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.
r.o.i. Design has been supporting Ryan Ogle and BluHouse with interior design for many years, and we were part of the team for their recent expansion. Along with interior design, we provided graphic design and product procurement to assist in getting their space operational in time for the busy 2018 real estate season.
We worked with architect Tim Allspach, builder Kevin Cook, and BluHouse’s own team of builders, Mariani Construction, to complete the project. The complete remodel included almost 4,000 square feet of office space.
The office includes a combination of private offices and open office space supported by tiny private areas for team members to use for calls and focused work. The reception wall makes use of reclaimed wood, which was locally sourced from Grand Rapids Pallets. Throughout the space are accents of “BluHouse Blue” and the inclusion of some of Ryan’s key “finds and treasures”. A dynamic team photo wall makes a bold statement at one end of the space.
Ryan Ogle started BluHouse in 2007. He has grown the company to include an active team of realtors, property managers and remodelers, and marketing consultants through a variety of privately held and related businesses.
Their first offices on Wealthy Street in Eastown became cramped and impractical, so over a few years, business segments were relocated to other facilities. BluHouse Properties, the real estate business, moved to East Paris in 2016 but expanded their presence there in 2018.
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.
This perfectly located, generously sized and well-appointed office building is going through a face lift.
Hillary Taatjes-Woznick and Doug Taatjes of NAI Wisinski contacted us, asking us to compete to win the opportunity to provide a design for the lobby of Park East Court, off of East Paris in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This “first impressions” area was key in providing future tenants a glimpse into the aesthetics and financial commitment of ownership.
Our design included expanding the lobby into a hallway and a copy/storage room and floating a drywall lid in the center of the space. We replaced a reception desk with seating, and added focal points to the space. The popular gray color scheme of today was used, but with an accent of yellow on the ceiling and blue in the furnishings. The dated mahogany trim was painted. Decorative lighting was strategically placed to create a contemporary appeal.
We partnered with longtime friends and collaborators, Pinnacle Construction, to create budgets that directed the final design scope. Pinnacle Construction completed the lobby remodel in spring of 2017.
While we pride ourselves on our values of Budget (first), Brand and Beauty, we were told we won the opportunity to provide the design because they liked our design, which they thought best captured the owner’s preferences and gave them a look that they thought would best appeal to their tenants. Our idea wasn’t the least expensive but they thought offered the best ROI.
For more information about Park East Court, visit naiwwm.com and search for 4035 Park East Court