Pole Position

The RoomPlace Races Toward Victory Lane with a Hot New Design

The turbulence left in the wake of a lead Indy car on a race track has a name and it’s not pretty: dirty air. Standing in the parking lot of a long-shuttered Levitz warehouse store in Indianapolis, I can only imagine the dust-filled draft Bruce Berman experienced as the building’s doors were first pried open, some 20 years after they had been welded shut.

BEFORE: The old Levitz building posed numerous challenges inside and out, starting with approximately
40 more pole supports than a typical building of this size.

Faced with the total gut job of a 70,000-square-foot building, most execs would slam on the brakes. But the chairman of The RoomPlace had a vision for the race to win Indianapolis and it was bigger than the near-abandoned property on the depressed East side he had purchased.

A fresh and modern service counter reinforces the brand’s iconic color scheme.

“For years we had been using a local architect to do whatever needed to be done to get a store ready to open,” Berman says. “While it was OK, it was inconsistent and our open floor plan didn’t really highlight anything. We saw this store and warehouse as the key to being able to dominate the Indianapolis market and we wanted to work with someone who would help us develop a look with iconic elements that could be applied to our other stores moving forward.”

The project was not without its challenges. Chief among these, says Paul Adams, The RoomPlace’s chief executive, was that the building was originally built for Levitz. “This meant that we not only had to retrofit the building for our design, but we had to work around 40 more posts than you would normally have in a building of this size and we couldn’t take them out,” he says.

My team did an amazing job in making it work, hiding some with built-in permanent and moveable walls, changing the walking routes and visual perspective. The posts are still here, but you don’t notice them at all.

What shoppers do notice is an inspirational space with a sense of discovery at every turn. To achieve the urban industrial vibe, we used 168 shipping pallets stacked in a stair-stepped design topped with plexiglass and then used it as a runway for displaying trendy product. We sourced cool drum shades that play off the blue and green Pantone colors that comprise The RoomPlace’s logo and dropped those from above. Elsewhere, the brand’s color scheme plays out in blue-glass office walls and a fresh service counter design with a lit RoomPlace logo hung above.

Berman is partial to the residential feel of the fireplaces we designed for lifestyle displays and the approach we took to accessorizing overall with the installation of my accessory pods from Moe’s Home in key areas around the store.

A stunning power aisle built from pallets and plexiglass lends an urban industrial vibe.
Connie Post Selects accessory pods from Moe’s Home Collections elevate The RoomPlace’s presentation and represent a growth opportunity according to Berman.
Innovative rope walls divide space without blocking site lines.

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