By Meghan Hall
Furniture retailer Bedrooms & More completed its retail headquarters expansion in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood in November 2018, the largest expansion of the company to date since its founding in 1972. In designing the 24,000 square foot, five-level structure located at 324 NE 45th St., the store’s owners, the Garfield Family, worked with John Adams of Seattle-based Adams Architecture to design the building’s 3,500 square foot fifth floor apartment, and Stuart Silk Architects to create a comfortable and luxurious shopping experience for their customers that highlights the company’s commitment to sustainable business.
“This new building allows us to expand and offer the next generation of luxury furnishings while keeping our commitment to using sustainable and eco-friendly materials,” said Jeff Garfield, owner and founder of Bedrooms & More. “We are responding to a growing need for ethically sourced, natural and organic furniture for all new condo, dorm and city dwellers moving to the area.”
The building was designed to emulate a modern Northwest lodge. The building’s lobby is similar to a great room with ceilings ranging from between 16 to 20 feet in height. Exposed wood beams and large windows welcome customers into the store. Cherry stained polished concrete floor are used throughout, as is a neutral color palette to showcase the furniture and make guests feel welcome. According to Blake Garfield, the treasurer of Bedrooms & More and the son of owners Jeff and Wanda, it was important for the customer to feel relaxed in the new building.
“When making a purchase as intimate as a mattress, or really any home furnishing, the experience needs to be comfortable,” said Blake. “Making sure that we have a space that feels warm and safe is integral to that experience.”
The Garfield family also wanted to make sure the building’s design complimented their sustainably sourced furnishings. The completed building includes two living rooftop gardens, solar panels capable of generating 18 kilowatts of power and more than 200 LED lighting fixtures. A Mitsubishi ductless heating and air system was installed throughout the building, and the project team made sure to invest in sustainably harvested wood for the more than 120 wooden bookcases used to house the textiles that Bedrooms & More sells in its store. EV and Tesla car chargers were also included in the parking garages. According to Jeff and Wanda, their eldest son Thane was instrumental in selecting the sustainable materials found throughout the space.
“Thane is a visionary, he’s always three to four years ahead of everyone else,” said Jeff.
Currently, however, the family has not pursued any formal environmental certifications, choosing instead to focus on customer service while the store changes locations.
“The green roof, solar panels and other energy-saving features are great, but we have been really focused on making sure that the customer experience and the experience of our staff doesn’t suffer during this big transition,” explained Blake. “We are a small family business and we have to prioritize.”
The price tag for construction was about $8 million. After adding the cost of the land and consulting services, the final project cost roughly $9.175 million at completion.
The store moved from its previous location at 300 NE 45th St., which is now known as the Bedrooms & More West building and will now showcase seating and living room furniture. Jeff and Wanda Garfield selected the new location way back in 2008, when they saw an opportunity in the market to purchase land and found their family was eager to carry on the business.
“When I realized that my three sons wanted to continue the business, a new and larger building would be necessary,” said Jeff. “During the recession, we bought a parcel to the East of our original store with the idea that lots like that don’t become available very often in our area, and it looked like the business would go on with this kids taking it over.”
Currently, the company is based in Seattle and intends to pull on the loyal Pacific Northwest customer base for the near future.
“Seattle has a great population of eco-conscious consumers who value organic and natural products,” said Jeff. “Many of our customers find us because they seek to furnish their homes with products that support their sustainable lifestyle.”
Bedrooms & More sells an array of mattresses, bedroom sets, kitchen, living room and dining room furniture. Although the Garfields say their customer base is growing and they have had many requests to open up locations in other parts of the country. According to Blake, the possibility of opening up more locations has been discussed but not pursued.
“Thus far, the reason we have not added any additional locations has been due to concerns about being able to maintain a high-quality customer experience without having family present on a daily basis,” explained Blake. “This business is a direct reflection of our family, and our pride won’t let us outsource our reputation.”
For now, the Garfield family is focused on making sure their new store is successful in the long term for their customers and family.
“We won’t try to offer the cheapest thing, because if we sell something that doesn’t last or meet expectations, we have to stand behind it; so we focus selling durable quality items,” said Blake. “When people do find us, we need the shopping experience to match the products we have, and we need to have enough space to show people plenty to choose from.”