Showroom design is an art form. It’s not, as many might think, a place to show trends or what one things a client might like. When done right, it’s a visual palette of your creativity; how you put together colors, design, shapes, patterns and style. In Tampa, MMD Events recently took a cue from interior designers and created a showroom experience that envelops the clients in the style of the owners, Matt and Amanda Allen.
A recent expansion of space from 5,000 to another 10,000 square feet of warehouse space prompted them to revisit the vintage style that MMD’s showroom had been sporting for years.
“We used to have a large vintage furniture company and last year we sold it off,” Amanda Allen said. “It started to feel played out and not our brand any longer. We still have a large furniture rental, but it’s changed style to be more of a Hollywood Regency style and based more on what is happening in home and hotel design.”
Oddly enough, given the finished look, almost all of the walls remained a clean white. “I’m not a minimalist, but I adore white walls,” Allen said. In that space, the elements began to be added. A Persian rug. “I’m obsessed with them.” A leopard wall. “Leopard is a neutral in our world.” Company mottos. “We had them reproduced and framed by A & P Design Co.” Two flex spaces. “One is the large lounge with a pinup from 666 Photography that we change all the time. [seen above] The other is opposite that and right now is set with the French ballroom chairs. [below] We use this space in the more traditional showroom manner – creating a microcosm of the event look with drape, lighting, linen, flowers, after we are hired.”
What clients won’t see is any of MMD’s past work. “Nothing is lovely to you unless it’s your style,” Allen says. “You can’t put up enough work to please everyone so we try to make sure they know what we are about before they walk in the door.” A potential client who calls in for an appointment for total event design is sent a look book. And if they can’t, or won’t, give a budget, they are always told an average of what MMD’s last few clients spent.
“Budget is the hardest thing to get from a client,” Allen says. “So this helps give that person on the line an idea without having to feel they are “giving away” anything. And we also let them know that we have other services too. There is no such thing as a minimum.”
And in terms of Allen’s own design, there is no such thing as too much. “I love a look of complicated layers of details and patterns,” Allen says. And with no photos of work on the walls, or marketing collateral from anyone else set out, the message is clear — this is a showroom that is all about MMD and business. “We want them to focus on what they want and how we can give it to them.”
Photos: Kismis Ink