A Perfect Partnership
Monday, February 10th, 2014
Photos by Tyler Mallory
For 75 years, Community Home Supply sat tucked away in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood—quite a few “el” stops from the hub of the city’s design industry that surrounds the Merchandise Mart downtown. But in March of 2012, the company’s partnership with plumbing/hardware shop Chicago Brass allowed for Community to begin taking over that brand’s showroom, and thus Community II was born.
“Our Lincoln showroom is a great foundation to build on because of its history, reputation of excellent service, product offering, educated staff, and a great trade following,” says Amy Sicheneder, senior design consultant and showroom manager of the River North location. “The partnership gave us the ability to offer a more exclusive showroom that shows our middle-to-higher-end product in a quiet and creative atmosphere that is perfect for the architecture-and-design client.”
Adapting the showroom took one year (though the space remained open during this time), and the redesigned Community II officially opened in March of 2013. The core structure of the showroom remained unchanged, and some of the displays that Chicago Brass had in place stayed put as well. But to show the diversity of Community’s collections, many additional pieces were brought in and an overall reorganization was necessary. Sicheneder and owner Marla Richardson redid the kitchen and cabinet displays and painted the majority of the showroom a muted grey with black accents (“Community” colors), along with a striking red wall that faces the front windows.
“The showroom is organized by contemporary, transitional, and traditional products in mostly vignette-style displays,” Sichender says. “None of the pieces are branded by manufacturer signage or factory-built displays, which induces creativity and allows the designer or architect to drive their client to a solution based on design and not brand recognition.”
A wealth of products are available in the showroom, and the partnership that the brand continues with Chicago Brass makes the combined companies a one-stop shop for anything related to kitchen and bath remodeling. “Many of our products are exclusive or semi-exclusive to us in this market,” Sicheneder says. “We also offer a safe place for designers and architects to go and know that their pricing is protected and their business is valued.”