• Creative Endeavors

    Style Profile: Prohibition modern

    In historic preservation, many designers and property developers continue to find inspiration from the era of prohibition and its accompanying one-of-a-kind design features. From the 1920s through the 1930s, nightlife moved underground, taking with it traditional conceptions of design and eye-catching media such as hand-painted advertisements that signified the establishment of the era’s signature art deco style, which continues to permeate design. One such advertisement provided the basis for the renovation and historical preservation of a condominium unit in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan in September 2018. It depicted a styled woman painted over two-stories of brick in 1907—now an interior wall and historic gem in the center of the residential…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured,  Print Edition

    The personal touch

    In today’s technological age of touch screens and automation, Talin Spring, owner and designer of Spring Finn & Co. in Minneapolis, believes in the importance of tactility. “In everything I do, above all, I think about the human experience, whether it is a bag or a room,” Spring said. “I look into making it for longevity with materials that will become more beautiful with age; that will bring a joy and well-being to the person who is using it.” While born into a family of skilled embroiderers, sewers, knitters, leather lovers, and shoemakers in Istanbul, Turkey, and having spent most of her life in France—a place that has captivated fine…

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    The complete craft

    “We refer to a holistic approach to projects and design. We meld architecture and interior design together,” said Brian Barkwell, AIA, principal architect at Via Design, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Barkwell’s partnership in the commercial and residential-focused design firm resulted from a similar melding of his own approach to design and that of Valerie Schmieder, ASID, IIDA, ASFD, NCIDQ, who founded Via Design, Inc. in 1989 as an interior design firm. Through mutual clients and a shared list of independently acquired projects, Barkwell officially joined Schmieder at Via Design, Inc. in the late 2000s to bring both architecture and interior design under one roof to create a comprehensive design…

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    Time curated

    In cities where the dining is plentiful, the physical design of a restaurant is instrumental in creating its mood, personality, and the overall experience guests can have. For Butch’s Dry Dock in downtown Holland, Michigan, what started as a concept focused on deli fare and wine retail, has evolved in the last two decades to include an array of dining experiences under a single roof and menu. The longevity of the restaurant and its many personalities is largely credited to a cultivated relationship between restauranteur, Butch TerHaar, owner and founder of Butch’s Dry Dock, and designer Dennis Reckley, principal and lead architect at SVB + Reckley Architects in Holland, Michigan.…

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    Style Profile: Everyday USA

    Usually when designing a residential interior, the goal is to create a timeless space that captures homeowners’ personalities while also anticipating their growth. When the time came for Grand Rapids, Michigan-based interior design firm, Vision Interiors by Visbeen Architects, LLC to craft an interior for a young, growing family in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, the team exercised a timeless new style concept that would also become a mainstay of the firm’s stylistic repertoire. “[The homeowners] requested a classic traditional look that would also feel fresh and young and would be a space for them to live and enjoy with their growing family,” said Julie Holmes, principal designer at Vision Interiors…

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    Warm stone gallery

    Before a design project begins to take physical shape—whether interior or exterior—the right materials are chosen to create the personality of a new space. The concept of the showroom was created to present these options in a variety of layouts highlighting different themes, materials, and palettes to spark inspiration in visitors and assist them in imagining the full potential of their project. While many showrooms leverage performance or visual exhibitions that showcase products; others create understated atmospheres that promote wonderment, conversation, and comfortability. One such showroom is that of Lakeside Surfaces Inc. in Kentwood, Michigan, which operates on the notion that the showroom experience should, in itself, be designed to…

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    Sensory showroom

    For many, the heart of a home is its kitchen: a space that is shared and enjoyed along with the dishes it creates. The space is often a central nexus, supported by a series of appliances that are inherent to its function. Since 1945, the Sub-Zero brand—along with the newer additions of Wolf and Cove—has functioned as an industry leader in creating culinary appliances that focus on cooking, food storage, and kitchen cleanliness. All three brands, established by Sub-Zero, Inc., a Madison, Wisconsin-based firm and manufacturer, have shaped the culinary appliance industry for more than 80 years in part by creating comprehensive, exciting show rooms that focus on hands-on education…

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    Personal affects

    Before Dawn Marie Coe, founder and chief creative officer at DMC Design LLC, launched her own firm in 2011, she had a naturally-keen eye for interior details and how they paired with their architectural surroundings.  “I noticed I had an eye for not just looking at those little things, but also asking the right questions to see if [homeowners] needed their space transformed beyond paint colors and furnishings,” Coe said. “I typically ended up going toward more of an architectural and spatial planning [point-of-view]. It was a hobby, but then it became something that was full-time and bigger than just furniture and paint colors; that is when I knew I…

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    Industrial revolution 

    Established in 2016 as an early-stage investment firm in Midwest-based startup companies emphasizing manufacturing, Banyan Tree Ventures LLC in Hudsonville, Michigan has since evolved into a multi-endeavor business. Now, the diversified business comprises Banyan Tree Surplus, an industrial supply source; Banyan Tree Equity, a private equity investment arm; and Banyan Tree Fabworks, a specialty proto-design shop where it designs, creates, and acquires statement pieces for customers, businesses, and other designers.  Banyan Tree Fabworks was also the firm’s first endeavor that began as a creative way to create initial momentum and led to the creation of one-of-a-kind furniture from forgotten industrial machinery by the Banyan Tree Ventures team. “We started making…