Just when we thought interior designer Christiane Lemieux had revolutionized every nook of the design world, we find out she's only getting started. With a nearly two-decades-long tenure in the space — Christiane has done everything from write books, and host and judge television shows to create a little company called DwellStudio (you might have heard of it?) — it only makes sense that the spacial stalwart has etched her name on the map yet again with The Inside last year. A direct-to-consumer company chock-full of customizable and fashion-forward yet affordable furniture, The Inside raised $1.5 million from venture capital firm Forerunner Ventures. Casual, right? But chairs and settees are only one part of her plan for total design domination.
This month, The Inside opened its doors to The Creative Compound, a multi-purpose space located at 86 Walker Street in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood. Part showroom, part store, part co-working space, Christiane says The Creative Compound goes where no design brand has ever gone before.
"We want to give our customers the chance to feel inspired after seeing and touching products inside our showroom, [as well as] the opportunity to envision our pieces and items from our partners in a beautifully designed space," Christiane says.
I recently toured the design haven, and let's just say it could become your new favorite hangout.
Designed by Christiane herself, the 2,800-square-foot space boasts a series of shoppable vignettes that resemble a home, including a living room, dining room, bedroom, library and cocktail lounge (if you've ever been to The Line, it's a similar concept in part). To make it feel more like a livable oasis — and less like a traditional showroom or store — Lemieux integrated some of her favorite brands into the compound.
"We're so thrilled to be working with each of them to create an inspiring interior that looks good, smells good, and feels good for our visitors," she says.
Some highlights: A cheery set of marigold drapes from The Shade Store hangs next to a Peter Som x The Inside floral bench, while a gallery wall by Uprise Art overlooks Christiane's popular cabana stripe armchairs. Other covetable contributions include paint from Farrow & Ball, Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. lighting, plants by the Sill, and a Tuft & Needle mattress for the bedroom.
If a third-party piece catches your eye, shoppers are asked to reach out to the respective brand to place an order.
But what's the rush to leave once you're done shopping? Visitors are welcomed — and even encouraged — to kick back and stay awhile.
Opened from nine in the morning to six at night on weekdays, The Creative Compound doubles as a very stylish co-working space, which Christiane says anyone can use. Nomadic professionals are free to curl up with their laptops on one of The Inside's seats or flip through the library's collection of interior design books for some decor inspiration.
"We don't have a membership status," she adds. "Whether they're creatives looking for a space to work with Wi-Fi or customers looking for home decor items and inspiration, our doors are open to anyone looking for a well-designed space to relax in, get some serious work done in, or anything in between."
Today, co-working spaces are well on their way to replacing conventional cubicles altogether. Thanks to a spike in remote employees, freelancers and budding startups, they're sprouting up faster than you can say, "Work from home."
In less than a decade, office space du jour WeWork opened locations in over 20 countries, while co-working coven The Wing has four locations since its debut in 2016, including three spots in New York City and a Washington D.C. location slated to open this spring.
Like the co-working spaces before its time, The Creative Compound hopes to host panels and events as well as become a site for photoshoots and vlogs, but its aesthetics-first approach makes it a design lover's paradise.
"Beautifully designed work spaces are so important for productivity and inspiration, [especially when you're] working long hours and in the same office all day," Christiane says. "We're trying to evoke happiness and productivity, offering our visitors the opportunity to use the space for creative thinking, content creation, design inspiration, and to check out some amazing products."