The new Safavieh showroom spans a full block on Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue, providing room for uncluttered displays of our most popular designs.
Of Safavieh's two Manhattan showrooms, Chelsea and Soho, the new Chelsea location could be called the flagship. It's the successor to the famous Broadway store, which Safavieh occupied for almost 25 years. "As our brand grew, we became frustrated by that space because we couldn't show enough of the variety we carry," says Darioush Yaraghi, vice president of the home furnishings retailer. "There was just not enough square footage and not a lot of street frontage."
Chelsea solved both problems. The new location occupies the length of an entire block on Seventh Avenue, from 15th to 16th streets. Arched, floor-to-ceiling windows span the block, making the whole storefront a window display and flooding the interior with natural light.
The store actually consists of two pre-war buildings that have been sensitively combined. One has arched ceilings, for example, while the other has exposed wood beams. Each possesses a distinct architectural feel, and the merchandise has been arranged to match. "We wanted our products to showcase the buildings, as well as the buildings to showcase the products," says Yaraghi.
"For the ‘lofty’ building, the one with the arched ceilings, we created an urban casual feel," he continues. "We tore out a decrepit staircase and put in iron mesh, contemporary stairs. The ground-floor design center has all-glass walls and black-painted beams, making it visually separate but complementary. The casual vibe continues on the lower level, where we installed galleries to showcase the best products of various top furniture brands, with a special emphasis on their custom capabilities."
The adjacent building, which is part of one continuous ground-floor space, has what Yaraghi calls a farmhouse feel. More modern in its lines, this building fittingly showcases Safavieh’s modern collection, from midcentury on.
Safavieh’s famous rug department is also located here. "We took advantage of the space to curate the rug collection," says Yaraghi. “On the upper level we’re promoting a modern aesthetic because that’s of most interest to our customers. On the lower level, you’ll find silks, classics and antiques.”
How has the public reacted to the new Chelsea showroom? "It's gratifying that people 'get' what we're trying to do here. The number of shoppers has been steadily increasing. It’s a large, open space, so social distancing is easy."