• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Designing hope

    Behind the initial design process, is a purpose; and even desire in its truest form. It involves configuring objects and materials into solutions, which can result in potentially life-changing outcomes. When Lauren Liebler, an engineering and Computer Aided Design, or CAD, instructor at Petoskey High School in Petoskey, Michigan introduced a new project to her Career and Technical Education Drafting class in November, the goal was to achieve a previously unreachable solution to assist Stella Malpass, a six-year-old elementary student at Petoskey Sheridan Elementary, in her daily life. Born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, or AMC, which is a musculoskeletal disease affecting joint movement; Malpass experiences difficulties when dressing. After years…

  • Featured,  Form

    Naturally nautical

    Among the many unique—and sometimes unexpected—happenings associated with homebuilding, one of the most intriguing can be a finished home’s likeness to those who caringly coax it into existence. A lakeside project finished in Bridgeman, Michigan by the residential restoration, renovation, and new construction firm known as Mark Scott Homes enveloped the personality of one homeowner as a serene and hospitable gathering place set atop a Lake Michigan dune. “The unique thing about our portfolio is that there are really no two houses that are alike. We have a wide variety of styles,” said Jason Fischer, project designer at Mark Scott Homes in Niles, Michigan. “The personalities of the homes usually…

  • Craftsmanship,  Design,  Featured

    Redesigned palette

    Lakeside Surfaces Inc., a Midwest fabricator and installer of countertop materials, has offered quality products and leading industry services equipped with state-of-the-art digital templating technology for roughly 25 years. Recently, Lakeside Surfaces has redeveloped its palette of stone and solid surface lines to offer options for customer at every price point, which becomes even more budget-friendly during its Black Friday Sale on November 19 through November 24, 2019.  “We used to sell exclusively premium products. There were a lot of customers who had less in their budget for countertops or had invested it in other areas [of renovation],” said Ray Schelhas, marketing director at Lakeside Surfaces. “We realized by offering…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Design,  Featured

    Screen solutions

    As a small family-owned distributor of Phantom Screens in Michigan and Indiana, Retractable Solutions, Inc., has provided the Midwest with the comprehensive Phantom Screen product line for more than 20 years. Retractable Solutions has partnered with Phantom Screens since 1992 and both firms strive to develop product lines and installation techniques satisfying a variety of customer needs.  One of the newest products in their portfolio, the Phantom XL Retractable Screen, is a solution for oversized openings, multi-paneled door systems, and folding glass door systems. The product and its options for installation combine modern technologies with the classic customer care and cultivated expertise that Retractable Solutions has provided since its inception…

  • Travel

    Reinvigorated essence

    Text: R. Collins For many northern Michigan businesses and organizations, the serenity of the area’s natural environment—composed by sandy bluffs, fresh water, dense deciduous forests, and awe-inspiring seasonal changes—often inspires the design of retail and gathering spaces. When it came time for Spa Grand Traverse, a full-service spa within the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan, to receive an upgrade to its interior design, aesthetics inspired by northern Michigan’s natural assets were incorporated during the remodel to not only encourage relaxation, but also a sense of separation from a guest’s external stressors upon reopening. “[We were] looking to find that same balance that is found in nature and wanting to…

  • Design,  Featured

    Valued stone

    Text: R. Collins  As timeless components of many interior spaces, stone products have grown in quantity and quality as a result of development in fabrication techniques and becoming increasingly customizable for individuals and businesses.  Great Lakes Granite Works in Comstock Park, Michigan, is a designer, retailer, and fabricator of fine stone products, pursuing customer satisfaction and a diverse range of quality materials since 1992. The drive to provide clients with natural solution for architectural and commercial needs has solidified the firm’s position as one of West Michigan’s top fabricators and installers of granite and quartz. Now with access to more than 300 granite colors, as well as an assortment of…

  • Design Spotlight

    Commerce Design: Detroit

    The inaugural competition announces 10 winning projects in a celebration of design and highlight of innovation in business across the city’s neighborhoods. Text: R.J. Weick   Design Core Detroit, a non-profit organization championing design-driven businesses, and AIA Detroit officially announced the 10 winning projects of the inaugural Commerce Design: Detroit competition during a special ceremony held Oct. 25, 2018 at the Garden Theatre on Woodward in Midtown. The competition not only recognizes brick-and-mortar commercial projects submitted jointly by business owner and design team, but also celebrates entrepreneurism and the value of design throughout the City of Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck neighborhoods in the last five years. Of the 37…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Mediterranean air

    Text: R. Collins  When designing the interior for a new Byron Center, Michigan home—which would be featured in the Home Builders Association of Greater West Michigan’s annual parade—Julie Wynalda, founder of True Vine Creations in Hudsonville, Michigan, looked no further than the Mediterranean aesthetics of the homeowner’s childhood living spaces in Israel and her design firm’s own principles.  “My style is literally rooted in my love for nature,” Wynalda said. “Somehow that environment opens my thoughts and ideas. I tend to really enjoy neutrals on neutrals and then adding layers of texture rather than color.” True Vine Creations is a West Michigan-based commercial and retail interior design solutions company also…

  • Design Spotlight

    Iron and ivory

    “There was something consistent no matter where I studied and that was the principles of Vitruvius, who was an architectural philosopher in the Roman Empire. He really stressed good design is focused around three main components, which is feasibility, beauty, and durability; so essentially function, beauty, and strength,” said Kayla Pongrac, principal, designer, and co-founding partner of Iron and Ivory in Ontario, Canada. “That is the philosophy behind our brand.” Iron and Ivory is an interior design firm with a collaborative environment led by Co-Founding Partners Pongrac and Rnea Garrah from its two locations in Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario. At its core, the small firm embraces a philosophy inspired by…