• 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…

  • 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…

  • 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

    The seasonal garden

    By: R.Collins  As autumn continues to envelop Michigan landscapes, the time has come to prepare for the winter months and the blooms to come after the snow thaws.  Sarah Sella, landscape designer at Alfresco Landscapes LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said introducing seasonal plants to the garden in the fall when the rainfall is cool and steady and the hot temperatures have dissipated, allows plants a gentle environment in which to take root.  “Now is the time to plant your spring flowering bulbs,” Sella said. “Sometimes people want daffodils in the spring time and then, suddenly, it’s spring already and you’ve missed your window of opportunity. They have to be…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Prospective learning environments

    Text: R. Collins  As technology and modern knowledge become intensely packed into our personal spheres, grade schools and collegiate institutes—the spaces we tend to rely on to make sense of it all—carry an immeasurable importance in the present and future of learning. Whereas in the mid-twentieth century teaching practices promoted linear, regimented teaching styles, which popularized images of front-facing desks bolted to the ground, school design now must cater to the ways in which different types of students absorb and interpret information, explained Peter Baldwin, AIA, NCARB, president and principal at AMDG Architects in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  With a diverse educational design portfolio featuring projects in West Michigan school systems—such…

  • Design,  Design Spotlight,  Uncategorized

    Traverse City Tuscan

    Text: R. Collins For many, the home is a dwelling space, which enables those inside to be their truest selves every time they return—a permanent fixture accumulating important artifacts from everyday life, which in turn tell an individual’s story. This was true for a condominium unit project nestled along the scenic Boardman River in Traverse City, Michigan and its owners, who contracted local interior designer Angela Goodall to create a comfortable home environment showcasing their international taste. As a founder of the project-based, Traverse City-based design firm known as Kitchen Choreography, which has more than 800 projects completed, Goodall is experienced in producing creative solutions for each project to allow property owners the fullest utilization of…