Keeping with much of the original concept, r.o.i. Design was able to enhance many aspects of the communal areas to include more wood, stone, and some decorative acrylic panels. Wallcovering in the corridor, while helping with maintenance, also helps create a more resort-like feel. In general, the new building offers many amenities to tenants that the original building could not.
Eagle Point engaged us to also provide public area furnishings. We selected furniture, customized finishes, purchased the products, and then managed delivery and installation. We also provided custom artwork that was reflective of the area. Located close to Washington D.C. and many historical sites in Virginia, we used images of historic buildings, national landmarks, and regional nature to help give Forest Glen its sense of place.
Thank you to Jason Barnes of Eagle Point for the opportunity to help rebuild Forest Glen.
Returning customer Denis Johnson, of Johnson Newhof & Associates, reached out to r.o.i. Design for support with the final phase of design of their multifamily project, Darley Village, a full-service senior living community in Muskegon, adjacent to Chestnut Hills Retirement Community.
Denis was looking for a fresh eye on finishes and assistance procuring common area furnishings.
The call came in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, so we carefully engaged to review finishes and furniture. We ended up with a neutral palette that is warm and respectful of being close to Lake Michigan. We spiced it up with flooring options that create more of a high-end hospitality look without the cost.
Long-time friends and business professionals Hillary and Doug Taatjes of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan contacted r.o.i. Design regarding the building lobby of their corporate office. It’s located at 100 Grandville Ave. in downtown Grand Rapids.
In 2018, we carried out the first phase of this conversion by painting wood panels, changing out light fixtures, and lightening up the space overall. We have helped several of NAI’s clients with lobby upgrades in order to attract new tenants and keep current ones happy by adding new furnishings. The Taatjes’ saw the opportunity to update 100 Grandville with similar goals in mind.
Our clients sought to make the existing lobby feel less like a mechanical room. The existing series of panels in the lobby that monitored the elevator, as well as other electrical panels, needed to remain accessible. We presented options for covering the panels and made recommendations for furnishings to complete the upgrade.
The final product resulted in hanging dimensional panels that could be manipulated with window covering hardware to allow the wall to open up. With the addition of a rug, bar table with stools, and foliage accents – voila! – no more mechanical room.
At this moment, r.o.i. Design has many projects that are in process. Here are two we would like to share with our fans. These are good examples of our diverse talents and experience.
Darley Village is an active senior complex with new apartments being built in Muskegon, Michigan. Our main contact, Denis Johnson of JNA Group, has been a longtime associate of r.o.i. Design. We have collaborated on both hospitality and public space designs. Denis is a partner in, and the project lead for, this development.
This project pushes the finishes beyond the competitive offering and hints at a level of sophistication and “fun”, making it attractive to the discerning tenant.
Midwest Miniatures Museum
Midwest Miniatures Museum has made a bold move to purchase the historical Robbins House in Grand Haven, moving from their previous location in Hickory Corners, Michigan. r.o.i. Design has been engaged in the exhibit and related environmental design.
The project is a perfect fit between content and venue, and we are so excited to be on this team. Thank you to our friend and museum consultant, Timothy Chester, who referred us to the Midwest Miniatures Museum.
The Robbins House was built in 1899. Except for a brief time as a law office, the structure has been in continuous use as a private residence. This unique home is on the National Register of Historic Places and those familiar with the building are excited to see its new life as a museum. This conversion from home to the museum will take place in three phases; initially, the museum will re-open with first floor exhibits and a gift shop.
A large part of r.o.i. Design’s success is our collaboration and engagement with each other. So naturally, we are looking forward to our return to the office after the stay-at-home quarantine.
While gatherings are being scrutinized, we know for many groups, being together adds a level of performance and creativity that can’t be achieved otherwise.
So, what can teams do to make safe gathering engaging and enjoyable? Here are some ideas from our customers and peers:
Create an outdoor breakroom with the appropriate distance between chairs. That may mean clearing some space and putting in a temporary railing to give the area a sense of space. Outdoor furniture and accessories, including a fire pit, umbrellas, space heaters, and bug repellents could be added.
Stagger breaks and the use of breakrooms so fewer occupants are present at one time, allowing for social distancing.
Remove some of the chairs, so people are spaced apart.
Post interesting facts about co-workers and the company in the breakroom to encourage staff to leave their desks.
Run games in the breakroom to create friendly competition between shifts.
One of our customers removed the breakroom tables and brought in two ping pong tables for people to eat at, meet at, and of course, play ping pong. They created circles on the floor to help folks visualize safe distances.
A more extreme change was by a medical customer who hung clear shower curtains in the space to create “booths” to maximize the use of their cafeteria. They reorganized seating to allow for wide aisles that lead to the booths. The reports are that folks are sitting in adjacent booths so they can still have a conversation during lunch.
Another group with more than 50 employees agreed to stagger its in-office work schedules. They removed cubicles in order to create a much larger open space. They populated the open area with chairs, physical therapy balls, and lounge seating positioned six feet apart. In those areas, large monitors are being used to engage with others, who may be working from home that day. They plan to move people back altogether before the fall.
“The way we gather matters. Gatherings consume our days and help determine the kind of world we live in, in both our intimate and public realms. Gathering—the conscious bringing together of people for a reason—shapes the way we think, feel, and make sense of our world…”
Over the past few weeks, our team has been learning how to make our spaces safe for the return to work, visits to doctors, and trips to our favorite retailers. We acknowledge solutions presented by suppliers and manufacturers that impact our work in interior design; their products influence our spaces from the air we breathe to the chairs we sit on. Read on to see some of what we’ve learned regarding COVID-19 protection measures and visit our Facebook page throughout the week to get our full take on these solutions.
A building’s filtration in its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) can be a part of an overall mitigation approach to protect occupants from COVID-19. To reap the full benefits of an HVAC system, cleaning and disinfecting HVAC components, including ductwork, installing high-efficiency (HEPA) filters, and increasing outdoor air ventilation are critical.
WALL COVERINGS AND OTHER SURFACES
We also pulled research on the longevity of the COVID-19 virus on commonly used wall covering materials, and how to effectively eliminate the virus on these surfaces. Today’s manufacturers are integrating antimicrobial technology into interior design elements to keep them cleaner from multiplying bacteria – window shades, paint, door hardware, and faucets. Additionally, the addition of UV lights for more deeply disinfecting the office at night could help to keep walls and other surfaces cleaner.
TEMPORARY WALL PARTITIONS
In addition to pre-existing wall surfaces, temporary wall partitions find relevancy, especially in open offices, to help ease the spreading of viruses. While plexiglass, laminate, or another hard surface has been preferred, those surfaces must be frequently cleaned. Not all fabrics are a good option for the surface of partition, those that are coated or are made specifically to repel moisture would be best. And, while not as attractive, cardboard has been tested and it may be that the virus lives less on cardboard than on plexiglass.
Presented with the problem of maintaining upholstered surfaces in high-traffic and shared spaces, our fabric manufacturers have risen to the challenge and provided, and continue to seek, solutions for safe fabrics. Referencing the EPA’s recommended products for disinfecting, our fabric manufacturers quickly pulled together their resources to help educate us on which materials perform best in an environment that will not require excessive cleaning. Coated fabrics, vinyl, and Crypton meet these standards for cleanability.
Beyond innovations for public and private spaces, the design community is contributing to the solution for your personal space – personal protection equipment. We’ve seen manufacturers and design firms shift their resources and brainpower in response to COVID-19. Fabric manufacturers and independent designers are using their resources to create face masks, and many donate face coverings for each mask purchased.
No one solution protects us completely and it will be a combination of behaviors and tools that gets us through this time. We look forward to more virus testing, and then, of course, the vaccine.