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Q&A with Adam Hare, Resource's Director of Showroom Design

June 23, 2021 | Expert Advice

As we prepare for the opening of our Seattle showroom later this Summer, we thought we’d introduce you to Adam Hare, our Director of Showroom Design. Adam joined Resource in 2019 and has guided us through makeovers of all four of our U.S. furniture showrooms PLUS Resource Furniture Toronto.

In your own words, how would you describe your role?

In my role as Showroom Design Director for Resource, I uphold and enforce our corporate brand through the vehicle of our showrooms. This includes furnishing and styling the showrooms with our customers in mind to bring them items that fill a particular need. It also includes selecting furniture, fabrics, finishes, and accessories that feel sophisticated, high-end, and forward-thinking — all evocative of the Resource brand identity.

How would you describe your personal style? Do you try to reflect that in RF’s merchandising strategy?

My own personal style is contemporary, streamlined, and minimal accentuated by organic elements including wood, stone, leather, metal, and natural fibers like linen and wool. I gravitate towards spaces that don’t feel fussy or overly styled but that embrace the architecture of the space and that are complemented with natural materials.

I also lean towards a neutral color palette in my designs, pulling from nature for my inspiration, including silvery greys, watery blues, stone and putty colors, white — and even black, used sparingly to bring some depth. I definitely try to incorporate my own personal style into the merchandising strategy for Resource; I feel that it’s synonymous with our overall brand identity. The elements and colors I use not only feel sophisticated, but they are subtle and quiet and allow the customer to look past them to truly see our furniture.

 

What inspirations do you draw from?

The first place I always look to is nature. There are things in nature that are constantly changing in color, shape, and form that never cease to amaze me. The colors of the Caribbean, a green meadow with purple wildflowers, a country road with peak foliage, or a beautiful sunset: all bring colors and textures that give me my greatest inspiration.

I also find great inspiration in my travels, seeing new architecture, new colors, new textures, hearing new sounds, smelling new scents. All awaken a fire and a passion in me to be creative and come up with new ideas.

Nature-inspired wallpaper being installed in Resource's new showroom inside the Seattle Design Center (opening August 2021).

What are some ways that planning and designing a showroom differs from designing, say, a residential space?

Designing a showroom is quite different from designing a residential space in that you need to first think about not just one customer, but many customers. Who is coming into the showroom? What are their lifestyles like? Where do they live? What are their age ranges? After you think about the customers, you then look at what’s been sold in the past and use that as a barometer for what could potentially sell in the future.

Designing a showroom is also different with respect to color and functionality. Colors that might work in a residential space probably wouldn’t work in the showroom. I lean towards neutrals for our showrooms…greys, white, stone and putty colors, and some black so that customers aren’t distracted and can look beyond the color to really see and appreciate our furniture. In short, designing a showroom is really about making the space most appealing and inspiring for customers to be able to envision our furniture in their homes, whereas designing a residential space is about taking a client’s needs and desires for their home and transforming them into reality.

How did you initiate the Seattle showroom design process?

I initiated the design process by first thinking about what the flow would be like for a client walking through the showroom. The space is relatively long and narrow; I wanted to allow customers to meander through different rooms or small “apartments” and enjoy a new experience along each part of their journey. I added walls to create these individual rooms for the customer to explore. As the customer enters each of these smaller, more intimate spaces, it’s my hope that they will be able to envision the furniture in their own homes.

Interior of the Seattle Design Center. Resource opens its fifth U.S. showroom there later this summer. Interior of the Seattle Design Center. Resource opens its fifth U.S. showroom there later this summer.

Were there any challenges to designing the new showroom?

The most challenging was the ceiling. The way the building was built caused the ceiling in the showroom to be on a very gradual slope. The ceiling also has a series of crisscrossing beams at different heights running across both the length and the width of the space. These conditions were less than ideal — and I wanted to hide what was going on up there as much as I could — so I decided to paint the entire ceiling and system of beams black. This helped disguise much of the architectural chaos on the ceiling!

The ceiling conditions also made it difficult to put together a lighting plan, so I devised a suspended ceiling grid that hangs below the ceiling beams. The grid system and spotlights are black so they blend into the ceiling and virtually disappear. All you see is the wash of light coming from the ceiling.

What are you most excited about for the new showroom? Any key features you’d like to highlight?

I’m most excited about Resource now being in the greater Seattle area! I love the fact that we are expanding and bringing our amazing, transforming furniture to new parts of the country and giving more customers direct access to experience our furniture in person.

I’d like to highlight that we’ll have nine wall beds in this showroom — more than any other Resource showroom across the country. We will also have four Turati units ranging from media display and storage to home offices to bookshelves and room dividers. We will have many transforming tables, a great sampling of ConcreteWall and Glamora wallcovering, and even a working resource library where customers are welcome to spread out their floor plans and materials to have a working meeting with their designer or client. It will be a real working showroom as well as a feast for the eyes!