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.

Case study: Woody’s International Engineering

Woody’s International Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. produces high quality snowmobile accessories. They’re a second generation, family-owned business known for their traction products designed for safety and control.

Completed several years ago, we’re pulling this project out of the archives to share with you all!

In 2019, the team at Woody’s called us for a full workplace redesign project. Their building had been passed down through the family—without change—and desperately needed a refresh. We wanted to remove some of the built-ins and add flow and function to their two-story office space.


A common challenge we face is needing to work within the existing footprint, rather than completely gut the floorplan. 

We used our creativity and furniture options to create a more functional space and restructure offices where possible.


To give the lobby a more welcoming feel, a new history wall and product display was installed. We also provided a variety of seating options. 

The building was completely revamped with a fresh coat of paint, flooring, and AIS furniture—and art was provided to complement the space. Woody’s office now has a combination of their branding colors paired with industrial elements.

Acoustics was another problem for the team. To solve for this, we used two design tactics:

  • Lighting: BuzziSpace lighting reduces excessive background noise in open spaces while providing a unique aesthetic.
  • Flooring: We selected the J+J Flooring Kinetex carpet tile, a durable, carpet-like material that acts like a hard surface but also absorbs sound.

Enjoy these new photos!

Case Study: SOLV Marketing

red stools at a workplace counter in large, wood paneled office

SOLV Marketing is a Midland, Michigan creative agency offering social media marketing, video and photography, content writing, and brand identity services.


Often, our workplace design projects require us to start from scratch with a blank slate. But SOLV — being the creative geniuses they are — had already begun renovations on their office space. They installed the wood floor and wall paneling, the decal wallpaper, and the impressive chalkboard. 

But they found themselves trapped in a time-suck of searching for the perfect furniture and accessories. That’s when they called us at SPACE in for support and decision-making!


The SOLV team gave us specific direction on their vision. They wanted a steampunk theme: a retrofuturistic subgenre of science fiction that incorporates technology from 19th century steam-powered machinery. (We had to Google that!)

Their clear — if a bit complicated — theme meant they hadn’t found the right furniture solution. The team also wasn’t sure if they were going to stay in their leased building, so they requested a somewhat flexible design solution, just in case.

Finally, the building’s original wood trim is a much lighter tone than the color selected for the new flooring and wall paneling.

Working with the existing elements in their space, our team searched high and wide for the right furniture solution. We landed on Arcadia Contract’s Worksmith brand. This modern furniture style is functional, flexible, and ties in the lighter wood trim.

Taking SOLV’s stylistic lead with the steampunk theme, we selected a handful of fun, bold, humorous accessories. These included a globe, giant dice, a funky blue coat hanger, and a small wheeled cart. 

We’re proud of the way we stepped into this challenge, creating collaborative spaces and a laid back, enjoyable space for the SOLV Marketing team. We can work with you on any workplace design project — no matter what stage you’re in!

Completed photos:

Original renderings:

Employee feature: Lauren Greschaw

Lauren Greschaw, senior interior designer, is a six-year veteran at SPACE — and the lucky guinea pig for our new employee feature series!

Originally an editor, Lauren grew passionate about interior design. A quick Google search within her hometown of Midland, Michigan led her to SPACE, Inc. But Kathie Fuce-Hobohm gently told her she was too young — to come back when she had AutoCAD experience.

How did your path lead to SPACE?

I earned my bachelor’s degree in interior design from Ball State University in Indiana. When I showed back up at SPACE’s door, Kathie agreed to let me start as an intern — partly because I was the first person to ever return after she had suggested more experience was needed.

Kathie adds that she gave me the opportunity because of my “grit and determination to earn the internship position.”

What are you most proud about throughout your years with SPACE?

I joined the SPACE team as a very young adult, so this team — led by Kathie, Paddy, and Jenni —  has helped me find my personal and professional voice. I have an innate need to make people happy, so it’s incredibly fulfilling to complete a project alongside our team and watch the clients glow.

What has been the most surprising aspect of your work with SPACE?

I didn’t realize how intense it could be in working with furniture dealers. Furniture is usually one of the last parts of the puzzle, and we designers have to be fast-paced and nimble to manage bids and timelines.

Tell us about a favorite project or two you’ve worked on.

Spicer Group — a construction engineer company in Saginaw, Michigan — was the first large-scale project I worked on. I get to stay involved with them, as SPACE tackles a new, small chunk of Spicer’s building every year.

I also had a blast working with SOLV Marketing on their “steampunk” office style — something we’ve never done before. Stay tuned for the case study and photos!

In your opinion, what is the future of design — and how will SPACE be able to help?

We firmly believe that the future of design includes the ability to work from anywhere: an office, your home, or a rented VRBO across the country. Clients will — and already are — ask for a variety of collaborative meeting spaces, comfortable furniture, and flexibility to adapt to unforeseen changes.

Throughout the past year, our design department has become much more collaborative than ever before. We’re ready for what’s to come.

Fun facts about Lauren:

Lauren’s personal design style: “A weird blend of mid-century modern and farmhouse.”

A design trend she hopes never returns: “Overly done peaches, pinks, and mauves.”

She loves kayaking, traveling, and she recently got a corgi puppy named Ginny — after the Harry Potter character, of course!

Case study: Kerkau Manufacturing

bright office with glass wall panels

Kerkau Manufacturing—located in Bay City, Michigan—is one of the premier manufacturers of pipe flanges and precision machined products in the United States.

We helped Kerkau design their new administrative building in 2016. So we were thrilled when they came back to us in 2020 for a refresh of their manufacturing office space.


Kerkau dreamed of an efficient workspace with modern amenities. With wood paneling considered outdated, they wanted to bring new life into the old space—updating the restrooms, kitchenette, and private offices.

They looked to SPACE to create a better flow throughout their workspace and bring more daylight, views, and updated technology into their workspace.


Our SPACE team provided a variety of services including new furniture, demountable walls, flooring, window treatments, and cabinetry for their break room. 

  • We thoughtfully selected architectural finishes. Kerkau wanted materials that were durable and easy to clean, since this office space connects to their manufacturing center.  
  • Our team added height-adjustable desks, which are more ergonomic and give users the ability to sit and stand as needed. We also added more efficient storage and frosted glass stacks on their panel dividers. This allowed for daylight to flood into the space, but still gives a sense of privacy. 
  • We also added power access to the desktops for easy charging of personal accessories. 
  • To help bring in more daylight and connect the private offices to the main area, we installed Haworth’s floor-to-ceiling, demountable walls. These glass panels connect to the ceiling and floor, but they’re different from conventional drywall. They can easily be moved and rearranged—giving Kerkau the growth potential they desired.

Kerkau understood that an efficient workspace doesn’t always mean a bigger footprint. You can maximize your space by condensing, rearranging, and making things more efficient.


In their break room and bathrooms, Kerkau dreamed of beautiful backsplashes without any grout—to avoid incessant cleaning! 

Below the upper cabinets in the breakroom, we painted an accent wall, then installed glass over it for a neat, clean aesthetic. In the bathrooms and mother’s rooms, we used 3form, a resin material with interwoven fibers. We placed this behind the mirror and above the countertop to provide an interesting focal point that was also seamless and cleanable. We’re proud of the way these creative solutions met the challenge Kerkau gave us.

If you’re looking to refresh your office space, we’re here to tackle any challenge you throw at us. Let’s start discussing your new workspace today!

Designing unique workspaces — wherever you work

modern office space

Recognizing the ever-changing environments you work in, SPACE designs unique workspaces. These creative solutions are designed for work at home, work in an office, or work wherever you are. Hear from Megan Thomas, Senior Interior Designer – Account Manager at SPACE.

A unique design solution for your workspace

woman in green outfit sits and smiles at desk

I am part of an incredibly smart, creative, and technical team. We design unique workspaces that enable our clients to work more comfortably and productively—all while minimizing disruption and cost to employers.

It’s this ability to provide a comprehensive design solution that sets us apart from our competitors. We provide furniture products—we’re a preferred Haworth dealer, and offer a long list of other brands including AIS, National, and OFS. But we also can completely reinvent your workspace according to your business needs. 

Clients come to us when they face changes in their workplace. Maybe they’ve outgrown their existing building or are restructuring their organization. Maybe they need to retain or recruit new talent. Or they’re faced with a global pandemic that forces them to completely rethink their way of working. Whatever the reason, our team can help.

Each client engagement begins with a discovery meeting, where we explore the client’s dreams and desires and examine the scope of work. Then, we enter the design engagement phase where we provide a quote for our services. From here we gather information about the project. Next, we field-measure the space and conduct a furniture inventory, before providing the client with 3D renderings for review. If all looks good, we enter all orders and complete installation.

A memorable project with Spence Brothers

Spence Brothers—a general contractor based in Saginaw, Michigan—came to us with a challenge. They were moving from their old, small building to a new, renovated marketplace building called SVRC Marketplace. As a result, the family-led team wanted to maintain their 125 year legacy of commercial construction while modernizing their workspace. 

The team gave me the word “streetscape” as their vision. We incorporated wood canopies and outdoor lights over enclosed, glass offices. We added pipes and wood for shelving and corrugated metal for the reception. The conference room was designed to mirror their historic one, with the same legacy table. As you enter the office space, they added a history wall and framed photos of completed projects.

What started as a bold vision, is now a workspace that properly represents the creativity of the Spence Brothers team.

What does the future hold for designing unique workspaces?

COVID-19 will surely leave behind many workplace changes in its path. We anticipate an increased desire for collaborative, comfortable, and hospitable workspaces. Coming out of a forced work from home era, employees may crave human interaction but in a cozy, relaxed environment instead. 

We’re eager to continue designing unique workspaces for the future of work!