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Work in Progress – Open Soon!

Work in Progress – Open Soon!

We have been busy and are looking forward to projects opening their doors this spring. We are showcasing just a couple of them:


With First Companies:

CBD Consulting

CBD Consulting – Progress Photo of Break Room

We are partnering with Dixon Architecture to create a stunning building that will house CBD Consulting and their tenants. CBD Consulting enhances educational facilities through the power of technology, training educators and planning school technology systems. The new building reflects their cutting-edge approach and houses their offices and learning labs. Dixon is particularly pleased with the cantilevered second floor offices and r.o.i. Design is very happy with the stairwell lighting, the corridor birch columns, the ceiling bulkheads and pops of green and orange color throughout.

Complete Health Dentistry, Dr. Nick Ritzema DDS

Complete Health Dentistry – Progress Photo

We are partnering with architect James Brodi of Create 3 PLLC to create an industrial space that includes new interior brick, exposed ceilings and electrical conduit, polished concrete, reclaimed Grand Rapids ash reception desk, shelves, and beams. The use of interior glass, framed in black, is a simple and striking look. The lower breakroom island is built from faux-painted concrete block, giving the staff space its own urban look.

With Dykhouse Construction:

Mill Steel

Mill Steel – Progress Photo of New Break Room Cabinets

This third-generation business is moving to an existing 36,000 square foot building in southeast Grand Rapids, but not before an entire remodel. We are partnering with Dixon Architecture to create new exterior dormers, canopies, decks, and landscaping, as well as a complete demolition and reconstruction of the interior spaces. Looking to house a growing and young workforce, the new space is driven by expandable space, collaborative space, break room and café, and a generous training room.  The bold blue of the Mill Steel logo is represented in the interior, along with some interesting details that include live plants in the break room, pivot doors that open up the break room to the training room, Dri-Design metal panels inside and out, bold carpet patterns, outdoor patio, and a fire pit.


Look for more stories about our designs for dermatologists, professional cleaners, furniture manufacturers, pediatric dentists, multi-family developments, automobile mirror manufacturers, and jewelry stores coming soon!

Campus View Introduces Communal Living

Campus View Introduces Communal Living

ViewPoint 24 Concept Photo

At the Northeast corner of the Campus View community sits an empty retail building, the old Brian’s Books location. It is a cavernous, 9,250 square foot building that is not ideal for a retail store or restaurant venture due to the ebb and flow of a college town. Campus View was searching for a way to transform the space into residential housing. They asked r.o.i. Design to look at the building and come up with some ideas.

We landed on new housing approach that intertwines private rooms with community living.  The space was ideal to handle a 24-unit complex with a central shared area, complete with a communal kitchen, a lounge with a fireplace and large TV, exercise room, and on-site laundry. Each of the units has a complete bathroom with tub/shower and a small kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator, and microwave. The units will be fully furnished with a full-size bed, desk, wardrobe, dressers, and a loveseat. There will even be loft storage above the bathroom in each unit. Campus View has named the property View Point and has already leased several of these suites to students who are interested in the shared space with privacy concept.

For the redesign of the building, r.o.i. Design wanted to it to feel like a cool, urban, loft-like space. We call it “hipster-eclectic”, encompasses everything that is quirky, creative and bang on trend. Hipsters have wholeheartedly embraced a minimalist aesthetic that effortlessly mismatches several different trends and styles.

The exterior will get new metal siding, giving it a modern industrial look. The interiors will feature an eclectic mix of surfaces, exposed ductwork and pipes, and industrial light fixtures. Large factory-type wall stencils will identify room numbers.

Construction on the building should take place this spring and hopefully be open for students to move in this fall. Campus View will begin leasing the space as soon as possible. It will be exciting to see this inventive new living space take shape and add to the unique housing offerings at GVSU.

ViewPoint 24 – Concept Floor Plan
Designing Spaces for Kids

Designing Spaces for Kids

Designing Spaces for Kids

Northern Michigan Pediatric Dentistry

There are many interior spaces that are designed specifically for kids. Schools, pediatric dental and medical offices, daycare facilities, and indoor play areas are just a few examples. These places want to feel welcoming to a child and engage their senses. Spaces should be entertaining while also sparking imagination and interest.

So what makes a successful interior design for kids? It is certainly more than just using primary colors or a lot of cartoon characters. Typically, it is important to create a lot of interest. Interesting flooring patterns and interesting ceilings draw a child’s eyes throughout the space. Instead of large, child-themed murals, blocks of color and graphics help the interiors feel fun, without exhausting the parents or staff.

It is important for some places to also feel professional, especially when it comes to pediatric dental and medical offices. Kids need to feel safe and welcome here, but parents want to be assured that these are serious practices as well. These places also need to function efficiently, and be easily maintainable.

r.o.i. Design has created numerous interiors for children. We have some clues on how this audience reacts to spaces. We know they see color differently than adults and appreciate any tactile detail.

More info on some of our recent work for children:

Shannon Orthodontics
Designing to a Budget

Designing to a Budget

Designing to a Budget

Recently we were asked to describe what our typical commercial interior designs end up costing our customer for finishes and lighting. We reached out to a general contractor customer asking them if our work with them over the years resulted in any useable budget averages that we could share with this inquiring new customer. Their response was very helpful:

“In our work with r.o.i. Design, no two projects look the same and seldom use the same finishes or details so it would be hard to quote ‘an average’ square foot cost. We have seen r.o.i. Design respond to very budget-driven projects, but they can also deliver competitive grade interior design.”

They went further to describe budgeting of an interior in a very understandable way, “When a customer asks about average square foot interior costs, we ask them what they think a typical bag of groceries cost. The response is the realization that a bag of groceries can range widely in cost depending on what is in the bag.”

And while that vague response doesn’t satisfy the question of what an interior may cost, it does help put a disclaimer to any budget number given before a qualified scope of the interior is created.

The ideal process to budgeting an interior:

  • Confirm the square footage being built or remodeled. Confirm the type of space and it’s intended use.
  • Confirm the “scope of the interior finishes”. What will be carpet, what will be resilient flooring, what will be tile flooring, what will be painted, what will be wallcovering, etc?
  • Determine the quality level of finish expected, ask what other spaces that are already built describe the desired outcome.
  • Using square footage numbers and consulting with the General Contractor, multiply typical costs (by the level of finish) by area.

This process results in scope and a budget that can be used for the basis of design. In many cases, the first calculations require revisions for a variety of reasons.             

r.o.i. Design’s by-line is “Budget, Brand, and Beauty”. We aim to deliver them all, and in that order.

The benefit of starting with the budget and scope is that interior design decisions are less likely to need changes, creating less disappointment and fewer fees.

r.o.i. Design respects the team approach in the design-build process where the architect, general contractor and interior designer work together to agree on the scope of the work and related budgets.


Photo by energepic.com from Pexels
Lighting for Commercial Interiors

Lighting for Commercial Interiors

Lighting for Commercial Interiors

Custom Pendant Lights at Wolverine Dermatology

An interior design’s success is dependent on how it is lit. Identical finishes lit in two ways will appear totally different. r.o.i. Design has been asked to create initial lighting plans more frequently in the last two years than ever before. There is a growing understanding that the selection of finishes works hand in hand with the lighting.

Our design criteria for lighting is emerging as we increase our understanding of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and the opportunities to customize decorative fixtures and interior architecture using LED.

Our success in lighting design has been based on some assumptions:

Different types of spaces need different lighting effects and light levels

  • For people to feel comfortable in an office space, lighting should reflect nature in that 1/3 of the light is direct, 1/3 of the light is indirect and 1/3 of the light is reflective. Taking natural light (or the lack of) into account is critical.
  • In a retail space, it is important to direct the eye by creating a greater variety of light levels from walkways to displays and to checkouts. Retail lighting is more theatrical and uses hot-spots to direct customer attention to merchandise and wayfinding.
  • In a restaurant and hospitality setting, customer transaction areas need to be well lit but customers are comfortable with a more dim environment. It is common for wall art, displays, and perimeters to have brighter accents.
  • For a professional medical space, waiting and nonmedical spaces need to have different levels of light and different options of light levels for patients to choose what makes them comfortable, while the surgical and medical spaces tend to be more consistently “bright”.

Using decorative and custom light fixtures to enhance brand or design scheme is well accepted

  • Decorative fixtures add to the décor, but also add interest and in many cases “ease” the user.
  • Lights need to be experienced at a variety of levels and locations within a space. Occupants aren’t comfortable with a light source that is close to their reach if it’s just a square box of emitting light. We like the light closest to us to be friendlier and have character.
  • LED lighting is very flexible, and almost anything can become a light fixture; an object that holds a light, expands the light or just carries the light. This could be a reception desk, a cove, a pane of glass, the reveal of a wall, a planter, or a decorative object.

Exploring the opportunities in color temperature and light levels

  • Behavior is impacted by light, and in the case of LED lighting the color temperature and intensity of light has specific effects on people.
  • Giving users options to use all or none of the lighting in an office space has been proving to create employee satisfaction.
Collaborating on Furniture Design

Collaborating on Furniture Design

Collaborating on Furniture Design

For r.o.i. Design, furniture is integral to the design. Quite often we have the opportunity to work with our customers in selecting and designing the furniture and furnishings in their space. This is important to us because it elevates the design to a very personal level, where people are touching, sitting, and experiencing the design in visceral ways.

When we have spent the effort to help a professional service client create a welcoming, branded feel in their interior, sometimes it requires a non-typical office furniture solution.

When we have worked diligently to create a restaurant, lobby, or corporate space that wants to look like a hip restaurant, the furniture may not be able to be compiled from standard options. Thus, we have provided specialty services around furnishings for our customers.

  • Often, we have been engaged to work with one of many of our local office furniture providers to advocate for our customer, consulting on furniture styles and finishes.
  • We design custom furniture and work with our customers to find the best resource to create those pieces.
  • Recently we have been working with fabricators experienced with integrating technology into furniture, creating medical and professional desks.
  • We have created many custom conference table designs, exploring finishes and details to create an ideal meeting and conference environments.
  • There is also the need for furnishings that look residential but need to be contract-grade. Providing contract quality guarantees for wear and maintenance.

We have also designed procurement programs for developers, working directly with manufacturers to be able to design, select, purchase, and deliver common area furnishings for multi-family facilities.

Furniture has a functional and aesthetic responsibility in commercial interiors and planning for appropriate furnishings take intention and focus.

West Michigan Dermatology – Holland, MI
Park East Court – Grand Rapids, MI