Mannington Commercial’s new Design Center is located in Midtown Atlanta, currently undergoing a revitalization that includes the latest in dining, shopping, and residences. Part of the adaptive reuse project Stockyards Atlanta, the Center goes far beyond what is expected of a traditional product showroom; it is an inviting space meant for designers, customers, end users, and staff to do everything from select product to conceptualize projects or just relax with a cup of coffee.
Designed in partnership with Dallas-based Corgan, the Atlanta location pays homage to the original structure, Mannington’s roots, and the design culture overall. After collaborating on several projects with the manufacturer, it made sense for Corgan’s Emily Strain—lead design on the Center—and Lindsay Wilson to work with Mannington on the remodel. “The idea was born out of how Mannington continually engages designers,” Wilson explained. “Our time is so compressed; getting people to go out to Calhoun, Ga., [where Mannington Commercial is based] was becoming more of a challenge. They were really brainstorming on how to create a space in Atlanta where they could tell the Mannington story.”
Strain added, “We asked what would be valuable to [design professionals], with compressed time and schedules, to get them into the space to experience the brand, so we came up with the other [areas within the space].”
As a family-owned brand, Mannington knew the Design Center should be comfortable, just like home. The welcome area feels more like walking into a residence than an office. “We knew the overarching space everyone would touch would be the welcome [area],” Strain explained. “We didn’t want to call it ‘reception’; the goal was to make people feel welcome and invited into the space and not that they were walking into a showroom, but that they were walking into someone’s living room.”
The welcome area draws in elements of the hospitality segment as hotels are feeling more like home. “This concept of hospitality was really different for [Mannington],” she added. “We had been working with them for more than five years, and they have always been warm and welcoming to us. Here, designers come in all the time just to grab a cup of coffee and say hi, which is exactly what we wanted. It was important to convince Mannington to not have a front desk that would be empty 75 percent of the time, instead having a kitchen type of space up front.”
Designer Mandy Lamb, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has previously worked with Mannington Commercial on its NeoCon spaces. At the new Atlanta site, she used her expertise to create subtle branding elements throughout the Center. “The Mannington Commercial sign [in the welcome area] isn’t big or bold; it’s very understated,” Strain noted. “It is more about the feeling than the branding with a logo.”