Keilhauer’s Renovated New York City Showroom

Keilhauer has unveiled its newly renovated New York City flagship showroom, the manufacturers largest in North America. Located in the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Ave., the revitalized space captures the essence of the brand while providing a dynamic experience for visitors. We thought that there was an opportunity to maximize our visibility in the New York market, which is really important to us,said Meghan Sherwin, president of Keilhauer. 

The showroom was gently refreshed a decade ago, so for this complete overhaul Sherwin once again called on Figure3, the firm responsible for the design of several Keilhauer showrooms. With a kit-of-parts approach, some elements are instantly recognizable, from the display niches to the linear ridged wall paneling. This is a continuation of our journey with the Keilhauer brand. I took bits and pieces from the Toronto design, and some of those same things are in the New York showroom,noted Mardi Najafi, vice president of retail strategy and design at Figure3. 

The entryway of the showroom, with a limestone feature wall behind the reception desk. Photography by Steve Tsai, Figure3

Unfurling the darkened space was one of the challenges that the Figure3 team had to contend with, especially in a location where sunlight is limited, and where an existing element was an additional obstruction. They put up a structure previously to make the showroom feel cozy and more inviting, but as a result it blocked all of the windows and the light,Sherwin noted. 

Najafi agreed, and added that the structure was overwhelming and not only removed the focus from the furniture, but also hampered intentional interactions. We went with an open-concept layout. By removing that original installation and the ductwork, all of a sudden natural light was pouring into the showroom,he said. 

Furniture is displayed in the bright, expansive renovated showroom, located in the New York Design Center.

Najafi also wanted to balance the Keilhauer signature with a design that was evocative of the city and the places in it that are central in the lives of New Yorkers. There is a hint of all of the offices, hotels, museums, and other public spaces in the city that Keilhauer furniture is used in,he explained. 

For Sherwin, it was essential to ensure that the furnishings and the complementary finishes were part of a broader story. We always want to fit in the environment where we are located, but at the same time emphasize who we are as Keilhauer. We reviewed all of the textures to make sure we were aligned with the tone and personality of the particular market as well as our vision,she said. 

The showroom includes materials that echo the look of tailored suits, including the wood-effect porcelain tiles from Ceramiche Keope arranged in a herringbone pattern.

Najafi looked to the pleats, stitches, and gathers found on both apparel and the pieces in the space, from upholstered chairs to sofas. He wanted to highlight the idea of sophistication for visitors visually via an interplay of pattern and texture. When you look at Keilhauer furniture, it is tailored and sexy,he said. It is like a suit over the form. So we took all of those details and brought them into the space without overpowering it. 

The showroom is not only a center to display products, but a place that prioritizes collaborative work in a comfortable environment. Sherwin said the co-working setting fosters collaboration and community. People need a place to take meetings, drop in for a coffee, or get ready for the days appointments, especially in Manhattan. The showroom is really a place that meets the needs of architects, designers, staff, and colleagues, not just one group. 

Clients and staff can also work in a range of light-filled spaces.

Sherwin added that it is a model for todays office as a flex space, and we can expect to see  other iterations to provide employees with more choice as schedules continue to change. This is a maturation, and I believe, an evolution of the co-working space, like a hybrid where we have brought everything together,she noted. There are permanent offices for our team, and a separate co-working space that people can come in and out of and feel welcome. 

To truly activate the showroom they created an expanded zone complete with a large island in the center of the space. and a dramatic light fixture overhead to provide illumination. As the social hub, it is an ideal area to entertain clients or host industry events, while encouraging the connectivity of guests and staff. 

Keilhauer is noted for displaying art in their buildings, with a spotlight on women artists. The thoughtfully curated selection of works is aesthetically pleasing, and captures a vitality that is often missing from basic box showrooms. Art creates a certain energy, and adds a dynamic layer,Sherwin said. A designer can see the different silhouettes of the furniture, paired with color combinations that an artist puts on canvas. We hope that will inspire people who come into the showroom and spark their own creativity.

In the hospitality zone, guests can gather around the large island during events.
The art in the showroom celebrates creativity and serves to inspire, like this work by Erna Uçar.
The Keilhauer subsidiary brand Division Twelve shop-in-shop section of the showroom, filled with brightly colored seating.