40 interiors+sources december2017 interiorsandsources.com
+ Dressing Room
By AnnMarie Martin | Photography courtesy of Bob Grosse, Chicago Commercial Photography
At this year’s NeoCon, Tarkett debuted a brand new showroom that is double the size— 10,000
square feet—of its original space just
down the hall. The updated location in
the Mart reflects the company’s efforts
to embrace all four brands under the
Tarkett umbrella: Johnsonite, Tandus
Centiva, Desso, and Tarkett.
That’s where Kate Thompson,
design manager, visual and creative
communications for Tarkett North
America, comes in. “That is one of my
roles—to make sure all of the show-
rooms have that same look, feel, and
aesthetic and to bring them to fruition
from start to finish,” she said. She noted
that Tarkett “wanted all our brands in
one locale,” making sure all are given
fair play in terms of square footage. “We
definitely want to show a good mix of
products too, from LVT to soft surface.”
One large hurdle to face was timing.
Tarkett took ownership of the space in
February with the goal of being ready
for Best of NeoCon judging in a few
short months, during which walls were
taken down between columns, all new
plumbing was installed, and all existing
lighting upgraded to LED.
In the end, everything was achieved
on time, and doors opened to the
throngs of NeoCon visitors who let their
curiosity take over as they entered,
explored, and took the opportunity to
kick up their feet and recharge.
Tarkett’s new Chicago showroom blends four
brands into a warm, inviting space that serves as a respite
from the hustle and bustle of the Merchandise Mart.
“Knowing that our busiest time of yearin
that space is NeoCon, we wanted to be able to draw people in and give them a
place where they were comfortable,” Thompson explained. “We really thought
about who the user is, [the person who] would come into the space” and take
advantage of the experience Tarkett offers. But the company also had to consider
the rest of the year when organic foot traffic is not as easy to come by. While many
customers are arriving to the location with specific goals in mind, Tarkett wanted
to attract those browsing with eye-catching products and areas that could serve as
faster and more effective touch points.