Above: A look from Showroom featuring a Nordic Knots rug, a Lawson-Fenning Chair, a vintage settee, a Rose Tarlow floor lamp, and a Frama stool.
The void between your living room and that perfectly styled one on the cover of certain magazines (ahem) can feel impossibly vast. Maybe you can’t quite articulate your cottagecore-meets-Eileen Gray aesthetic. It’s more likely, however, that you don’t have the budget to commit to a full-service interior design project.
Two years ago, the Expert sought to change all that, launching an online platform where interiors obsessives could schedule appointments with A-List designers for as little as $250. That’s right, for less than a session with your therapist, you could have a virtual, one-on-one home-design consultation with the likes of Heidi Caillier, Josh Greene, Brigette Romanek, Augusta Hoffman, Mark D. Sikes, Martyn Lawrence Bullard…need we go on?
Now, the Expert is launching Showroom, a new e-commerce concept and a dedicated brick-and-mortar platform—the result of a recent $12 million funding round. Here, new and existing customers have easy access to a curated selection of furniture and accessories from five top talents. Online, Jake Arnold (the Expert’s cofounder), Romanek, Jenna Lyons, Sikes, and Caillier have each curated their own “stores” where visitors can shop from some 1,500 pieces of furniture, artworks, wallcoverings, accessories, and even antiques from industry favorites like Apparatus, Kravet, Lawson-Fenning, and Nickey Kehoe.
“The ultimate aim of the Expert was always to be a destination for all things home,” Arnold told us in an email. “As we went further into the one-on-one consultations, we were finding so many of our clients were wanting access to our trade resources and special designer-sourced items. Showroom allows us to bring diverse advice, inspiration, and shopping for the home in one destination.”
Want Caillier’s elevated cozy-chic vibe? Snag her favorite Kravet fabric or glazed stoneware lamp right from her virtual showroom. Want to channel your FLOTUS aspirations? Add Sikes’ Chaddock Poppy sofa in a Gastón y Daniela fabric (one of Showroom’s nearly 100 exclusive items) to your cart. Among Arnold’s favorites? Anna Karlin’s puddle tables, a sofa Lyons customized in a Dedar tiger print, and the Expert’s own console table—“It’s the piece you need to pull an entryway,” Arnold adds.
The Showroom web launch coincides with the opening of a by-appointment brick-and-mortar showroom in Culver City, California, where visitors can check out the products IRL while perusing the site’s made-to-order collection.
“The assortment allows everyone to discover the pieces that we, as interior designers, love and use, as well as a destination for people who may not need or want a full consultation,” Arnold says. “We have spent the last year pulling together the best, most coveted brands in design to allow more people access into our day-to-day and this historically trade-only industry.”
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