Remodeling and Home Design


Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | Comments ((Disabled))

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 9 –A recreation building built at a private residence in western Michigan has been honored with a Platinum Award as the best in the category Interior Design: Specialty or Outdoor Room as part of the 2011 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).


The architect and designer for the project was AMDG Architects in Grand Rapids., Mich., the builder was Mike Schaap Builders Inc. of Holland, Mich., and the interior designer was Via Design of Grand Rapids.


The building can accommodate large or small groups comfortably as soft boundaries allow gathering areas to flow into one another. Generous amounts of glass and a flowing window wall offer expansive views of the site, while allowing indoor and outdoor living spaces to complement one another. The building envelope, structural roof trusses, and support brackets are rendered with detailing of metal, wood, and stone. Acoustics of the open spaces are managed with ceiling detailing that incorporate gaps between alternately wide and narrow wood planks concealing an acoustical cavity.


"Yet again in 2011, entries from across the nation continue to push the limits of design and innovation while providing insights into tomorrow’s design trends," said Lynne Pratt, 2011 design committee chairman and president of Pratt Building Co. in Auburn Hills, Mich.


The judges commented, “The ceiling is phenomenal and the floor plan creates a feeling of fun. The furniture placement, along with the built-ins, floor plan, and other detailing creates a warm and inviting environment.”


Now in its 28th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international, based on the principle that good design is not and should not be limited to high-priced and/or custom homes.  Even the simplest, most affordable homes can receive an award if they showcase good design.  


Award winners were announced during the annual NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando.





Revel Wine Cellars and Benchmark Wood Studio Ship Wine Cellar to England

Friday, February 03, 2012 | Comments ((Disabled))

Revel Custom Wine Cellars, a designer and manufacturer of wine cellar cabinetry is pleased to announce its first shipment to Europe. Revel has developed and patented a proprietary design for wine storage cabinetry that has found traction within the extreme high end of the wine cellar market. This first European sale, a 2,000 bottle cellar to British entrepreneur Christian Nellemann, will be sent on its long journey to London, England today.


Revel Cellars was formed in 2009, and uses a series of patented techniques and design concepts to display wine bottles and their labels visibly, as opposed to the traditional racking systems which conceal everything but the neck and cork end of the bottle.


Revel’s designs have received numerous awards and been published in a variety of wine and lifestyle publications, and its customers have been passionate converts. “Most wine cellars still use the same types of wine racks that were used in the 1800’s when wine cellars were private “dungeons”, rarely seen by anyone other than the collector and domestic staff. Today, wine cellars are meant to be seen and shared with others, and there is a definite aesthetic element as well”, says Wayne Visbeen, of Visbeen Associates, a Grand Rapids based designer of high end custom homes. “As soon as I saw the images of the Revel system, I knew it would raise the bar in contemporary wine cellar design”.


Revel’s list of clientele is somewhat of a “who’s who”, and includes corporate CEO’s, entertainment celebrities, entrepreneurs, financiers, and philanthropists. Revel does not release client names without their express permission, and is often asked not to photograph its installations, which “makes it challenging for us to describe what we can do and what we have done”, according to Jim Cash, who created the original designs.


This is not the first cellar exported by the company. In 2011, Revel shipped a cellar to Vancouver, British Columbia. Companies and potential customers have increasingly found Revel online. To date, the company has received inquiries from countries around the world including China, Asia, South America and Canada. Mr. Nellemann was made aware of Revel
by an acquaintance from Costa Rica. He was instantly struck “…by the simplicity and beauty of the system”, and quickly determined that “nothing else would do”, for the four story home he was building in a toney London suburb.

Revel’s revolutionary products are 100% custom made to its client’s specifications under contract by the wood craftsmen and women of Benchmark Wood Studio, in Holland Michigan.


Being a small, start-up company each export project is a new challenge. Managing the shipping, logistics and paperwork has been difficult, but “we have been able to find helpful advice from state and community resources”, said Mr. Cash. 


Mike Schaap Builders enters recent projects for NAHB BALA Awards

Monday, October 17, 2011 | Comments ((Disabled))

Mike Schaap Builders and Benchmark Wood Studio recently submitted several projects for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) annual Best in American Living (BALA) Awards. Winners will be announced in February. Here are a few shots of the projects that we entered:




Congratulations to Bekins Inc., Mike Schaap Builders, and Benchmark Wood Studio

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | Comments ((Disabled))

Our partner, Bekins Inc. won 5 2011 CEDIA Industry Recognition Awards, 4 of which were Mike Schaap Builders and Benchmark Wood Studio Projects! Congratulations to Bekins, MSB, & BWS!


The awards won were as follows:


Best Overall – Media Room (Sports Barn - Mezzanine)

Best Overall – Hidden Installation (Sports Barn - Great Room)


Media Room – Silver (Sports Barn - Mezzanine)

Hidden Installation – Gold (Sports Barn - Great Room)