In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the full-service architectural, interior, and product design firm Via Design Inc., whose work appears throughout the city’s commercial and residential sectors—and their many sub-categories—has added a new brand to its identity.
Since its establishment in 1989, the firm, which is headquartered downtown, has continually added services to its repertoire, including sustainable design, furniture procurement and design, and an expansive in-house architecture and interior design library featuring samples and resources compiled from around the world. Recently Via Design’s service offerings have been joined by Abbreviated Design, an online home décor shop curated by the firm’s own professional designers.
“[The brand] still has the same themes as Via, it’s just abbreviating the design process” said Aricka Gannon, marketing and communications coordinator at Via Design.
Tailored to focus on retail and a distilled interior design scope, the shop also offers simplified interior design services or “styling services,” according to Gannon. Whether clients need assistance sourcing and installing accessories, arranging shelving, or just benefitting from a hand-picked selection of accessories, Abbreviated Design offers an open-ended variety of styling services for new and repeat Via Design clients seeking to refresh or upgrade their interiors.
“It’s a simplified approach to interior design where you can resource your own accessories, but they’re being hand selected by professionals,” said Audrey Ferris, graphic designer at Via Design. Ferris has also been developing the new brand alongside Melissa Marklevitz, interior design at Via Design.
“It’s home décor sourced from brands we have worked with in the past and ones we know are of high quality. These are items a shopper wouldn’t be able to find without an interior designer. The accessories you see online at Abbreviated Design would not be found at your typical home goods store,” Ferris added.
The brand’s retail site is a helpful resource for clients to shop a professionally pre-selected variety of accessories while planning their updated space. It includes the team’s first two curated collections, Modern Organic and Industrial Farmhouse, which comprise items in fresh, light, and natural colors and textures from the outdoors, and a dynamic blend of traditional farmhouse and vintage industrial aesthetics, respectively. The collections are indicative of Via Design’s own affinity for fresh thought in design, which is balanced with an attention to the trends that clients enjoy.
“We’re interested in recognizing trends, but also in being a thought leader. Our Purchasing Manager, Courtney Bishop, is talented at sourcing unique items which helps us develop original design themes,” Ferris said.
From décor such as baskets and picture frames to textiles, lamps, and artisan products, the online portal includes a rotating selection of professionally sourced items, many which reflect the area’s rich and growing network of artists and craftspeople. So far, prints by Grand Rapids-based—and internationally renowned—photographer Amy Carroll and hand-crafted wood cutting boards by artisan Garett Miles are only some examples of the locally-sourced items the Abbreviated Design team seeks to include.
“We are interested in doing the artisan made [goods] and also featuring local artists,” Ferris said. “Everyone’s kind of on a mission right now to find other [artisans]. It’s not hard in Grand Rapids.”
Abbreviated Design’s professionally sourced furnishings and accessories and open-ended services create a versatility in the area’s interior design offerings that is embellished further by a wide range of price points for retail items. The entire brand constitutes a new kind of design service in the area; and it branches from an architecture and design studio integrated into the fabric of its ever-developing built environment.
Text: R. Collins | GLBD writer
Photography: Via Design Inc.