(616) 459-3539
Designing for Kids: A Pediatric Dental Office in Traverse City

Designing for Kids: A Pediatric Dental Office in Traverse City

Drs. Jamie VanWingen and Matt Mandeville of Northern Michigan Pediatric Dentistry typically will see up to 20 patients per hour and most of them are under the age of five.

The lobby playhouse and boat, "USS Tooth Ferry"

The lobby playhouse and boat, “USS Tooth Ferry”

They’ve been planning for growth, and to meet their changing needs, engaged Rockford Construction to work with them to remodel a building on 8th Street in Traverse City, MI. Bob Cornwell of Cornwell Architects was asked to work with them to create a space plan. Last spring we were contacted by Josh Reynolds of Rockford Construction to inquire if we had experience with designing for kids and if we would give him a bid for the interiors of this project. We showed them our work with children’s museums, day care centers, schools and theme parks and they invited us “to play”.

Mary and Mary Jane from r.o.i. Design worked with Drs. Jamie and Matt to come up with an interior that reflected their outgoing nature and love of adventure and travel.


The Lobby will have hanging felt boats, radiating beams, and a boat house.

Part of the design criteria given to us was to design interesting flooring patterns and interesting ceilings. The doctors also wanted to get away from the literal kid-mural type of interiors and instead work with blocks of color and graphics so the space would appeal to both kids and families.It was also important to ensure staff wasn’t exhausted by working in a space that was so visually busy.

The new office is designed around three areas; Water, Land and Sky. The interior finishes reflect those themes in a colorful way. The completion date is scheduled for November 2014. For more about what we did on this job see our blog story “There is a Boathouse in the Warehouse”.



The corridor through the “Land” theme.



Inset stone path in the vinyl flooring in the “Land” theme


Welcome to the “Sky”. Hanging clouds will be suspended over the dental chairs


Inset star shapes in the “Sky” theme