A Manhattan showroom by Ted Moudis Associates puts a new face on Paoli
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 5/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Although Paoli started to produce sleek, transitional workplace offerings a decade ago, the furniture manufacturer was better known for traditional case goods and seating—a perception that executives wanted to rectify. Paoli's recent Manhattan showroom relocation provided the opportunity for the 76-year-old company to reposition itself. "For the last several years, our product introductions have been more contemporary and have, in fact, been the bulk of our business. The New York architecture and design community just wasn't recognizing this," says Mike Heazlitt, Paoli's vice president of sales and marketing. "Now we're obviously making a statement." That statement involved moving from a white-walled room in the A&D Building to a larger, more prominent space in the New York Design Center and turning to New York firm Ted Moudis Associates for a look more in keeping with the new direction.
To impart an industrial feel behind the wraparound glazing of the 8,000-square-foot showroom, Ted Moudis Associates selected a focused palette of metal and glass, which complements both modern and classic product lines. Save for one accent wall, the designers deliberately avoided wood so as not to compete with the merchandise. "Our former New York showroom featured a lot of wood, and we found that our contemporary products weren't standing out. The industrial materials in this space draw the right amount of attention to the newer lines," says Heazlitt. Unconventional treatments include 3-foot-square stainless-steel industrial floor tiles and planes of blue glass that subtly section off display groupings on the vast sales floor. "Glass dividers are a great way to set vignettes apart without putting up visual barriers," says Christine Hluska, Ted Moudis Associates design manager. The same watery hue was selected for the iridescent mosaic tiles cladding the massive columns and the wave-pattern carpet that appears in the conference room and at the rear of the sales area. "The fabrics and patterning on the floor add a lot of movement and texture to counteract the more static showroom displays," notes Hluska.
Ceilings had to be dropped to accommodate ductwork and the HVAC system, but the designers exploited the low overhead with dramatic recessed troughs that house track lighting. The troughs' grid pattern subtly complements the stainless-steel floor tiles installed on the diagonal, an unexpected orientation reflecting Paoli's dynamic new direction.