(616) 459-3539
Celebrating Mary Jane Caster, 1965 – 2019

Celebrating Mary Jane Caster, 1965 – 2019


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Mary Jane Caster Memorial Luau has been postponed. We will let you know when it will be rescheduled after it is safe for groups to gather once again.

We still encourage you to share your memories of her on our Facebook page and consider making a donation to Gilda’s Club through our link on Facebook. We miss her so much, but we are keeping her memory with us in this current situation as we strive to make r.o.i. Design the best it can be.

We are celebrating the life of Mary Jane Caster this March and inviting you to celebrate with us.

We are hosting an Open House Luau in her honor.

r.o.i. Design Office
1451 Front Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


4 – 6 pm

If you have photos of Mary Jane or stories to tell we ask that you respond to our r.o.i. Design Facebook Post remembering Mary Jane. We will share those stories at the open house.

Giving In Honor of Mary Jane

Mary Jane enjoyed the community at Gilda’s Club and we invite you to donate to that cause on her behalf at the link below. Please select ‘In Honor Of’ and enter Mary Jane’s name before making your donation.

About Mary Jane

Mary Jane was a founding member of r.o.i. Design. She joined the Designers Workshop team on August 30, 1993, and survived the transition from Designers Workshop to r.o.i. Design in 1994. Since then she had been a key player in all that r.o.i. Design has accomplished and in her 26 years, she probably touched over 800 projects. Her imprint on r.o.i. Design is permanent. Who we are, what we value, how we behave, and how we plan for the future has been influenced by MJ.

As a part of the r.o.i. Design team, Mary Jane had a particular role. She often was the one to bridge the psychological gaps between us, and she cared for each of us from where she sat. She was patient and, when needed, emphatic and direct. She reminded us to have fun, and always advocated for things that would bring out our best. She loved her vacations and many of her passwords were vacation related.

Mary Jane was admired and respected by customers, sales representatives, architects, and designers. She would sell, manage, design, and furnish projects. We would laugh at how long she had been with r.o.i. Design and she would say, “But no two years have been the same! I didn’t need to change my job to have a different job.”

She loved new materials and challenged us all the time to consider doing more, trying something new. There are situations in a project where we say, “What would Mary Jane do?”, or “Where is Mary Jane on this one?”

She is greatly missed and irreplaceable at r.o.i. Design and in our hearts. We invite you to participate in our celebration of all things MJ!

Funky Buddha Arrives at Studio Park

Funky Buddha Arrives at Studio Park

In January, Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse opened its fourth location in the exciting new Studio Park development in downtown Grand Rapids. Anna Baeten, Executive Director, and Michele Bookie, Operations Manager, see this new location as the opportunity to align the look of their facility with their updated clean brand that’s on their website and marketing.

“It was time to become clear with our brand; we are intentional and simple in our approach. We believe in Growth through Practice. We want our spaces to reflect our values: Respect, Integrity, Intentionality, Caring, Honesty, and Humility,” says Baeten.

With that direction in mind, r.o.i. Design assisted in developing an interior that minimized their previous scheme of tropical fruit colors to a neutral palette of black, white, gray, cork, and wood. With touches of greenery and a focus on cleanability, there was still room for some “funk”.

A variety of shapes of wood shade lamps hang in the lobby. The desk and retail area are built from reclaimed pallet wood from Grand Rapids Pallets. Their diamond logo is featured in the tectum acoustical panels applied to the yoga studio’s ceiling. Indirect lighting was added to the waiting area as well as the studio.

We thank our collaborators Jon Blair from r2Design for architecture, First Companies for construction, and Ken Kearney for specialty millwork build-out.

For more about Funky Buddha please visit their website.

Click on photos to enlarge

Grand River Pediatric Dentistry Opens in Jenison

Grand River Pediatric Dentistry Opens in Jenison

Photo © First Companies

Doctors Meghan Condit and Christine Vollmar have a heart for kids, and as mothers themselves, they understand the importance of personalized care. That focus and vision was a key ingredient in their decision to establish Grand River Pediatric Dentistry.

Newly opened in February, Meghan and Christine are celebrating a more-than-two-year journey in planning, and they couldn’t be happier with their new home in Jenison.

r.o.i. Design was introduced to Grand River Pediatric Dentistry by Todd Schaal of Estes Group. We worked with them to create a friendly and calming environment that includes touches of kid-like whimsy while remaining a total reflection of their brand. Once again, we joined the design team that included First Companies and Dixon Architecture.

Jenison is close to the Grand River, a symbol of local pride in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, and drawing from the river imagery, the interior of the new space is dappled with blues and sandy neutrals. Borrowing from West Michigan cottages, r.o.i. Design included shiplap and beams in the space. Additionally, we selected and provided lobby furniture that boasted patterns and shapes that support the sailboat theme of their logo. Like other pediatric spaces, we relied on large ottomans as benches to provide a mobile and kid-friendly seating option.

For more about Grand River Pediatric Dentistry and Drs. Condit and Vollmar, please visit their website.

Click on images to enlarge.

Color of the Year 2020

Color of the Year 2020

It’s a complex time in our world, with plenty of varying opinions and values. Color and design trends are not exempt from competing opinions, as is evident in the Color of Year choices by influential paint and design companies.

Our “go-to” companies for color trends employ professionals and marketers who compile research and make predictions base on large bodies of information, but it appears the weight of these influences varies.

At first blush, r.o.i. Design recognizes two main approaches. According to a Better Homes and Gardens article, Pantone and Sherwin-Williams are fans of navy blue. Their choices are “Classic Blue” and “Naval”, respectively. Alternatively, Behr and Benjamin Moore’s choices will resonate with those who are more comfortable with pastels and natural hues. The outlier, Etsy, declares chartreuse the color to keep an eye on this year.

Pantone, often revered as a favorite for Color of the Year picks, has made a bold statement to go with Classic Blue, a choice which triggered a variety of questions and comments from critics. However, this color is not unfamiliar to r.o.i. Design. In our work with several West Michigan customers and properties, dark blue is often a favorite. It may be our proximity to Lake Michigan that draws our design team and clients to the color! Additionally, we are seeing these dark blues appear in cabinetry and millwork, no longer solely on walls.

Behr Paints is going with Back to Nature for their 2020 Color of the Year, along with a 2020 Color Trends palette, that is predominately pastel with a dark Red Pepper, Secret Meadow, and Graphic Charcoal.  There is more color in the range than previous years, and the subtle movement to include Greige (Taupe) and Sun (Flesh Tones) is notable.

Benjamin Moore is banking on a fresh, light, and rosy palette of 10 colors led by their paint First Light 2102-70. They haven’t excluded a dark blue and charcoal, but don’t lead with it.

Sherwin-Williams is on track with Pantone predicting a love of navy blue with their Color of the Year, Naval SW 6244.

r.o.i. Design offers color palettes that are warmer and lighter than the 2018-2019 cooler grays and whites. We love color and continue to use color as accents and brand reference whether in wall paint, wall accents, lighting, or upholstery.

Benjamin Moore’s 2020 Color Trends
BEHR’s 2020 Color Trends
New Faces and New Energy at r.o.i Design

New Faces and New Energy at r.o.i Design

r.o.i. Design celebrates its 25th year in business, and its 20th year at our location at 1451 Front Ave. NW in Grand Rapids. We are thrilled to introduce two new staff members, as well as a plan to upgrade our office.

Rachel Barszcz, Studio Assistant

Rachel was one of over 96 applicants and won us over with her experience in hospitality and administration, her outgoing spirit, and her curiosity for how design changes people’s lives. She will be providing organizational support in all areas. She may be answering the phone, so when you call in, say “Hi”.

Marianne Martz, Design Lead

Marianne was one of over 50 applicants, and we love how her experience in interior design, furnishings, and customer service will not only help her provide leadership on projects but also bring us the opportunity to develop new relationships. Her attention to detail as well as her experience with suppliers is a welcome addition to our team.

We are also pleased that Julie Kleinjans has decided to add to her role and is now our finance and marketing professional.

Existing and outstanding members of the team also include Ryan Bright (Creative Executive and Senior Designer), Ronda Geyer (Product and Procurement Manager), and Megan Hoekzema (Associate Interior Designer), Mary Witte (Design Lead and President). All are stellar members and contribute to helping provide the best possible design services for our customers.

In addition to new staff, we are revamping our offices to reflect current trends and technology. With help from some of our trusted vendors, our space hopes to be complete by Spring!

West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry’s New Office

West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry’s New Office

Doctors Daniel Bolt and Thomas Bouwens

Doctors Daniel Bolt and Thomas Bouwens had outgrown their existing Holland, Michigan office. With the help of Dixon Architecture and T2 Construction, they agreed to design a new building. r.o.i. Design was invited to the project by Ken Dixon, and we set out to create a space that met the needs of both doctors and patients.

When r.o.i Design learned that, between patients and family members, the practice could see up to 500 people a day, we began to understand their energetic approach to dental care. We also learned that they wanted to remain a “kid and family-friendly” environment yet avoid a theme-park-like feel.

Many pediatric dentists overlook the opportunity to create a calming and comfortable space for busy families. With these factors in mind, our goal was to take their West Michigan caring brand forward, which meant keeping a more “Montessori-approach”. This calming approach intentionally included a plan to create smaller, focused areas of interest for young patients. r.o.i. Design happily developed the interior design, lighting design, and furnishing finishes for the new location.

In addition to the interior finishes, we assisted in introducing the practice to an experienced Lionel train expert, who designed the new miniature train that winds throughout the space on a raised track.

We also designed their new logo and provided many of the key furnishings.

Some of our favorite details include:

  • Decorative acrylic at the reception and checkout desks
  • Dark blue board and batten wall treatments
  • Accent carpet and painted wall “stripes”
  • Fun light fixtures throughout the space
  • Acoustic wall panels in the open exam area
  • Lit ceiling details at the checkout

We are grateful for the opportunity to work on this project and wish West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry the best as they settle into their new space, which opened on February 3, 2020.

For more about this practice, please visit their new website!

Click on thumbnails for a larger view: