Cardi Wareham, MA
New Store
Wareham, Massachusetts

Converting existing buildings always present unique challenges. In the case of Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses newest location at 3005 Cranberry Hwy in Wareham, MA, it came in the form of a 22-foot load-bearing firewall that separated the first 4,000 square feet of the former big-box home improvement store from the rest of the interior.

Faced with an immense obstacle that could not be moved, Post and her team transformed the wall with a grand, Disney-esque design that is part casual beach house—with the scale and proportions of a real home covered in ship-lap so prevalent in this coastal community—and part hip, urban, industrial warehouse with enormous sliding barn doors and faux brick indicative of a downtown loft.

“Consumers decide within seconds whether they will shop a store or turn heel and leave,” says Post. “To engage shoppers, it’s critical that the first few thousand square feet of any retail space delivers an immediate wow. In creating the newest Cardi’s store, the architectural elements we applied to the wall make a dramatic statement designed to awe and intrigue customers and imbue the Cardi’s brand with a modern sensibility that will attract Millennials. The moment you walk in you can feel the energy, and you know this is not your father’s furniture store. In fact, during the set-up leading up to the grand opening this weekend, all the young guys on the team were exclaiming, ‘It’s the most beautiful store I’ve ever seen!”

As customers pass through the grand entry, orbs of tiny white lights hanging from above and an array of modern chandeliers beckon them forward. All are suspended from a 22-foot ceiling with exposed trusses and pipes painted in bird’s egg blue. Just beyond the wall, the ceiling drops to 14-feet in height and a series of large-scale drum shades lit with blue lights lead shoppers to the center hub of the 62,000-square-foot store highlighted by a blue, circular cornice and string curtains.

“Cardi’s brand identity is associated with the color blue,” Post describes. “This is the first time I’ve ever used colored lights to subtly reinforce a brand, but the result is eye-catching, totally cool and draws you to the center of the store.”

Along the way, customers are met with dynamic lifestyle presentations centered around massive fireplaces and large-scale windows featuring out-size graphics. “When I say ‘large graphics,’ I mean really large, as in a surfer catching a wave that spans 30 feet in one area. The look is young, artistic and energetic, and lends a sense of the fantastic to the shopping experience. In developing the look, I was inspired by presentations I viewed at the most recent Maison Objet and while shopping in Paris, where the trend in new retail is definitely toward enormous graphics that set the scene for sofas and more.”