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Sun Rise Ministries Has a New Home

Sun Rise Ministries Has a New Home

Sun Rise Ministries now has its own facility after 14 years. They purchased the former Freedom Chapel in Jenison, MI. They engaged BCI Construction and TJA Architecture to remodel the facility. Having worked with both Doug Kooistra of BCI and Tim Allspach of TJA on other projects, it was great to join the team as the Interior Designers.

For Sun Rise, their commitment to help people Connect and Serve meant their new church home needed to be immediately “engaging”, welcoming visitors to participate.

It is amazing what some well-placed paint, carpet and graphics can do to a space. We integrated the acoustical panels in the worship area to create a wall design. We were also able to offer graphic design services, creating wall graphics and signage in the corridors. (A “shout-out” to our own Ryan Bright, graphic designer.)

Thank you to church leaders Bob and Penny for your direction and leadership. Blessings on your ministry’s new home!

Mars Hill Bible Church Updates Kids’ Ministry Areas

Mars Hill Bible Church Updates Kids’ Ministry Areas

New leadership, new energy and new direction at Mars Hill created a desire to update their facility’s 38,000 square feet children’s ministry. More than 500 children from infants through 10-year-olds attend the ministry each Sunday. Their nursery, preschool and elementary school spaces were in need of refreshing. This meant new flooring, new paint, updated lighting and new cabinetry, as well as any needed repairs.

The redesign was intended to simplify, warm and organize the spaces to help member families entrust their children to Mars Hill. r.o.i. Design saw the journey, discovery and comfort of the spaces as key to the success of the redesign. Mars Hill will also be adding their own graphic and signage design as well as decorative elements to complete the look and feel.

Mars Hill had a budget, based on generous donations and operational planning, but it wasn’t clear if they could make the needed changes within their budget or schedule. r.o.i Design worked with the leadership to solicit contractors who were members or affiliates of Mars Hill, as well as call in other sympathetic trades to make the remodel possible to meet the goals.

We acknowledge the efforts and donations of:

  • Facilities and Administrative staff of Mars Hill
  • Jacobsen Painting
  • Kenowa Plumbing
  • Meekhof Electric
  • Floor Covering Engineers and Shaw Carpets
  • Pinnacle Construction

Over 10 years ago, r.o.i. Design worked with Mars Hill to create interiors in their new space, a vacant shopping mall in Grandville, Michigan. We are grateful for the opportunity to help them again, not only with interior design, but project management of the remodel as well.

For more information about Mars Hill, visit their website, MarsHill.org

Working with Non-Profits and the Role of Philanthropy in Design

Working with Non-Profits and the Role of Philanthropy in Design

Schools, churches, foundations and other non-profit organizations need design as much as ‘for profit’ companies. But there is a difference:

  • Non-profits are making legacy decisions; what they do in their organization has an impact beyond current staff tenure.
  • They typically have to raise funds for a project alongside designing the project.
  • The process in design and project management is slighting more “hands on”.
  • And it always involves processing information with a larger group of people, i.e. a committee and volunteers.
Colossian Forum 11

We worked with non profit Colossian Forum to design their new offices.

r.o.i. Design has experienced some methods and processes that are very helpful when working with non-profit organizations.

1. Helping the customer “see” designs

Most of the time the representatives of an organization are not experienced in developing designs, planning buildings or remodeling. Their only frame of reference might be their own home improvements. That means it is important to use as many visual tools as possible to describe designs and process; tours of other facilities, photos of other facilities and renderings of concepts prior to hard lining a design.

2. Managing expectations

All jobs start with the budget, but in these cases it is even more critical.  Design professionals have to understand the resources available before designing begins.

The organization needs to understand the included steps to design. Laying out an overall schedule is helpful as well as establishing a habit of creating meeting minutes.

Technology is making sharing files much easier so information can be updated in real time.


Cafe at Life Stream Church in Allendale, MI

3. Advocacy

It is not uncommon for design professionals to act as facilitators and advocates for their clients as the design is priced and bids start coming in. Being able to maintain design intent and still meet budgets is crucial. A group of people from the organization was charged with executing work and have shared their excitement and ideas with the broader group. Being able to help them “deliver” on that promise is part of the job.

4. Philanthropy

Building trust between the organization and the design team is a necessary element to working with non-profits. That may require some above and beyond involvement or participation in their activities.

Demonstrating an understanding of giving and how it furthers the mission of the organization establishes a common ground. A building or remodeling project is an opportunity to get people involved and teach others the lessons of philanthropy.

r.o.i. Design has had several non-profits as customers, including Grand Valley State University, Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, Spring Hill Camp, Colossian Forum, Grandvue Medical Care Facility, Theological Book Network and Wesleyan Conference West Michigan.
We have been pleased to work for several churches, including Life Stream (Allendale, MI), Crossroads Wesleyan (Imperial, Nebraska), Kentwood Community (Wyoming, MI), Hope Reformed (Holland, MI) and Sonrise (Ft. Wayne, IN).
r.o.i. Design and “Our” Architects

r.o.i. Design and “Our” Architects

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

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

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 Resort in Gaylord

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.

“Design is for Real” The Renovation of Crossroads Wesleyan

“Design is for Real” The Renovation of Crossroads Wesleyan

Completed Renovation

Completed Renovation

largebookThe Burpo family experienced a miracle that resulted in the book and now the movie, “Heaven is for Real”.

That miracle is bringing a lot of attention to the Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska. (heavenisforreal.net) Anticipating a new wave of attention, Pastor Todd Burpo and Executive Pastor Phil Harris, knew this opportunity meant updating their sanctuary to make sure it was a very welcoming place.   A few years ago, they had expanded the church’s footprint with a large multiple purpose room,  additional offices and classrooms because their ministry required those spaces. But now the vintage pews and dated lighting had to go; their story and their ministry was far more dynamic than their worship space.

Design became real. (more…)

Church Design; The Ultimate Retail Experience

Church Design; The Ultimate Retail Experience

Youth Ministry Worship Center, Lifestream Church, Allendale MI

Youth Ministry Worship Center, Lifestream Church, Allendale MI

Recently, r.o.i. Design was interviewing with Kentwood Community Church for the opportunity to help them design their new Wyoming satellite. We were invited by elevate Studio (*)  to partner with their firm for this project.  During the interview, we heard ourselves describing our work in church design.

” r.o.i. Design is known for hospitality and retail design. We describe our work for resorts as a collaboration with owners to create places that rest, restore and inspire.  

We have been asked to design many other kinds of places. Businesses come to us because of their desire to make the workplace a more natural and appealing place, to enhance team performance.

Designing places of worship is a natural progression from hospitality and workplace; creating appealing places that inspire and support personal change. It is the ultimate retail design, motivating visitors to make choices that can change their lives”

Mars Hill Bible Church Youth Worship

Mars Hill Bible Church Youth Worship

r.o.i. Design has been privileged to work with several churches and religious organization in our community, including but not limited to, Mars Hill Bible Church, Apostolic Christian Church on Thornapple River Dr, United Methodist Conference, Springhill Camp, Life Stream Church(**) and now Crossroads Church in Imperial, Nebraska and Kentwood Community Church/Wyoming Campus.

Carved Altar of Holy Spirit Church, Grand Rapids MI

Carved Altar of Holy Spirit Church, Grand Rapids MI

r.o.i. Design, incorporated in 1993,  formerly was the design department of Designers Workshop,  an AWI custom architectural wood shop who had made furniture for worship and public space environments. We worked with a variety of architectural firms to create designs that enhanced their designs of spaces.


(*) Elevate Studio, Steve Fridsma and Jim VanderMolen, Principals. Both Steve and Jim were formally of Progressive Architecture where they headed the Religious and Church Design Division.

(**) Life Stream Church engaged r.o.i. Design as design leads for the remodeling of the former Allendale Middle School.  For more photos of that project please click here.

Lifestream Church, Allendale MI

Lifestream Church, Allendale MI