The Art Of Design
For the past 20 years, interior designer Dorina Rudd has been transforming living
and working spaces into functional works of art.
“Design is very emotional, because it deals with ownership, sentimentality, image
and brand,” Rudd, owner of Design Strategies in Traverse City, explained. “The
design of a commercial space is dependent on the use and who they are trying
to reach. If it’s a bar or restaurant, how long do they want customers to stay? A
medical/dental office might want to convey a feeling of calm; a winery could bring in
the colors of the vineyard; a court room would reflect authority and respect.”
Mark and Stephanie Wilson turned to Design Strategies when they wanted a more
modern feel for TC’s 102-year-old Maxbauer’s Market, which they purchased from
longtime owner Mike Deering in 2012.
“Although the business has remained the same, the customers and their needs have
changed dramatically, even in just the last 5 to 10 years,” Stephanie Wilson said.
“We want to update the store while respecting its unique history. Other designers
we talked to wanted to ignore or cover up the original Bavarian feeling of the space;
Dorina suggested we embrace it, yet make it feel fresh with use of color and re-
purposing materials in an artistic way” – creating a boutique-style market catering
to the discerning foodie.
Design Strategies is also working with several businesses in the Lake Ann
community where Rudd lives, including The Stone Oven restaurant that opened
two years ago and offers a “twist on traditional food,” according to owner Stephanie
Lathwell. “We didn’t change much when we opened, and now we need to re-vamp
the interior … we’re looking at the customer flow, changing colors, fixtures, adding
an awning out front, and by the end of the year, a new addition that will include
a full kitchen.” Rudd is also helping with an update to the restaurant’s logo and
helping it create a brand.
Rudd is also working with the soon-to-be-open Red Door Coffee Shop to create
a space that will include an office for a real estate business, Lakeview Realty, in
addition to the café.
Said co-owner Lori Florip, “She suggested changes to the walls, putting the coffee
bar in front, she picked out a basic color scheme with tones that are spicy but not
too bright, and she has helped us find equipment, fixtures and lighting, She takes
what you feel and what you want and puts it into the picture for you.”
Also in Lake Ann, Matt Therrien is working with Rudd to renovate the former L.A.
Café into a microbrewery. Therrien is targeting a 2015 opening for his Lake Ann
“Because it is a small space, we have limited options,” said Therrien. “I want it to
have a different feel than the typical “Up North” look with the mounted deer heads.”
“The brewery will have a vintage Remington or early Abercrombie & Fitch look and
feel –upscale sporting goods/outfitter,” explained Rudd. “It will be classic and retro.[Therrien] is a music lover so we will create an outdoors “backyard” look and feel
for live music, socializing, and a place for family and friends to gather that is casual
Rudd’s other projects in the Grand Traverse area include 2 Lads Winery, Bay View
Professional Center, River’s Edge, Aroma’s Coffee & Tea – West, West Front Primary
Care and the Wellington Inn.