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.
Can’t find the perfect board room table? Need a storage cabinet that looks like a piece of furniture versus a laminate box? Want a custom-sized sofa? Need to incorporate graphics into custom pieces? We can help.
r.o.i. Design grew out of the furniture industry and we continue
to design custom furniture as part of our interior design services.
Ryan Bright, Creative Executive, has a degree in furniture design and met r.o.i. Design when he was a design intern for Widdicomb Furniture in 1999. Since joining r.o.i. Design he has designed many custom pieces for our customers.
Mary Witte, Owner and Creative Lead, owned a custom millwork company, Designers Workshop, which was purchased by Widdicomb Furniture. There she continued to design custom millwork and furniture and was acknowledged by the industry with an award from American Home for her designs.
Ronda Geyer, Procurement and Product Manager, coordinates our furniture vendors to make sure custom pieces are delivered and installed as designed.
We have maintained relationships with custom furniture makers and finishers that we met through our experience as furniture makers and still use today to fabricate custom pieces.
Some of our recent designs include:
From concept to installation, r.o.i. Design delivers custom furnishings fulfilling our promise to provide Budget, Brand, and Beauty.
An interior design’s success is dependent on how it is lit. Identical finishes lit in two ways will appear totally different. r.o.i. Design has been asked to create initial lighting plans more frequently in the last two years than ever before. There is a growing understanding that the selection of finishes works hand in hand with the lighting.
Our design criteria for lighting is emerging as we increase our understanding of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and the opportunities to customize decorative fixtures and interior architecture using LED.
Our success in lighting design has been based on some
Different types of spaces need different lighting effects and light levels
For people to feel comfortable in an office space, lighting should reflect nature in that 1/3 of the light is direct, 1/3 of the light is indirect and 1/3 of the light is reflective. Taking natural light (or the lack of) into account is critical.
In a retail space, it is important to direct the eye by creating a greater variety of light levels from walkways to displays and to checkouts. Retail lighting is more theatrical and uses hot-spots to direct customer attention to merchandise and wayfinding.
In a restaurant and hospitality setting, customer transaction areas need to be well lit but customers are comfortable with a more dim environment. It is common for wall art, displays, and perimeters to have brighter accents.
For a professional medical space, waiting and nonmedical spaces need to have different levels of light and different options of light levels for patients to choose what makes them comfortable, while the surgical and medical spaces tend to be more consistently “bright”.
Using decorative and custom light fixtures to enhance brand
or design scheme is well accepted
Decorative fixtures add to the décor, but also add interest and in many cases “ease” the user.
Lights need to be experienced at a variety of levels and locations within a space. Occupants aren’t comfortable with a light source that is close to their reach if it’s just a square box of emitting light. We like the light closest to us to be friendlier and have character.
LED lighting is very flexible, and almost anything can become a light fixture; an object that holds a light, expands the light or just carries the light. This could be a reception desk, a cove, a pane of glass, the reveal of a wall, a planter, or a decorative object.
Exploring the opportunities in color temperature and light levels
Behavior is impacted by light, and in the case of LED lighting the color temperature and intensity of light has specific effects on people.
Giving users options to use all or none of the lighting in an office space has been proving to create employee satisfaction.
For r.o.i. Design, furniture is integral to the design. Quite often we have the opportunity to work with our customers in selecting and designing the furniture and furnishings in their space. This is important to us because it elevates the design to a very personal level, where people are touching, sitting, and experiencing the design in visceral ways.
When we have spent the effort to help a professional service client create a welcoming, branded feel in their interior, sometimes it requires a non-typical office furniture solution.
When we have worked diligently to create a restaurant, lobby, or corporate space that wants to look like a hip restaurant, the furniture may not be able to be compiled from standard options. Thus, we have provided specialty services around furnishings for our customers.
Often, we have been engaged to work with one of many of our local office furniture providers to advocate for our customer, consulting on furniture styles and finishes.
We design custom furniture and work with our customers to find the best resource to create those pieces.
Recently we have been working with fabricators experienced with integrating technology into furniture, creating medical and professional desks.
We have created many custom conference table designs, exploring finishes and details to create an ideal meeting and conference environments.
There is also the need for furnishings that look residential but need to be contract-grade. Providing contract quality guarantees for wear and maintenance.
We have also designed procurement programs for developers, working directly with manufacturers to be able to design, select, purchase, and deliver common area furnishings for multi-family facilities.
Furniture has a functional and aesthetic responsibility in
commercial interiors and planning for appropriate furnishings take intention
Doug Wildey has been thinking about expanding Game Room Guys, headquartered in Comstock Park, MI, into other cities for several years. He has been talking to r.o.i. Design about what satellite stores could look like, and how those stores need to be designed to attract their customers. While they have a showroom at their headquarters, most of their sales are generated online. They have been delivering to major metropolitan areas in the midwest, east, and south already which gave them valuable data on where physical stores could benefit their growth.
This year they found a former golf pro-shop in Livonia, near Detroit. This great location already had a lot of “retail friendly” details in place. Their space, while larger than what they required, does allow for an impressive display of merchandise in all their different categories.
Wildey engaged r.o.i. Design to help Game Room Guys create merchandise layouts, select finishes, and create signage. As the store continues to see sales, we will finish up with all the little merchandising touches that will make the retail space an attractive and interesting place to spend time and money. One of the greatest challenges was the flooring, staying within budget while still creating a retail “look”. With the help of our Shaw Flooring Contract Representative, Patrick Coulsen, we were able to deliver both.
Kudos to Game Room Guys for their methodical process, their commitment, and investment into the project. They opened their doors in the summer of 2018 and are experiencing continual sales growth and increased traffic.
As a teen, Doug Wildey plunked coin after coin into the Captain Fantastic and Eight Ball pinball machines at his favorite arcade.
Decades later, Wildey turned his love of arcade games into a growing retail business, Game Room Guys, where he sells pinball machines, pool tables, foosball games, golf simulators, dartboards, poker tables, air hockey — even jukeboxes, record turntables, vending machines, and Jack Daniels memorabilia.
What started as a business out of his garage in 2001 has grown into a 26,000-square-foot national headquarters in Comstock Park, near Grand Rapids, with customers across the nation.
And now, Wildey has entered the metro Detroit market with a new store in Livonia, southeast of Eight Mile and Newburgh roads.
Wildey described Game Room Guys as “one of the largest pinball dealers in the world.” He said the majority of customers are homeowners who want to create or add a game room atmosphere to part of their home.
But he also supplies corporate break rooms, college dormitories, bars, youth centers and, of course, arcades.
Wildey said two of his three sons are involved in the business, which has 26 employees. He said his company is the go-to place for people who need to find replacement parts for pinball machines and other products dating back to the 1940s and 1950s.