Do you ever wonder how those cool loft-type condos suddenly seem to emerge as if they had always been there? The answer is they are the result of years of planning, a developer’s vision and commitment, a great piece of historic real estate, and a team that knows how to put it all together.
r.o.i. Design is lucky enough to be on one of these teams, and we are so excited to be part of making RiverView Flats in historic Lowell, Michigan a dream come true for 14 home owners.
Todd Schaal and Jerry Zandstra have come together as developers to create this opportunity. They want to create homes in the former “car barn” of Unity Middle School along the picturesque Flat River. This building is complete with vintage masonry, tall ceilings, and spectacular views.
r.o.i. Design takes on the roles of interior design and marketing, as we work to set the stage for some creative living.
For more about RiverView Flats, we have attached some of the marketing materials we have created that describes the look, the feel, the layouts, and finish options. Download them here:
Our friends Hooker DeJong Architects and Engineers have referred us for a variety of projects in hospitality in the past, including Double JJ Ranch and Resort and Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility. So when their apartment developer clients asked them if they knew anyone who could work with them to finish the design and decor in their common areas, we were pleased that they thought of us. Projects of this caliber all have a requirement to offer a computer room, a community room, a laundry room, an exercise or activity room and a library. We have been very impressed with the facilities that we have been working with and are seeing these types of facilities being more and more interested in creating a community within their building.
Stuyvesant Apartments in Grand Rapids MI
Hooker DeJong and Wolverine Building Group.
Because of the historical nature of this project, it had the additional criteria of having historically-inspired decor. We were asked to use vintage photographs, which we researched through the collections at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Other decor consisted of a West Michigan theme, ranging from manufacturing to recreation.
Elevator Lobby Art of Belle Isle at St. George Tower
St. George Towers in Clinton Township, MI
Hooker DeJong and The Millennia Companies
This complete renovation is a wow! As we worked through selecting art and accessories, we sensed the pride the residents and the management had in this project. We enjoyed hearing comments from the residents who followed us around as we hung art and staged areas who looked over our shoulders and said, “I remember that place!” “That’s the Tech Center on Mound Rd? Sure looks different today!”
Lobby of Stuyvesant Apartments with Historic Photos of Site
Probably the most difficult thing for a recently graduated design student entering the workforce is the perceived limitation that a budget has on their design. And it isn’t always just the young professional, sometimes the customer is deflated that initial planning has to start with a discussion on budgets. “We don’t want to limit your creativity” is the cry, “Can’t we just let you design and then price it all out?”
The answer is “of course”, but we caution that redesign also creates more design fees and in some cases an extended schedule. And always some disappointment.
So what is the r.o.i. Design solution to managing budget and creative expectations? We focus on the customer:
Overall, we are open and flexible about product selections, knowing that the budget isn’t completely known on start and change will be needed.
No design should be dependent on any one element; everything is replaceable.
We also remind ourselves continually that the perception of quality is a standard the customer sets, not the designer.
We are happy when our customer is happy.
Then we practice at least six budget disciplines when designing. They are: (more…)
r.o.i. Design has a very friendly relationship with and sincere respect for architectural design, although we are not architects. Some of us have had training in interior architecture, but mostly we are known for our creativity, our process and our desire to deliver a “return on investment”. We do help our customers procure the architectural services they need for their projects and can manage the process of delivering the design when it is appropriate.
CLICK HERE to see our services and all that we do.
We have designed commercial buildings, store facades, homes, and a variety of office and store remodels for contractors and business owners. In these cases, we hire architects to review our drawings, add code language and seal our drawings. Two small architectural firms with whom we have a long history of working together are Architectural Concepts (Ken Watkins) and TJA Architecture (Tim Allspach).
Most recently we assisted Gerrit’s Appliance with the planning of their Kentwood showroom, planned by fall of 2014 and Williams Kitchen and Bath with the planning of their new Plumbing Showroom. We also are working with developers of mixed used spaces helping them design (or redesign) their new spaces from buildings that were formerly commercial or industrial, turning them into retail and office spaces.
Modern home remodel we designed with Bruce Heys Builders
We also have designed homes under 3800 square feet working with builders. We are very proud of the home we designed for Bruce Heys Builders that converted a 70’s ranch to a modern home suitable for years to come.
If we were approached with a larger project, we would contact our friends at HDJ Architects (David Layman and Eric Maring). We have partnered with HDJ on the Double JJ Ranch and Golf Resort in Rothbury MI, a variety of Michigan credit unions and most recently Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility in Bellaire MI.
Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, designed with HDJ Architects
When churches call us, we prefer to partner with Elevate Studio (Steve Fridsma & Jim VanderMolen). Steve reminded us that when he was a student he attended an event that toured our company, Designers Workshop, and we had our first professional project with him when he was with Progressive Architecture.
Welcome Center at Sojourn Lakeside Resort in Gaylord
There have been situations where a client comes to us to create a concept. They prefer to take the concept from us to a local architect in their region to create construction documents. This was the case for the Welcome Center at Sojourn Lakeside Resort in Gaylord for the Lambert Family.
Never before has architecture and interior design been as integrated as it is today in our society and industry. Our customers realize the value of bringing us in at the architectural conceptual stage as we identify, from the beginning, how people might interact with the space. Interior design and architecture impacts behavior and as spaces are imagined, we assist the design team in keeping the customer experience in mind.
Clutter is a nuisance, but in preparing to teach a course on decluttering for OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at Aquinas College, Mary Witte quickly realized that clutter is more than just sorting things into pretty baskets.
What creates clutter? There are typically events that kick off our bad habits (downsizing, retirement, loss of a family member, remodeling, hobbies, inheritance…) but the inability to deal with clutter may be more personal. We may be blind to clutter, the longer it is there, the more natural it becomes. We may call clutter by a different name like our to-do pile, or future project, or we just describe clutter is how we organize.
No matter your excuse, it is time to de-clutter! Get on it!