• Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Abbreviated design

    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,…

  • Featured,  Print Edition

    Great Lakes By Design: In Scene

    Contents: Design Corner Thea | the artistic and minimalist table designed by Versteel in collaboration with Roberto Lucci Epoxy tables | 
a series of custom coffee tables from repurposed, fallen beech and oak trees Design Spotlight Behind the camera | 
in conversation about craft with some of the photographers in the region Julia Auerbach Photography Ashley Avila Photography M-Buck Studio Form Beautifully designed | 
a Chicago-based interior designer who has paired artistic craft with business acumen as an entrepreneur with a deft eye for interior architecture The museum school 
| a former museum site in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan is transformed into an innovative public school concept The beachfront aerie |…

  • Form,  Print Edition

    A royal renovation

    In Evanston, Illinois—a city defined by its tree-lined sidewalks and collection of homes—architecture is a diverse language. Beaux-Arts, Prairie, Italianate, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Queen Anne are dialects spoken across intersections and around block corners, passing down their stories through iconic massing, decorative ornamentation, gables, brick and stone, gently sloped rooflines, and the occasional tower or turret. In the renovation of this particular Queen Anne residence, a style known for its irregular roof shapes, bay windows, dramatic massing, and multiple gables and dormers, the homeowners envisioned a design respectful of the heritage in its walls and wove in dynamic elements reflective of their young family lifestyle. Once the home…

  • Featured,  Form

    Lakefront serenity

    At the top of a rolling hillside on the Lake Macatawa shoreline in Holland, Michigan, a contemporary, tranquil, and dynamic residence rests within its picturesque backdrop while posing a statement of architecture and craftsmanship. As an eastern-influenced, multi-part residence, the roughly 5,000-square-foot home was designed in 2013 by Sears Architects, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based architecture and planning firm. The home features a layout naturally supporting entertainment and an overall aesthetic design composed of surprising and carefully crafted details around every corner. “It feels roomy and accommodates different activities happening at the same time, yet we didn’t have to design a castle; we didn’t have to design big,” Sears Architects said.…

  • 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…

  • Print Edition

    Great Lakes By Design: Architectonics

    Design Spotlight Inverted bowl the patent-pending concept poised to revolutionize the stadium and arena design industry Thread in transit the award-winning, integrated CTA Washington/Wabash Elevated Train Station serving as a gateway in the heart of downtown Chicago Moment of flight the award-winning pavilion capturing the drama of flight at Gerald R. Ford International Airport Design Corner Garofalo Screen the custom, French-inspired fire screen handcrafted and forged by Smith Shop Essay’d 3: 30 Detroit Artists the third volume in a series of short, insightful essays on artists in Detroit Form Informed landscape an architectural studio in Toronto, Ontario designing great dwellings that are informed by those who will inhabit them and the landscape it exists in Sky…

  • 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…

  • 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…