks and Which Wich are ready to capture the shoppers on their arrival and exits.
- They are competing with off campus retail experiences for fashion and active wear. For GVSU Laker Store that means competing with product mix, service and store design. That’s where r.o.i. Design comes in.
As part of the Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber (FTC&H) design team, we worked with the store staff, GVSU facility managers and FTC&H to come up with a competitive experience. The criteria for design was to create a space that resonates with the student experience of “making unique choices”. We want the student to recognize themselves in some elements or parts of the store through the variety of finishes and graphics. We wanted them to take ownership and be proud of their school store. “Lakers for Life”.
Some of our favorite parts of the design:
- Custom tile: using the universal symbols for academic departments, we created a mosaic of color to indicate all choices of study and types of students were welcome here.
- Media Display: In the taller part of the store, 9 screens create a large display that can either show one large image or up to 9 individual images. The plan is to show real time GVSU athletic games and musical performances while students and their family shop.
- Custom graphics: using the letters G, V, S and U, we created a “cloud” type graphic using different fonts and colors again to represent that the GVSU experience is as diverse as its community and highly connected through technology.
- The Laker Wave: the two story volume holds over 250 translucent blades of cloth that together attempt to create the image of moving water. The gesture of the blades texture the interior but also impact the look of the exterior as they are seen through the wall of curtain glass.
- Reclaimed wood: throughout the interior and exterior there is reclaimed wood siding. The internal staircase in the store is a friendly combination of wood, color and light.
- Color: (Photo) challenging the campus standards of GVSU blue and white, GVSU Laker Store is vibrant as it reflects the many colors of the fashion shown in the store.
We often get the question, “r.o.i. Design, what is that about?”
We explain that we believe the execution and build out of the design will bring a return on their investment. Said another way, the fees paid to us come back to our customer through their company’s improved efficiency, improved team performance, improved recognition, etc.
Probably one of the best of testimonials we got was from Lori Terpstra, owner of Rylee’s ACE, after the opening of her store on the corner of Michigan and Fuller in Grand Rapids, MI. She sent us a card that read, “From picking colors, laying out departments and designing our graphics, we certainly felt the ROI of r.o.i. Design.”
Some might say that we build an ROI by creating an interior design that reflects our customers brand while being sensitive to budgets. Some might say we build an ROI by adding services and expertise to our firm in addition to interior design where our customers are looking for solutions.
We have been including graphic design as one of our services for more than 10 years. It became clear, especially for our developer customers, that one-stop-shopping to create a brand, an interior, a logo, and a message was key to their success in conceptual development of their projects. When we are working with our customers on projects, we develop a relationship with them and if we do our job right, we understand their needs and have the opportunity to serve them in many ways, including graphic design and signage design. Ryan Bright, our Creative Executive, graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design and senior member of our team, has been serving our interior design customer graphic design needs since we added the service to our list.
Sharon Fisher, owner of Apothecary Gift Shop in Holland MI
We designed the store interior when it was Model Drug Store and Apothecary Gift Shop. Ryan developed the logos for both identities and worked with the sign companies to create the signage in the store. Recently Sharon sold the “Drug Store” part of her business and needed to redesign the exterior of the store to read just “Apothecary Gift Shop”. We were happy to work with her to create new awnings and signage for the exterior and interior. The store still looks great and is one of our favorite spots to shop for gifts.
Jordan Hoyer of The Law Office of Jordan C. Hoyer
We did the interiors of Jordan’s office in the Trust Building in downtown Grand Rapids. We also created her logo, developed her website and created a half page ad that she ran in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, ArtPrize edition. Jordan claims that so many law firms have horrible websites and branding and she feels that with Ryan’s and r.o.i. Design’s help, she is getting a lasting return on investment.
We focus on selling our time. But a long time ago, we saw the difficulty some of our customers were having staying within budgets with product procurement. Either they didn’t have the staffing time or expertise,and when they did, they were often paying for too many layers of distribution. We have offered a return on investment to several customers by finding the right manufacturers for the right job and tracking the purchasing and receiving process.
Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility in Bellaire, MI
This group is just finishing the 4th phase of a complete remodel and expansion of their facility. They knew on the onset that they didn’t have the time or experience to set budgets, solicit bids and negotiate prices to stay in budgets. We became their purchasing department for two years. Like most jobs of six figures or more, up to ten percent of product can be a disappointment, either by quality or service. David Schultz, the point person of the facility, had the ability to focus on the positive and help us help them work through the glitches.
The Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph, MI
Edgewater Resources, a fairly new development group with several marina developments on their boards realized half way through construction that they wouldn’t be able to manage procurement without adding staff. The construction group, Lamar Construction, recommended us to help them be their staff with the selection, bidding and purchasing of FFE. Again, no huge purchasing project is without flaws, but this group worked with us as we had some items reworked, rehung and corrected. Thanks Michael Woods for your support!
Spin Dance Offices with Tops
To create unique spaces, sometimes that means custom decorations. We have never been afraid to offer to get the custom decor made and installed in order to keep the design intact. Sometimes we can actually make it in our little shop and sometimes we can manage all the parts and pieces and assemble it.
Van Wingen and Mandeville in Traverse City, MI
Rockford Construction engaged us to design this pediatric dental office where they see 40 children an hour! Their lobby had to accommodate and engage kids from ages two and up. We had a vision to create an office that had three themes; water, land and sky. We wanted to “float” felt boats in the lobby to help with acoustics and everyone looked at us puzzled. “We will make ’em,” we said. And that led to us making a boat house and boat for the lobby.
The Millenia Companies in Cleveland, OH
One of their properties in Clinton Township had just been remodeled and they were looking for a group to come in and add wall art, occasional furniture and floor plants. They wanted the final step of decor to feel local. We said, “We can do that!” We researched images of the Detroit area and their local environs and came up with a package that they said “fit the bill”.
So how we provide a return on investment is based on our holistic approach to getting a design interior to be the best that it can be. And if we can do more than interiors, we are all in.
r.o.i. Design provides a return on your design investment and creates lasting customer experiences.
We are a creative team who leads the process of collaborative planning and design
Our methods and problem solving skills produce outcomes that are based on budget, brand and beauty.