• Architecture,  Featured,  Print Edition

    Brent R. Dykstra, LEED AP

    Brent Dykstra, LEED AP, senior architect and senior associate at AMDG Architects, Incorporated in Grand Rapids, Michigan knew he wanted to be an architect when he was about 12- or 13-years-old; although he didn’t completely know what it meant at the time.  “It seemed like the right convergence of practical problem solving and artistic creation. I don’t think I ever felt like I wanted to go into a pure engineering side and I think I felt too practical to be an artist—and probably not creative enough—and I enjoyed history,” Dykstra said. “I think I’ve always just enjoyed understanding how things are the way they are.” Dykstra joined AMDG Architects in…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    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…

  • Featured,  Form

    Diverse craft

    Variation in project scope and typology often brings new opportunities to play with different architectural styles, and for Elaine Keiser, AIA, architect and principal of Elaine Keiser Architect, Inc., those opportunities bring a breath of fresh air and thrill.  “I really embrace the idea that we can venture out into different styles of architecture and find some new way to bring them together for what the client is looking for,” Keiser said. “What we design is tailored to them and that makes it a lot of fun and very interesting for everybody involved. I’m not stuck on any particular type of design.” Keiser, who is a licensed architect in seven…

  • Featured,  Travel

    Celebrated history 

    Northern Michigan is often known as a vibrant tourist destination due to its valuable natural resources and seasonal beauty. Since the 1870s—and as railroads expanded their lines to reach more corners of the area—hidden gems such as Walloon Lake were exposed to the yearly influx of visitors from cities such as Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Chicago.  To participate in the industry expansion, Hotel Walloon was built in the 1890s and featured stylish parlors, wrap-around porches, and embellished woodwork. The newest rendition of Hotel Walloon, developed by real estate developers Jonathan and Matt Borisch in 2015, is at the forefront of the Village of Walloon Lake’s intimate-yet-bustling tourism industry and is styled…

  • Featured,  Print Edition

    Nick Liebler, LEED AP

    Nick Liebler, LEEP AP, architect, and partner at White & Liebler Architects in Petoskey, Michigan is inspired by the idea of craft in design.  “You’re creating something that didn’t exist before, so the challenge of being able to take a given set of ideas and turn it into something tangible—that would be what is most exciting to me about design,” Liebler said. “It is just the opportunity to create something and use your imagination to develop something within a set of parameters.”  Having fallen in love with the craft of building and creating homes through working in the construction industry, Liebler noted the commercial work was a bit different than…

  • Featured,  Form

    Inspired resource

    When building or remodeling a residence, unforeseen details can arise at any point in the design process—often placing stress on homeowners, architects, builders, and others involved. Since 1968, Williams Kitchen & Bath in Grand Rapids, Michigan has positioned itself as a locally-owned kitchen and bath design and consultation company assisting homeowners in smoothing out the many details involved in realizing their dream space.  With the added creative expertise of its talented professionals at Williams Studio, a sister company of Williams Kitchen & Bath located in Kentwood, Michigan, the company can partner with clients from the beginning of a project and guide it to completion while serving as a resource for…

  • Featured,  Form,  Interiors,  Residential

    The crafted climb

    With a well-tuned eye for detail developed by an early introduction to the art of carpentry and further honed by a 15-year specialization in stair systems, Matthew Conrad, design and installation specialist at Stair System Specialists in Saginaw, Michigan is no stranger to the craft. From compelling works of art designed to last and engaging stair systems unified with—and enhance—the architectural personality of a space, Stair System Specialists works to create solutions aligned with space, budget, and a vision blending beauty and function.  While initially pursuing carpentry before working specifically as a trim carpenter for a regional high-end custom home builder, Conrad developed an affinity for the grand entrance of…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    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…

  • 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…