A shop is a place where goods are prominently displayed and then sold to interested customers. The traditional furniture showroom, like private art galleries, is really only a glorified shop. Any extra caché it has, derives from the quality and selective nature of the products. But the showroom is undergoing a metamorphosis. No more is it simply about display and point of sale. Instead, it has become an opportunity to experience the products in a space specifically designed to elicit the inherent values of the products and their meanings. The new display space also aligns the products more intimately with the brands that design and manufacture them. And, crucially, because of this experiential quality, the new showroom offers the customer the opportunity to enjoy an emotional response to the product and a sense of what it might be like to live with it.
Yes, it is a bit like a marriage and part of the experience is to see the product not in isolation, but as part of a family of objects, each with its own personality.
At Copenhagen’s Bredgade 76 you can get two for the price of one. Here Eric Jørgensen and Montana share a building where each has recently celebrated completely re-conceived showrooms (on the ground and first floors respectively) while launching innovative new products.
Downstairs in the Eric Jørgensen showroom, design stylist, Pernille Vest, has created “a holistic experience that is both down-to-earth and artistic”. It is a continuous experience leading from one room to the next, linked by complementary earth colours – the colours of the earth’s various layers of clay and stone – where the furniture is clustered into small art installations. “Through the colour tones of the furniture,” says Pernille Vest, “we have tried to embrace and substantiate their mood with naive objects formed in clay and stone. It’s the details and nuances that make the difference, and the overall experience is calm, sensual and down-to-earth.”
The new showroom saw the launch of the Ovo chair by British designer, Damian Williamson – inspired, he says, by a huge sheet of fresh egg pasta draped over an extra-large wooden rolling pin. It is the fluid, soft folds of the pasta that have been translated into an invitingly curved object – an easy chair whose fluid forms sit easily on a rigid squared steel frame. Generous and comfortable, the chair is equally at home in a domestic or commercial setting.
Montana has a tradition of designing things, often modular in character, which are beautiful but which work in the everyday world. Their new showroom flows over nine rooms each themed – Fold in, Fold Out; Reflections; The Labyrinth; Repetition; Liquid Object; Fluorescence; Senses; The Ruins. These pivot around a central space with three large sculptures assembled from Montana’s modular shelving system and space dividers, Montana System (designed by Peter Lassen) and the Montana Free System (designed by Jakob Wagner).
Each room is an installation and each highlights a particular product while also featuring complementary products. Products like Montana System and READ also act as space dividers. Or are they space creators, each “shaping the space around it”?
These are stylishly modern products that respond to a growing demand for furnishings that are flexible and able to adapt to smaller living spaces, changing needs and shifting moods.
With both these showrooms, we see products not in isolation, but as part of a curated space that delivers an experience, allowing customers to form a relationship with the products and imagine a future life together.
Welcome to the New Showroom, where the showroom is both a destination and a journey and where the products become our compagnons de route.
We think you might also like Perth’s New Living Edge Showroom