The owner of Merl’s Towing and Grand Rapids Towing, Dick Caster, is a long-time friend of r.o.i. Design. His late wife, Mary Jane Caster, was one of the founding members of r.o.i. Design. So, when he came to us needing help to dress up his business’s exterior, we were happy to help.
He did not want to spend too much money on the renovation, so the scope was limited to mostly repainting. We wanted to make the façade of the building look up-to-date and modern, but also have an element of fun. We produced a paint scheme that included vertical stripes with bold colors. Within the two orange stripes on the front, we also added some horizontal accents to break the pattern up.
We made a rendering in Photoshop so Dick could see what it would look like, and his painter could use it as a guide. The result was a success, and the building looks great!
This exciting project started with Dixon Architecture introducing us to Pat Gill, President, and Liz Bracken, Vice President, of Grand River Bank who had a branch in Grandville in 2019. That team was working on a plan to create a second branch in Ada, and they were looking for design support.
This more than two-year process resulted in a great space that both Grand River Bank and r.o.i. Design are proud of. We are even more grateful for our relationship and the friends we made there.
During the design process for Ada, we helped Grand River Bank decorate a leased office in Cascade that temporarily housed lenders. We also assisted their Grandville offices with COVID screen designs and resources.
Design elements in the new facility we celebrate include:
Ceiling clouds and lighting in the retail and corridors space – capturing light and creating comfort.
The reception desk and teller casework design, with its warm wood and white marble textures – very residential in feel.
Warm and engaging finishes and wall art.
We started the process with a consultative approach, engaging the Grand River Bank team with a series of meetings to understand the company’s goals, team preferences, and methods. The Grand River Bank leadership team moved the project forward cautiously considering COVID, knowing that they had a sound customer base in Ada. They partnered with BDR Custom Homes of Ada who was the general contractor, a partner, and a potential co-tenant of the building at 50 Crahen. Page Woodworking, a customer of Grand River Bank, created all the custom casework and countertops.
Grand River Bank brands its bank as a more personal, hands-on bank, offering daily delivery and pick-up services and welcomes face-to-face engagements. They pride themselves on creative solutions to funding and financing. That combination created a design challenge for the new offices, one-part friendly retail, and one-part corporate lending, but both needing staff to have facilities that offered efficient spaces and accommodations to create the best in service.
German Auto Service was located just down the street from r.o.i. Design for as long as we’ve been on Front Avenue. With the growth their business has seen in recent years, owners Ben and Joe Zeeuw decided it was time to expand. Rather than adding on to the limited space of their existing lot, they decided to build new.
German Auto reached out to Pinnacle Construction, which is also located on Front Avenue, to be the general contractor on this project. Then they contacted r.o.i. Design to design the interiors. Marianne Martz from our office oversaw the design.
The new building is located near the intersection of Alpine Avenue and Ann Street on Avastar Parkway. The team at German Auto wanted to create a space that embraces the muscular architecture of a fully equipped service garage. The intent was not to hide the shop “out back”. From the lobby, customers have a front-row seat to see the service team at work. The customer service area offers a large open floor plan with a large-scale visually striking graphic. Thanks to the design concept, the new facility feels engaging and bright.
r.o.i Design thanks Ben and Joe for choosing our team to work alongside them. Congratulations to Pinnacle Construction on a great-looking building.
Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images.
Dr. Kristi Hawley and business partner/husband Garrett Adams dream big. They put their sights on developing a compelling practice in Caledonia, Michigan that would offer general dermatology, outpatient skin surgery, psoriasis treatment, and cosmetic skincare. Dr. Hawley has an established reputation in psoriasis treatment and speaks to groups nationally.
r.o.i. Design was introduced to The Derm Institute of West Michigan through First Companies, and we were pleased to be awarded the interior design of the new facility. Working with architect Jon Blair of R2Design Group and the team at First Companies, the office opened its doors in April of 2021. For the year prior, Dr. Hawley had rented space nearby and developed a growing clientele. She had outgrown that space by the time of the move.
The inspiration for the interiors came from their logo’s overlapping circles, suggesting the variety of care the practice offers but also the pattern itself. The radius theme was applied to the check-in/check-out desk, suggesting a gentle approach with multiple points of engagement. The pattern of the circles was also developed into laser-cut screens that were used as dividers in the lobby and backlit ceiling panels in the corridor. A wallpaper that had the same pattern was used at the front desk. The color palette is simple, crisp but warm. Most of the flooring throughout is a warm luxury vinyl tile. Other areas are carpeted in organic patterns to add to the spa-like feel.
We also procured furnishings for the non-medical spaces, creating a hospitality feel in the patient waiting areas.
We were thrilled to get a text from Dr. Hawley on move-in day, “I just want you to know I walked into the office today and it is perfect! Thank you for being my voice and my vision.”
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.
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,”
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.