Welcome to the new Washington Design Center, where showrooms will begin opening their doors in May, with 100 percent moved in by September, when a grand-opening celebration is planned.
Not only is the location at 1099 14th Street Northwest new, but the center hired the Adams Morgan design and branding firm Project DC to create a new look, as well. Gone is the old keystone-shaped logo, a reference to architectural features on the soon-to-be old building in Southwest. And the gray, white and chartreuse color scheme is utterly of the moment: Here’s an example of an ad you might be seeing in the near future:
and two versions of the new logo:
What I really love about the new look is that it artfully combines both the traditional, as you see in the WDC lettering, and the contemporary, in the font of Washington Design Center when it’s spelled out. SO, on to the details:
- First, the design center at its current location, 300 D Street Southwest, is still open for business. Yes, the building was sold in 2012, but showrooms have leases that are ongoing, so the building has remained open the entire time. Now that they have settled on a new location, they are all actively planning their new showrooms.
- The design center will occupy three floors at Franklin Court—the new building—and have access to voluminous event space in the building’s atrium, in addition to the rooftop for receptions.
- Its location near the McPherson Square and Farragut North metro stations puts it the city’s central business district, near multitudes of restaurants and other retail shopping. (Unlike Southwest, where one’s dining options consisted of deli, deli, and cafeteria—in that order!)
- Unlike the mostly windowless showrooms in the current building—which was originally constructed as a cold-storage warehouse in 1919—the new showrooms will have wide expanses of windows and light.
- Several showrooms, including J. Lambeth & Co., Fabricut @ J. Lambeth, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, and Holly Hunt, will have floor-to-ceiling windows.
- Holly Hunt will have a street-level showroom that leads up to the second floor.
- The current Niermann Weeks showroom will now be combined with J. Lambeth.
- The current Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman showroom will be combined with Hines & Co.
- The current J. Asher Carpet Couture showroom is being combined with Holland & Sherry.
- The Hickory Chair and Pearson lines, currently at Henredon, will be represented at Michael-Cleary.
Here is a list of all the showrooms with leases at the new building:
- Brown Jordan at AmericanEye
- Arc-Com Fabrics
- Century Furniture
- Cowtan & Tout
- Doris Leslie Blau (new!)
- Duralee Fabrics
- F. Schumacher
- Fabricut @ J. Lambeth
- Galleria Carpets & Rugs
- Hines & Co.
- Holland & Sherry
- Holly Hunt
- J. Lambeth & Co.
- Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils
- Osborne & Little
- Patterson, Flynn & Martin
- Pindler & Pindler
- Robert Allen Design
- Romo Fabrics (new!)
- Stark Carpet
Those who are regulars at the design center might notice some names that are missing. Here’s the scoop on those:
- Poliform|sagartstudio, which had been the only fully retail showroom in the design center, is moving to Georgetown, although timing and date are still to be determined, co-owner Vincent Sagart tells me.
- Donghia, a trade-only showroom, will move to Cady’s Alley in Georgetown. The showroom will offer space for designers to work, with a large work table and iPad stations, publicist Laura Steele says.
- Henredon, a large showroom in the current building with major brands such as Laneventure, Global Views, Visual Comfort (and the aforementioned Hickory Chair and Pearson), is NOT moving over to the new building. Unclear where most of the lines will land.
- The Rist showroom, headed by the lovely Mark Rist, will also be no longer (sob!). His Zoffany fabric line, however, will move up to Hines & Co.
- Baker Furniture, which already had a retail store in Georgetown, will maintain its Georgetown presence, but won’t have a showroom in the new building.
- WillemSmith, which has already closed its showroom in Southwest, is now in Fairfax, VA, right here.
- Charles Ray & Associates doesn’t have plans to go to the new building. Unclear what the future is.
Doris Leslie Blau makes its first foray out of New York with this DC showroom. I love the clever way they market their gorgeous rugs—by pairing them with fashion:
Romo Fabrics, a British fabric house, also offers collections full of contemporary whimsy and sophistication: