• Travel

    Reinvigorated essence

    Text: R. Collins For many northern Michigan businesses and organizations, the serenity of the area’s natural environment—composed by sandy bluffs, fresh water, dense deciduous forests, and awe-inspiring seasonal changes—often inspires the design of retail and gathering spaces. When it came time for Spa Grand Traverse, a full-service spa within the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan, to receive an upgrade to its interior design, aesthetics inspired by northern Michigan’s natural assets were incorporated during the remodel to not only encourage relaxation, but also a sense of separation from a guest’s external stressors upon reopening. “[We were] looking to find that same balance that is found in nature and wanting to…

  • 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…

  • Travel

    Motion in choreograph

    “We are an idea-based firm. We can pivot off of any design problem and I think program is really just a vehicle to test ideas,” said Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, principal and creative director at DMAC Architecture P.C. in Evanston, Illinois. “Whether it is a hospital or a restaurant, I think you need to understand how it functions and it works, but it is still a vehicle to test some ideas and what is a food design for that particular problem or space.” When the Midtown Athletic Club and the Hotel at Midtown opened in 2017 at the intersection of Elston, Damen, and Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, it reflected a…

  • 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…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Travel

    Art on theMART

    By: R. Collins On September 29, 2018, theMART, formerly known as The Merchandise Mart, will host a series of curated digital artworks projected across nearly 2.5 acres of its exterior riverside façade after dusk around 7:15 p.m., launching an inaugural program known as Art on theMART.  The inaugural exhibition will showcase the works of renowned artists Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy; exploring genres and subject matter while using the digital model as a springboard for visual arts in the 21st Century. The artists were selected and commissioned by Art on theMART in consultation with a curatorial advisory board shaped by theMART and the City’s Department of…

  • Architecture,  Form

    Bright farmhouse

    With its intentional use of natural, light materials, this farmhouse shines with timeless style. Text: R. Collins Familiar with modern design trends and imbuing a sense of timeless style, Visbeen Architects and full-service interior design firm Vision Interiors by Visbeen reworked midcentury design concepts blended with the equally classic residential style often known for its use of raw wood and natural materials: the country farmhouse. Perched amid Kalamazoo, Michigan’s shaded woodlands, the Holloway House—finished in 2017—overlooks a ribbon-like stream and bountiful natural beauty that is complemented by the home’s refined, rustic-inspired appearance.  “While the exterior is more of that contemporary farmhouse, [the homeowners] had a midcentury theme that they wanted,…