work  > historic + adaptive use > universal furniture

universal furniture

project story

International home furnishings company Universal Furniture features exceptionally crafted furnishings for the home. Wanting to increase the brand’s visibility and be more accessible to buyers attending the semi-annual High Point Furniture Markets, the company planned to move from its home on the outskirts to a conjoined one-story 1890’s era manufacturing building and 1980’s era three-story showroom just a block from the International Home Furnishings Center (IHFC) and across the street from the Market’s Showplace building.

The renovation addresses both interior and exterior. The 1890’s building was restored to its original character, with the removal of the false facade put on in the 1980’s. The newly renovated exterior includes articulating elements and signage that respect and celebrate the industrial character of the original1890’s facade and integrate it with its 1980’s neighbor.

CJMW’s architects and interior designers were inspired by Universal’s culture and brand identity (Good Affordable Smart Design) to create a design that is fresh and innovative, yet relaxed, easy and unpretentious. Taking advantage of the building’s highly visible location, part of the showroom’s existing facade is carved out and peeled back to create more connection with the interior atrium as well as spaces designed for a cafe/bar/lounge venue. Large glass storefront doors pivot, opening the café to an outdoor porch, bringing life to the street and creating a draw for market visitors and residents alike.

The team collaborated with Universal’s in-house designers, helping to develop, then refine and hone the showroom’s overall vision and image. The design integrates Universal’s current furnishings. With good bones, flexible spaces, and adaptable lighting Universal will be able to highlight current trends or new featured products into the future.

Location: High Point, North Carolina
Square footage: 113,000
Services: architecture, interior design, ffe