Andrea Reynolds

Recent Posts

White Oak Is Having a Moment

Everyone, White Oak is having a moment. This is not your mother’s kitchen from 1984I promise. In fact, this classic American hardwood is being served up in a  sophisticated, subtle way across the commercial design landscape. From trendy retail stores to modern restaurants, White Oak is white hot, and we don’t see it burning out anytime soon. Here are our favorite White Oak looks and trends.

Color, Art & Industrial Barstools in Atlanta's Brightest Restaurant

The coolest restaurant in Atlanta is not a restaurant. In fact, it’s a small 14-seat stall in Atlanta’s hot Krog Street Market called Recess. Recess is bursting with color and a healthy dose of  pop art. It’s a restaurant design that’s so well executed, you may find yourself specifying bold and bright colors, too. 

Our 5 Favorite Brady Installations

The Brady Collection can be seen in everything from fast casual restaurants to chic offices. Brady’s design is simple and straightforward, making it the kind of product that can be easily placed in most commercial spaces. So, in honor of one of our most versatile collections, we rounded up five of our favorite Brady installations to date.

A Restaurant Design Rooted in Good 

We know, you hear it all the time, “It’s more than a burger joint, it’s an experience.” With over 50,000 burger restaurants in the country, it’s no wonder our palates are fatigued. Slap on some reclaimed  wood, hang a neon sign, and offer a juicy burger, and you have the burger joint starter kit. But, just as I was giving up on the better burger saga, my eyes, mouth, and heart were opened to a new restaurant called Brome Modern Eatery.

How We Make Our Tables

Edge grain, butcher block, random plank... what are these and what’s the difference? Since there are so many ways to construct a table, we wanted to bring some clarity to this topic. Below we outline common solid wood table constructions and how they are applied to our tables.

An Inviting & Industrial Brewery Design

If you live in Austin and don’t have any plans this Friday night, I think I may have the spot for you. And if you’re just a big fan of great interior or restaurant design, well, I also have the post for you.

I Spy: Design Hound

In the series, I Spy, we highlight unique perspectives, designs, furniture, architecture, and people. When so much of the design world can feel monotonous, we search for and share moments that make you look and think twice. Think of I Spy as your one-stop-shop for everything bold, different, and beautiful.

A Restaurant Redesign for the Ages: Rucker Johns

Tucked away in the seaside town of Emerald Isle, North Carolina, you’ll find the family-owned restaurant, Rucker Johns. Inspired by the shoreline, the restaurant’s interior gleams with soothing cool colors and sophisticated textures. It’s a modern space, but Rucker Johns didn’t always look like this. In fact, until recently, Rucker Johns was an aging casual restaurant in need of an update. Curious about the design, we called up Danielle Boisse of Port City Design Group, the designer responsible for Rucker Johns’ new look, to learn more this massive makeover.

Millennials and Casual Dining Chains: What Do They Really Want?

To this day, the phrase “chain restaurants” is often synonymous with the casual dining sector. You know the type.—the chain restaurants that are filled with bunk Americana flair and fully loaded potato skins—it’s the same sector of restaurants that has been losing market share more so than any other sector of the industry. I wondered, “Are (we) millennials, to blame for the slow death of casual chain dining?” And if so, what do we really want in restaurants?

Egg-cellent Restaurant Design: Hatch

Breakfast is the most underrated meal of the dayespecially when going out to eat. Generally, the food is simple, the atmosphere is cozy, and the check doesn’t break the bank. Inspired by our love for all things breakfast, we’re featuring Hatch Early Morning Food, a micro chain known for their basic yet delicious breakfast and brunch.

Healthy Food for Everyone: QSR Everytable Lands Shark Tank Deal

“We believe healthy food is a human right, but it’s often a product only available for the most affluent,” says CEO and cofounder Sam Polk of Los Angeles-based healthy fast food restaurant Everytable. While the first store opened nearly two years ago, Polk and cofounder David Foster recently made an appearance on the television show Shark Tank seeking a one-million-dollar investment to expand their brick and mortar location beyond southern California.

5 Reasons to Love This Outdoor Restaurant Furniture

On a sunny day, a table outside at a restaurant is often the best seat in the house. Aside from being just plain fun, outdoor dining can bring in as much as 30% or more of additional revenue during spring and summer months, proving to be a wise investment, according to nrn.com. And it all starts by picking the right outdoor restaurant furniture. That’s why we beefed up our charming Opla Collection to include more options and additional comfort and colors. Still not convinced this is the outdoor collection for you? Below are all of the reasons to love this outdoor furniture collection.

A Cafeteria Design That’s Full of Pride

College cafeterias aren’t what they used to be—and I’m only five years out of university. Within the last few years, gigantic multi-purpose (and well-designed) student centers and cafeterias have become the norm. So long are the days of glum lighting, stale french fries, and bad furniture, these new cafeterias offer diverse cuisines and areas for multiple activities. Case in point: University of Kentucky Student Center.

Inside A Bright, Budget-Friendly Juicery

Since the blog’s inception, we’ve shared countless stunning restaurants (like this one, this one, or this one). Some of these spaces feature mind-bending architecture, jaw-dropping city views, dazzling conceptual design, and furniture packages that seem to be shipped straight from the showrooms of Milan. While aspirational, these restaurant designs often come with a hefty price tag. And that’s not realistic for most restaurants.

School Colors and University Designs

Color plays in integral role in a school’s identity. You wouldn’t have University of Michigan without maize and blue or the Tarheels without their signature Carolina blue and white. When you think about it, school colors can be found on everything from a school’s end zone, to sweatshirts, to coffee mugs, and even interior design.

In The Hot Seat: 3 Questions With Jill Frey

For a restaurant, good food and great service go hand-in-hand. It's rare to find a restaurant that can thrive, let alone survive, without mastering both of those qualities. Being a restaurant furniture manufacturer, we share a similar fate.  Speaking with Jill Frey, vice president of marketing and customer experience, learn how Grand Rapids Chair Company balances that delicate combination of refreshing product designs and a dedication to fast, friendly service. 

NCPA & Grand Rapids Chair Company

As purchasing contracts become more convulated and budgets dwindle, university designers and purchasers are often faced with the daunting task of finding the right furniture with the right contract.  Cue NCPA, a nationally vetted, free, and reliable purchasing agreement designed to save you time and money. 

The Inspiration Behind LookBook Vol. 3

Our LookBook Vol. 3 is now available, and we think it's our best yet.  Dramatically different than our previous installments, this LookBook is dripping in rich color, texture, and story. In honor of our best yet, we sat down with Lindsay Jones, designer, resident cool girl, and creative genius behind LookBook Volumes 1, 2, and now 3Learn about what places and spaces inspired the LookBook, how color informs her work, and what restaurants should never include in their design.

Building a Better Aluminum Chair

Aluminum has been widely used as a go-to seating material for many years. It's no surprise as its lightweight and durable properties make it a natural fit for dining spaces. What you may not know is that properly building and finishing an aluminum chair is comparable to woodworking, requiring a deft hand to grind, shape, contour, and blend each joint and creating that signature brushed pattern.

Spotted: Family-Fun Served On a Bun

Hat Creek Burger began with a food truck and a guy with a fierce passion for good burgers. So, restaurant design was a bit of a new endeavor when developing the brick-and-mortar locations in the Austin, Texas, area. But one thing was for sure, this burger chain put a family-friendly atmosphere at the forefront to complement their simple, tasty menu of American classics.

Spotted: Finger Licking Good Design

Currently, there are more than 50 chicken restaurant chains in existence. Holy cow, I mean, chicken. With stiff competition, one of the easiest and proven ways to get customers in the door (and coming back) is through design. Meet Flyrite, the brand that’s ruling the roost in design and branding. From the futuristic exterior, to the industrial interior, to the seamless digital branding, Flyrite shows us that qsr’s become a whole lot more memorable when paired with great design.

Inside a Dreamy, Modern Food Court

Featuring a bright white industrial space, the Charleston food court, Workshop, could feel sterile or even hokey—but it doesn’t.

Our 5 Favorite Hurdle Installations

The Hurdle Collection has crisscrossed the globe, finding its way in everything from stunning casual cafes to modern co-working spaces. This playfully minimal collection lends a sophisticated informality, punching up almost any design. It has an uncanny ability to stand out and blend in all at the same time. And now, Hurdle can be yours. Through an exclusive partnership with the collection’s designers, Dowel Jones, the entire Hurdle line is available to order.

Higher Education Design 5,000 Feet Above The Rest

When you step inside one of the three buildings that make up Aggie Village on Colorado State University's campus, you might be shocked to realize you’re standing in student housing. The bright, open space spotted with pool tables, plush lounging areas, and sleek kitchen spaces is more reminiscent of a modern, millennial office space than a college dorm.

I Spy Series: Design, Bitches

In our new series, I Spy, we highlight unique perspectives, designs, furniture, architecture, and people. When so much of the design world can feel monotonous, we search for and share moments that make you look and think twice. Think of I Spy as your one-stop-shop for everything bold, different, and beautiful.

Behind the Design: Meet Tim Stoepker

Meet the designer behind the Brooke Collection, Tim Stoepker. The Brooke Collection symobolizes our desire to work with local designers to bring unique, well-designed products to market.  

Installation Eye Candy: Little Octopus

We’ll just come out and say it: Little Octopus is one of our favorite installations to date. Soft colors, a mix of natural and luxe textures, and a colorful, veggie-forward menu creates a recipe for success (and, not surprisingly, a very Instagrammable space). Take a look at its design to see what makes this restaurant so special.

Can't Be Tamed: Our New Outdoor Chair

We’re taking our design out into the wild. And by wild, we mean sun-drenched patios with unlimited margaritas.

3 Facts About Our Solid Wood Tables

At Grand Rapids Chair, we take great pride in making sure we exceed expectations

Restaurant Design Trends of 2017

Welcome to 2017! As we embrace the New Year, we like to take some time to look ahead