Remodeling and Home Design
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EGR Kitchen Transformation - 3D Video Tour and Design Process

Jennifer was asked to redesign this small East Grand Rapids kitchen for a couple that has lived here for nearly thirty years. They could hardly wait another minute to get started on what will be a complete transformation. We hope you enjoy these video tours through the 3D model we built as much as we do. 

We hope you enjoy seeing the progression of our work from before photos, to floor plan, 3D views, video tours, and 3D rendering. We love the process of design and couldn't be more excited to share a few snapshots highlighting the steps we take in moving from concept to delivery. We're just as excited to share the final results this fall. 

If you're into this 3D modeling stuff - Check out our short discussion on: 3-Key Reasons Why 3-D Modeling Matters


Video moving east from north to south.


Video moving west from south to north.


 A floor plan for orientation.


Before and after views.












Finally, our 3D rendering of the kitchen infuses mass and form with light, texture, reflectivity and color to help demonstrate a closer look and feel reflecting a truer ethos of the final design. If you made it this far, thanks for visiting and celebrating our work with us!


3-Key Reasons Why 3-D Modeling Matters.

He's standing in the kitchen, comparing our 3D drawings in hand to what he sees being built around him. 

"I'm shocked! They're building it the way you modeled it!"

This is the reaction we heard from a current client and homeowner that we provided a 3D model of their kitchen renovation for.  We do love the responses we get when we walk a client through a 3D model, but we don't just do it for the positive attention or because it makes a client's eyes glow. Here are three key reasons why 3-D modeling for interior design really matters. 

Final 3D rendering for a remodel of an Ada, Michigan living space. 

1 -
3D modeled space is easier for people to visualize than 2D plans, elevations and details. 

By viewing a room in 3D from several angles, it's much easier to envision what an interior environment will look and feel like and to simulate flow when moving from space to space. Not only does the client benefit from a z-axis dimensional presentation, a designer's process of discovery is altogether improved when molding a space in three dimensions by actualizing what can't be seen in only x and y. 

For the client we mentioned, "shocked" by the realization of what was once only on paper, Jennifer recalls her experience when reviewing the 3D drawings with him and his wife for approval.

I could see in their eyes, they understood.

 Sequence showing progression of drawings from sketch to CAD elevation and 3D model to 3D rendering.

2 -
3D design stimulates better questions, confident decisions, and more timely and enjoyable meetings. 

Working around a large screen, Jennifer can virtually walk a client through their interior space. Areas of concern can be modified during a meeting or easily identified for further improvement. 3D-modeled interior space also elicits informed and confident approval processes. 3D models generate discussion where it's wanted and cuts down on tangential topics that soak up valuable meeting time. 

3 -
3D drawings aid builders in understanding design intent and building it right the first time.

A 3D sketch is often provided today as a part of a set of construction documents to highlight areas that may be easily misunderstood. This approach cuts down on the possibility for error and offers a better shot at getting something built right the first time, which translates into projects that are built well, on time, and completed within budget!

Final 3D rendering for a remodel of an Ada, Michigan open living room and bar.


Looking in the Right Light

If you've ever painted a room, or installed a new material only to find when the job is done - that you really don't like it? If it hasn't happened to you, it's probably happened to someone you know.

The truth is, color is light. If your lighting is wrong, color lies.

Color changes depending on its surroundings; it's environmentally subjective. To avoid disappointment, make sure you look at your paint, carpet, wood or wallcovering sample in the right light. So, what is the right light? It might help to reframe the question by asking: 

What is the wrong light?

Store lighting. Unless you have your home or office lit like a warehouse, the way you see color in the store is not the way you'll see it in your own home. Even the lighting in a showroom likely will not illuminate color the same way it will in your own environment.

Direct sunlight.
Never look at anything in direct sunlight. It will wash the color out and amp you up for disappointment. This includes exterior colors and materials. Don't lay them flat in the middle of the driveway; they will look different once installed. Instead stand your samples up vertically in an area with some indirect natural light.
Dim light. If you don't have enough light, you can't see. If you look at your samples in dim lighting, when you're surprised that it doesn't look good when you project is complete and fully lit, it's because now you can actually see it. In dim lighting you'll miss all the nauances, the highlights, lowlights and accents of color and material.

Digital light. When scrolling through color samples or material swatches online, be wary. Though digital imaging and calibration technology have made big strides for improved color accuracy, what you see on your monitor can still be deceptive. The color you see is dependent on the quality of your screen and typically each screen shows them a little different.

Jennifer working with Virginia Tile to pull samples for review on site at a custom residential project in St. Joseph, Michigan.

How do I get the right light?

Just because color is complex and subjective doesn't mean it has to be terribly complicated. The following simple steps will ensure you see your colors and materials in the right light, and will give you greater confidence when making final selections for your space.

Get a sample. Call a designer, call a distributor, see if you can order online. Whatever you do, do not make any decisions until you have seen a sample. 

Take it home. Once you have a sample in hand, bring it into your own environment. An interior designer will do this for you and/or with you to review your colors and materials and offer expertise and direction. Be sure when you have it home, to view it under the type and level of lighting that you will have at the end of your project. If you're lighting is being updated, do your best to recreate your final desired lighting during your review. 

Go see it. If you can't get a sample in your work or home environment due to size, time constraints, or availability, find someplace where you can go see it. Ask about what type of lighting you can view it under on site, otherwise, get creative and figure out a way to bring your own travel-sized light source when you go. When you can, bring an interior designer with you.

Watch it change. View it during different times of day; dawn, dusk and midday, lights on, lights off. Changes in natural light and in lamping will reveal subtleties and variation of color and material.

Pull it together. To get any sense of the overall effect of color and material, keep all your samples together. Try arranging them in different ways to acheive a balanced palette. If you plan to have a tiny bit of a bold color in your space, don't look at a sample that is bigger than all your other samples. Use small samples for small items: fold it, cut it, scissors or razor blade (with care & caution!). If you are considering anything with a pattern, make sure you have appropriately sized samples so that you get a good sense of scale and how often the pattern repeats.

Seems like common sense, but it's easy to forget. You'd be surprised how many times these simple steps are missed or forgotten and what a huge difference each one makes. Lighting influences color dramatically, remember to look in the right light.


Stevensville Residence Remodel on Lake Michigan - Getting it Right by Asking, "Why?".

Asking the question, 'How can I help?' is key place to start when we meet a new potential client or when we're invited to work with a returning client again.  Asking 'How?' helps gauge interest and ability in meeting a need.

But to fully satisfy a need, we must ask more than 'How?', we also must understand 'Why?'. If we don't, we may miss the motive of a request and risk failing to fulfill a real need. Though it can be hard to articulate an answer to the question, 'Why?',

Jennifer loves piecing together the puzzle behind people and their interests. She loves to figure out who people are and what they are about.

Through thoughtful inquiring and atuned and intuitive listening, Jennifer gets to the root of her client's motivations allowing her to effectively realize their greater goals, visions, or dreams. 

Once we get the 'Why?', then we really can tackle the 'How?'.

Because of their willingness to share the reasoning for their request, Jennifer had a clear understanding of this Stevensville, Michigan client's needs. In turn, Jennifer is taking flight coaching, serving, and fulfilling this couple's vision for their home.

                                                       BEFORE: Looking into kitchen from dining.                                                        BEFORE: View from mud room into kitchen.                                       


Views of the kitchen after having been gutted, the infrastructure reworked, drywalled and now undergoing painting.PROGRESS: Looking into kitchen from dining.PROGRESS: View of kitchen from mud room.











For this Lake Michigan residence, we we're asked to udpate and remodel the majority of the main level with new finishes, interior architectural improvements, lighting, and more.  We learned that after 25 years in this Stevensville home with the kids now out of school they were ready to gut their dated 1980's waterfront home. 


The kitchen had been redone in the early 2000's, but is used differently now with the couple preparing food more frequently together. The husband is home more often after having sold his business and does a lot of cooking; it's something he really enjoys. It was telling that he was the one who selected the new appliances for this kitchen remodel. He cooks, she cooks, they cook together.  

There are more cooks in the kitchen.

We were asked to do a remodel to update a lakeside residence, but when asking 'why?' with careful inquiring, listening, and intuiting more about this couple's needs, wants, and challenges with the residence now, we are able to do a remodel that is more than just an update, but a remodel that really fits the lifestyle of the people who live here.


In collaborating with kitchen designer Marilyn Negelkirk, together we discovered that the existing kitchen's layout was dense and terribly congested. Rather than just give it a facelift, the layout and traffic flow were improved in areas where they really needed it. In the redesign, so much space was reclaimed that hadn't been put to full use before. An existing walkway leading to the backyard was removed and the old placement of the island was relocated offering a new layout that makes the kitchen more functional and feel more spacious. It now feels like a much larger room that takes full advantage of every square foot there was to work with without actually adding any space.

The thing about this project that makes it really stand out are the clients. Our approach to connecting has been varied meeting in both Stevensville and Grand Rapids. We've met in Douglas with Marilyn, and we've worked by phone and e-mail. Regardless the place or method, our regular contact has made our work together smooth and enjoyable and our communication clear. As we've approached our work as a team, we've learned more about one another, and in the course of our discovery, we've built an honest and meaningful designer-client relationship. That kind of relationship is what makes us here at JBID tick. Jennifer answers when asked, 'How can you help?', 'Where do you find fulfillment?' or in other words, 'Why do you do what you do?'...

Combining my creativity, my business and my love for coaching to make real connections with people and understand people better.

With project completion scheduled for the end of June, this main level kitchen, dining room and mud room renovation is well underway. Builder, Norm Zelke, is working his magic and we're excited about sharing the results this summer!


Business, But Life

When Jennifer is invited to lead and coach a client in an interior design project, she does it for you. It's not for her own self-aggrandisement and it's not so she can put a stamp of her logo on a dazzling photograph of the completed project. Jennifer is in the business of interior design, because it is her gifting, it is her love.

But, more importantly, Jennifer is in the business of people. Interior design is not about us. Interior design is beyond us; it's about people, it's about you. It's about finding out what and how we can help you through interior design. Jennifer's approach to business is shaped by those relationships. But Jennifer doesn't just treat people this way in her studio, she aims to treat people this way in every aspect of her life.

How you treat others is a measure of who you are as a person.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate & Human Rights Activist, shared these words at the LeaderCast event Jennifer attended at Calvin College this month. The encouragement to lead in business and in life as a servant really resonated with us. We understand that servanthood comes at a cost, and therein lies our challenge.  Jennifer puts it this way,

Interior design is the easy part, it's the relationship part that's hard.

Even though our relationships take work, people are the fundamental reason why we do it! We find fulfillment in connecting with our clients and serving them in a way we can really help - through good interior design! When we put our logo on our work, it's because we're excited about the results, the results of people-centered design, the results of putting our clients first.