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Brown Squirrel Furniture
Showroom Addition
Knoxville, Tennessee
Preston Matthews, president of Brown Squirrel Furniture, wanted to modernize a warehouse showroom format that dated to the early ‘70s. The hometown retailer located in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains was seeking something unique that would reflect both the community and the region this single-store operation serves.

Change began with the exterior and entrance. Where once customers walked through the front doors directly into the warehouse, our team transformed one half of the existing warehouse side of the building (16,000 square feet) into the showroom. Now, when shoppers arrive, customers encounter one of the country’s largest Simmons Beautyrest galleries on the left (2650 square feet), and photos of Knoxville dating to the 1800s—reflecting the family’s long history in the community, and the history of Knoxville itself. Directly ahead, a 30-foot-high photographic mural of the Smokey Mountains sets the tone for what’s to come.
Once inside, shoppers gravitate to the wow of the Brown Squirrel Lodge, a cabin-like presentation reflecting the region, and a unique, Made in America gallery featuring Vaughan-Bassett furniture. Large format black-and-white photographs surround the perimeter of the department, depicting workers building the furniture inside the factory. “It’s a powerful space, and the pictures really drive home the point that the furniture is American-made,” Matthews relates. Other statement departments include Urban Lifestyle, set apart with a mural of the Knoxville skyline, and a hip leather department featuring genuine leather goods.

“Connie and her team understood exactly what we wanted to achieve and executed it to a “T,” the executive relates. “She’s very professional and made the entire process hassle-free.”