Project Tour: Bernhardt Design
We were told it would be a "white box" and asked if that would be of interest...but we saw so much more. We envisioned a project with unique and intense attention to detail as well as precision in finish selection and impeccable lighting. What we did not foresee was a global pandemic waiting in the wings.
Within the first moment we saw the space we began to conceptualize a grand entrance that would connect a central element, a design moment that would invite the guest to explore the showroom.
The client is based in North Carolina, so our plan was to be onsite as much as possible to ensure the design details were being realized and answer any questions. While the world had different plans, the project continued via Facetime and lots of coordination calls and emails.
The concept was surprisingly simple: Bernhardt hadn't had a showroom in the mart for years. The entry and showroom experience needed to be clean but intriguing, eye-catching but uniquely inviting. Layered light with fixtures as refined as the pieces they highlight. Meticulous details throughout that spoke to the undoubted constant refinement of the furniture released by the brand.
The entry was always intended to be the jewel box of the showroom. We took a minimalistic approach that was familiar to the brand and would give guests the opportunity to know where they were with little to no signage. We wanted the product to be the star, so we worked heavily with our lighting consultant to select the ideal fixtures to highlight the product while showcasing the architectural details.
A glowing marble wall guides the guest down what we call, the "catwalk," passing bays of curated furniture vignettes on each side as one explores.
The opposite end of the showroom houses the event kitchen which overlooks the Chicago River. We wanted to highlight this area with an array of light fixtures to complement any function, from the typical workday to an evening of dancing.
designed by Kuchar
built by Bushman Construction
photographed by Christopher Barrett
lighting consultant: Schuler Shook