In Randy DeBoer's opinion, Grand Rapids' Heartside District is one of the "most beautiful examples of 'renewal' in downtown Grand Rapids."
DeBoer is president of the modern workspace/furniture dealer Interphase Interiors
, which announced the opening of a new showroom location on the first floor of 35 Oakes SW with plans for a May 7 grand opening celebration.
As the exclusive dealer for innovative furniture makers at Haworth
, Interphase Interiors partnered with Haworth and Rockford Development
in the creation of the downtown Grand Rapids incubator hub, MoDiv
, and DeBoer says after two years watching the space thrive, Interphase knew it wanted to increase its role as part of the city's creative community.
"In our two years' experience, being down there has really showed us, I think, the type of energy that can be infused into the organization by being able to have that downtown presence," he says. "It's certainly helped increase our brand presence downtown and we just enjoy that environment."
Also known as the Blue35
building, the eight-floor showroom at 35 Oakes SW was originally built in 1914 as the former Mertens Hotel. In an effort to maintain some of the unique, original fixtures of the 1,600-square-foot ground floor, the new Interphase Interiors showroom features Mertens Hotel original mosaic tile floors.
"For most people, it's the first thing that catches their eye," DeBoer says. "It's an incredible floor that you just can't find anywhere else."
With LED lighting, a ceiling grid constructed from 2x4's and a wooden wall made from recycled Interphase Interior warehouse pallet boards, DeBoer says preserving the character of the building while still representing the modern style of the brand was an important part of renovation plans with GMB Architecture
"We were intrigued by the idea of the history behind the space and we wanted to preserve as much of the history as possible and it really led us to focus on creating as sustainable a space as possible," he says. "We wanted to utilize as much of the existing building while still being able to use it as an example of our modern work style we can show our customers."
He says attention to detail and small but important touches, like private office enclaves and flexible workspaces, tie history and function together to create an office and a showroom that highlights the best of both.
"It's almost a contrast in the sense that the space itself has a very urban-industrial feel, but a lot of the product that we put in there is probably some of the most modern, edgy products from Haworth," DeBoer says. "It's almost a contrast of eras that exist in that one small space."
For more information on Interphase Interiors, visit www.interphaseinc.com.
By Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Interphase Interiors
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