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:
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
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.
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
The last layer of interior design includes wall art and r.o.i. Design has learned planning for meaningful wall décor has incredible influence on how the space impacts employees, customers, and guests.
It is an opportunity to support a company’s brand, communicate values and goals, as well as add aesthetic interest.
For Wolverine Power Cooperative in Cadillac, Michigan we worked with them to create an assemblage of their customer logos using a cable system to suspend the logos. This brought a sense of pride to staff and board members as they passed by. In the same project, we created a custom wood “service map”, that outlined where they provided power; but the map was interesting as “art” in addition to telling a story. They also asked us to help them create a “word wall” using words that describe how they want to be perceived. We created a graphic and then had it printed on vinyl wallcovering.
For multi-family developer Eagle Point Properties, they like the common areas of their projects to have photos and imagery that represents the location of the residences. For downtown Grand Rapids we found historic photos of landmarks and purchased the rights to print those photos. For their project in Virginia, close to Washington D.C., we featured the architecture and landscapes that describe this region, rich in American history.
Hutchinson North America built 616 FAB House in Grand Rapids in 2016. This space serves as a gathering and meeting space but is surrounded by displays and imagery that demonstrates their tradition of innovation. Working with them and their Paris, France associates, we selected historic images and arranged them throughout the space similar to a museum exhibit. In the same space, were close up details of machinery and operations of the past alongside robotic demonstrations of current technology.
Wall art and décor can be personal, and any effort we made to create custom wall art programs have resulted in positive “returns”.
Building on the success of the 616 Fab House where r.o.i. Design created an innovation center that met international acceptance, Hutchinson Antivibration Systems engaged us to design the expansion of their engineering, plant operations and purchasing offices at their Grand Rapids location. They trusted that we understood their business goals and criteria.
Hutchinson’s growing success as an OEM provider of parts and solutions for transportation brands meant that they needed to create competitive working environments to attract and maintain talent. The total renovation was around 16,000 square feet. This project converted 6,500 square feet of existing warehouse space to office space.
While historic building conversions are not new to r.o.i. Design, every old building introduces challenges. This conversion included creating a space with a raised platform over an industrial space. What may have seemed like a problem actually created a very desirable working space.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts and partnering by everyone involved at Pinnacle Construction and Kentwood Office Furniture, especially Aaron Byler, Project Manager and Greg DeVries, Account Executive.
Architectural Concepts has been a friend of r.o.i. Design since 2000. We have collaborated on many projects with conceptual planning and interior design, while they delivered the architecture and managed the construction. Hutchinson Antivibration Systems is one example of our shared projects, where we designed their innovation center, the 616 Fab House.
While that relationship is a long lasting one, their original office interior was not. Like many 20-year-old interiors, it was tired and presented a dated color scheme. Ken Watkins, principle and owner, decided his team deserved to work in the kind of space they create for others.
We were engaged for interior design. Our process was transparent because we have worked comfortably with them for a while. We felt like we could take some risks. We brought in two to three possible schemes, some hand sketches, and photos. The staff at Architectural Concepts (Jackie, Dave, Matt, and Ken) sorted through what they liked, and we discussed how finishes could be applied.
Like all good collaborations, the end product was a mixture of finishes from all three schemes. Even though the office is relatively small, four carpets were used (3 as accents), and six paint colors were selected.
It was with great satisfaction that r.o.i. Design was hired to assist them to update their space with selections for new flooring, new paint, and new details. We provided new window coverings, new furniture, and overall support for their continued success.
r.o.i. Design is a distributor of SWF Contract Solar Shades. Updating to solar shades for this office was a huge improvement. Not only are they visually calming, but within a few moments, the temperature in the office was more comfortable.
We also provided the new open office furniture which included custom-built “L-shaped” desks that are easily adjusted from seated to standing height. These huge surfaces provided more than enough room for staff to lay out large-scale drawings while working.
The most noticeable change to the office was the wall that surrounds the new meeting room. Exposed metal studs were incorporated into the design as a finished element as a celebration of architecture as well as Ken’s honest and “exposed” style.
Ken, while a passionate architect for their commercial and industrial client, is also earnestly involved with a second business alongside his wife, Shelly. They run a non-profit called Genesis Waters which is dedicated to bringing clean water to communities around the world. They travel quarterly to locations to work with teams to create clean water systems and related infrastructure. Photos of the people they serve are featured in the office, which is beautiful décor but also an inspirational reminder of the meaning of “work”.
Many congratulations to Ken and his team for their great work and big hearts.