A couple days ago I attended the opening of furniture brand, Interior Define's, latest brick and mortar location which is here in LA. This is only the fourth guideshop for the digital-first brand which is known for their highly customizable furniture and moderate price points. So what's a guideshop, exactly? It's a Bonobos type experience where customer service, not inventory, is offered. That is, if you think you're walking out of Interior Define with a sofa to load into your vehicle, think again - the guideshop carries no inventory.
While I am familiar with Interior Define I was eager to learn more. After recently undertaking my own massive sofa search with my husband for a distinct piece (an apartment-sized modern take on a leather chesterfield) to fit our cozy living room, I fully appreciate the desirability of customization. With that, I was off to the Interior Define opening on La Brea to meet with the brand’s founder, Rob Royer.
The location amid La Brea’s design district makes sense. Nearby are Mood Fabrics and Nick Metropolis’ lovingly curated mess of collectible furniture (I once found and lovingly restored my early 1960s record player console there). But what founder Rob Royer told me what he loved even more was the fact that Interior Define was located across from establishments like Sycamore Kitchen; a signifier to brand that the neighborhood is home to digitally-native consumers who share similar values as Interior Define.
Inside you’ll find a sampling of everything the brand offers. If they don’t have a sofa you’re looking for on display, they probably have the same body style and fabric in a chair to view, touch, and feel. The idea behind this is smaller stores that still allow you to familiarize yourself with the all the products.
A wall of leg styles in different wood stains and finishes invites you to customize your look. All the fabric choices drape elegantly from hooks so you can clearly see what’s possible. iPads stand alongside sofa displays can help initiate the order process.
On display are also the brand’s popular collaborations - sofas designed by social media and design-industry influencers. This includes the family-friendly Charly sofa from the founders of popular home design blog Chris Loves Julia and the Ms. Chesterfield sofa from Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Ryan.
Royer shared with me that the brand has new exciting collaborations in the works for the new year. Additionally, they are planning a new augmented reality app so customers can truly see the way a piece of furniture will look in their space before committing.
171 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 9003
What do you think? Do you love the idea of customizing your furniture or is it too much work? Think the idea of an experiential, customer-service-based “store” (rather than a product-based one) is helpful or do you find it odd?