I just got back from taking a week off–it was wonderful! One of the benefits I love about Room & Board is the three weeks of paid vacation time that accrues annually (which goes up to four weeks if you’ve worked for the company longer than five years). While I didn’t travel anywhere, it was quite relaxing just hanging around town. I came back to work feeling refreshed and then immediately slipped back into the pace of being in the showroom.
This afternoon I’ve been working on a quick project related to the education topic I missed out on while I was gone. Our Visual Associate wanted to work with the team on helping us to understand and define our “Personal Design Aesthetic.” She teamed up with our Accessories Merchant and we’ve had an ongoing list on our whiteboard in the break area for the past few weeks of words that can be used describe a specific style. She also wanted us to choose a style icon we identify with. Then, the goal was to take our icon, select the words that best described our aesthetic, and find which items in the current Room & Board collection we connected with the most.
The image above is from my own dive into our products to see what resonated with my personal style. I narrowed my descriptive words down to just three: structure, texture, and materiality. And while there are some pieces on there that I’ve always loved (Elton Bookcase and Cora Dining Chair, I’m looking at you), there were also some surprises. If I were buying any sofa in the store, no space/size/financial limits, I realized I would get a Hess Sofa in leather. My inspiration page (not shown) was a collection of artwork and places, but it was a great exercise to see how it relates to the pieces I ended up selecting. It all came back to my three descriptive words…
Since we have such a close-knit team of creative people, it has been fun to see who and what inspires my fellow coworkers. Some folks identified most strongly with a specific designer, others pulled inspiration from objects or places. We work with these pieces in the showroom every day, so it was a fun activity to look at our furniture and accessories through a more personal lens. What I loved most is that it also helps us better understand each other as a team.