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Hightower’s New Chicago Showroom Blurs the Lines of Commercial and Residential Design

June 26, 2019

Hightower is one of several new permanent showrooms that opened its doors in theMART just in time for NeoCon 2019.

Founded in 2003, the women-led contract furniture company aims to create pieces for today’s hospitality, educational and workplace markets where the lines of corporate and residential aesthetics are blurred.

(The kitchen was created to capture the essence of friends gathering and was designed to host customers and clients. The bar features terrazzo from Concrete Collaborative and Hightower’s Suspence light pendants. The freshly launched Nadia Counter Stools surround it.)

Co-founder and CEO Natalie Hartkopf chose to partner with Casey Keasler to design the main floor space. Keasler is founder and creative director of Portland, OR-based Casework, an interior design studio for both residential and commercial spaces.

(The front room features a large window that lets in natural light, a rare thing to find in theMART. It contains Hightower’s Boxplay Sectional in a new scale, accented with the Brasilia Table, Lamino Chairs and Flower Side Tables.)

When creating the showroom, Keasler included living room-type niches so people can stop, sit and look through a coffee table book. “We want guests to feel warm and welcomed without the traditional corporate vibe,” she says in Hightower’s press release.

(The back-seating area features Savannah Chairs with the For Now Sofa and Nest Wood Tables. Soft curves help define this Scandinavian collection of soft seating, solid oak tables and room-defining privacy screens.)

“Through Casey, we were able to develop our space with layers of fresh, intentional details,” says Jessica Ahlering, Hightower’s director of marketing who worked closely with Keasler.

(Featured here is the Gimbal Low Lounge Rocker Chairs and Libri Bookshelves.)

“Beyond our own furniture collections, we’ve curated remarkable pieces from exciting artisans: family-founded, female-operated Concrete Collaborative (terrazzo and tiles), North Carolina-based Haand (porcelain pottery), and JuJu Papers (hand-printed wallpaper designs), to name a few. Casey and her team spent a great deal of time searching, finally deciding upon pieces not just for their beauty but based on the inspiring stories of the artists.” 

(FourLikes lines Hightower’s showroom halls with the Atlas Pendant. Based on cubes, the FourLikes pieces are styles to create curvy and organic shapes that can be integrated into large arrangements of different seating options. Both FourLikes and the Atlas Pendant are coming soon.)

Hightower’s permanent space includes recognizable favorites, like the Nest Series, and new products such as FourLikes, with 60 designs total on display. The cozy aesthetic, soft curves and warm colors used are sure to delight visitors for years to come.

What to read next: This Laminate Looks and Feels Like Real Wood

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About the author
Adrian Schley | Associate Editor

Adrian Schley is an Associate Editor for i+s, where she has been covering the commercial interior design industry since 2018. Her work can also be found in BUILDINGS and Meetings Today.