Our 10,000 sq. ft showroom was reconstructed into the space of our dreams over the course of 9 months – we want to show you step-by-step of how we got here, what the process involved, and what we still have up our sleeves for the future. 38 Wareham St at its purest has been a labor of love and dedication, where weekends, early mornings, and thrice-daily coffee runs were our normal for almost a year.
To coincide with the move we decided to rebrand, redesigning our logo, as well as updating our color & visual branding components in the process. This meant a huge overhaul of Lekker’s physical and metaphorical identity, everything was changing at a rapid pace that we could only keep up with by relying on each other in new ways, and redefining what it meant to be a team.
This was truly the work of a group of people who care about each other wholeheartedly like family and don’t give up no matter what the days bring. Even though we haven’t caught up on sleep yet, we want to catch you up on the process it took to open and build a new showroom, from start to finish.
If you haven’t read about the rich history of Wareham St, head over to our breakdown of this historic place. But if you have, you’ll know this building has been dedicated to furniture and craftsman for decades. Whether it was a furniture manufacturing hub, a woodworking mecca, or a constant source of creativity in a transient part of the South End – the bones of this place inspired us to settle in when we were looking for a change.
It was big enough for the amount of design we always wanted to share, our whole staff, as well as grow with us for years to come.
But as soon as we signed the lease we knew we had our work cut out for us, and the planning began. Our first task was combining three separate spaces into one, which entailed knocking down a lot of walls, stubborn foundation, and old paint.
The Build-Out Floor Plan
For the starting floor plan, we enlisted the architectural, design and space-planning expertise of our friends at C&J Katz Studio. The checklist included a sleek office space, expanded storage, a cozy conference lounge and an open bar area for events. Cheryl, Jeffrey, and their team brought a fresh set of eyes on the project. They listened intently to our requirements, drew on their wealth of experience, asked sharp questions, provided frank feedback, and helped guide us through the daunting process of getting it right. Below is one of many drafts which shaped our final layout:
The demo looked a little something like this …
For all the millwork that would inhabit the interior, we wanted the artistry of Nick Doris of Doris Design Workshoppe, who crafted our former cash wrap and shelving on Washington St, to work with us and convey the physicality of our moody new space. We knew we wanted to focus on blending industrial and natural elements like fumed oak, blackened steel, and rod iron to mirror Wareham’s furniture-making and industrial past. Katie and Natalie dreamt up the pieces and Nick and his team brought them to life.
Nicks main six projects were: to create a cash-wrap, kitchen cabinetry, decor shelving, a rug wall, swatch closet, and custom doors for our office (phew!).
The first piece Nick created in its entirety was the cash wrap. A lot of time was spent crafting base pieces in his studio and bringing them to Lekker to assemble, finish, and perfect. Here’s where he started on the larger designs:
The task of placing furniture is not even close to the feat of filling and choosing vignettes (which we always change after original placement, intuition is key around here) and above is the final floor plan we were working with when it came to moving everything from the former showroom and the warehouse for a week of bringing the new space to life.
Imagine creating the floor plan for your home then multiply that by ten – the space planning alone was one of our biggest projects to date. We had to make sure our 70+ brands of all different styles worked together down to the fabric, flow of the space, marrying materials, lighting, and tying it all together with decor. Our number one goal was to create a cohesive environment for Boston and beyond to come and be inspired, with the priority of showcasing more quick ship pieces and have a solid foundation of all the classics. We wanted to take full advantage of every square foot and bring in all the pieces people were unable to see before, so we kept a running list of pieces people have asked for over the years and then used it closely to dictate our planning!
Here was our moving schedule, in all its glory:
Wednesday/Thursday: Packing small goods and transporting small goods, i.e., decor, lighting, personal items
Friday: Finish Packing
Saturday: The first big day of moving! We focused on placing all rugs, large upholstery, and getting through as much furniture as possible
Sunday: Off 🙂 (none of us can remember what we did, which means we ate and slept)
Monday: Second big day – moving furniture from 1313 to 38 Wareham and placing remaining furniture and small goods
Tuesday: Merchandising and tagging
We hydrated (our best), ate croissants every morning (that’s true), and took a full week with our delivery team and every single one of us to unwrap, build, and style every square inch of the place. Like any good move, the days ended with sitting in a giant circle, drinking beers and eating a questionable amount of ruffle chips.
A longtime friend of Lekker, Samara, is a fantastic photographer and came in to shoot the space a few weeks ago. Just looking at how far we’ve come in these photos is emotional … so instead of running on, we’ll leave you with the shots instead.
Here is our finished project, our collaborative space, our Lekker epicenter:
The Full Span