The Northwest’s oldest family-owned hardware retailer finally launches its first Seattle showroom.
Our Portland-based company recently unveiled a new showroom in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood, a rising design district just south of Downtown. Launched in July 2020, this is the third showroom for our fifth-generation family business and showcases our extensive product offerings through bright, minimalist interiors and a flexible layout. Imagined by Portland design firm and long-time Chown customers, Weedman Design Partners, the showroom is as detail-oriented as its clients.
“We wanted to hire our customers to build the showroom,” says Brand & Marketing Manager Nathanael Chown. “We didn’t want to just anticipate what they needed, we wanted them to have the power to make those decisions for it. This space is almost an homage to them.”
Visitors enter our two-story showroom to an arresting vignette from our flagship line, Waterworks. Complete with a full kitchen and bathroom set-up, the vignette shows off our exclusive line with the high-end design brand. Adjacent to the front door is our new handwashing station with Waterworks faucets, assuring precautionary measures, in light of COVID-19. As a family business rooted in attentive, face-to-face customer service, it was important to uphold this value while keeping customer safety top of mind.
Paying tribute to our matriarch Eleanor Chown—who, in 1971, introduced the Pacific Northwest to high-end hardware retailers and catapulted our business into the luxury market—our Seattle showroom features a subtle mural with a photo of her, her husband Frank, and their three children: Steve, Fred, and David. “You can stand in the middle of the showroom and say it’s a culmination of her design from the mid-century. She would be really proud,” says Chown. “It lets her vision and design have its moment. That’s a really special thing for me and a very important capstone for the growth on this side of the business.”
In addition to the hundreds of products displayed, Weedman Design Partners outfitted the space with Chown products wherever possible. From Visual Comfort and Sonneman light fixtures overhead to the Waterworks-themed bathroom, customers can experience our diverse product lines at work.
Additionally, large tables and seating areas scattered throughout the showroom encourage architects and designers to work collaboratively with their clients. The space also has modular, removable walls for clients to compare products and for the showroom to make seamless transitions as new products come in. “We wanted to create as much flexibility in the showroom as possible,” says Arielle Weedman, who co-owns Weedman Design Partners with her husband Travis. “A lot is going to change [over the years] and we want it to change.”
Located at 2920 1st Ave S Seattle, WA 98134, Chown Seattle is now open.