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

Brewing Company.

“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

and welcoming.”

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.