Case study: Northwood University’s Strosacker Learning Commons

blue chairs in a library sitting area with bookshelves behind

Northwood University—located in Midland, Michigan—prides itself in developing free-enterprise leaders who drive global economic and social progress. 

Northwood University called us in for a renovation of its Strosacker Learning Commons—previously a library and now a versatile space for undergrad students. They selected SPACE because we captured their vision of a home-away-from-home sanctuary.

The team sought a variety of functions within this space: group study and independent study, as well as meeting spaces and quiet focus spaces.

We brought in sectionals, open shelving, artwork, lamps, and greenery to achieve that comfortable, homey feeling. The open shelving has an added bonus of being a space divider while also holding students’ backpacks. Beanbags offer relaxed, lived-in seating areas, while ottomans and whiteboards are moveable for flexibility. 

Northwood’s new space features a mix of bar-height tables with standard tables and booths. Frequent power access grants added convenience.

Previously, their alcove areas were dark and lifeless. So we added patterns to the bench seating and accent paint, artwork, and lamps. 

In addition to the new designs, we also relied on our SPACE anew program. We upcycled old study carrels, adding laminate on the end panels to refresh the all wood oak look. These creative techniques saved 1.5 TONS of furniture from going to the landfill!

We always love when clients are willing to get creative about using old items in a new way—saving furniture from the landfill in the process!

The beautiful new Strosacker Learning Commons

Before photos

Our SPACE anew calculator allows you to enter in the number of different furniture assets you currently have and then generates numbers informing you on how much savings you can achieve by up cycling; both dollar savings and savings in pounds of furniture out of the landfill.