Renfroe brings the world of contemporary furnishings to the city of Atlanta.
Julia Lewis -- Interior Design, 5/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
"A blend of the old with the best of the new" is the way that Chuck Renfroe describes the mix of furniture, textiles, and lighting represented at his eponymous Atlanta showroom. Open less than a year, Renfroe has won a dedicated following among the city's new generation of designers and architects who have long awaited the arrival of a hip, high-end, contemporary counterpoint to the old-guard establishments. "Atlanta is changing," explains Renfroe, who worked for Ralph Lauren and Pranich before venturing out on his own. "Local companies like CNN and Coca-Cola have attracted people here from other cities." The rapid influx of youngish, urbane professionals has quickly turned this genteel southern capital into a happening place with an enthusiastic design audience. "The new Atlanta embraces style," says Renfroe. "People are wearing Gucci and Prada, and they want their homes to reflect the same level of taste and sophistication." Accordingly, Renfroe has introduced Atlanta to the luxe collections of Mattaliano, Lyle Umbach, Holland & Sherry, and Susan Fanta—to name just a few.
Designed by local architect David Daniels, the 5,000-sq.-ft. showroom's layout allows flexibility and fosters an urban, loft-like feeling. Before construction, "the unfinished space featured an uneven concrete floor, randomly placed columns, and an ocean of bar joists," recalls Daniels. Responding to his client's vision of a clean, contemporary gallery-style setting, Daniels created an open floor plan that establishes "independent spaces or pockets" to accommodate Renfroe's numerous furniture collections. Four-ft.-diameter columns, 12-in.-thick floating partitions, and scored lines in the poured Ardex floor establish a sense of procession and a fluid series of loosely defined rooms.
"The space makes the furniture look important," says Renfroe, citing the seamless showroom's expansive space and 17-ft.-tall ceiling. "Pieces are grouped by designer so that each collection is readily identifiable," explains the southern style master. "Here, the collections can speak for themselves and look as good as the designers intended them to."