Poliform | home experiential showroom designed by Sagart Studio
Poliform | home, a new experiential showroom in Washington, DC, fills a 19th-century Victorian rowhouse off the beaten path from the city’s popular Georgetown district—and that’s by design. Owners Vincent and Helena Sagart renovated the structure to integrate Poliform and other exclusive European lines in a home-like setting. The renewed structure plays to the way it was built in 1892—as a shop front with an apartment above, each with its own entries. The four-story, 250 square-meter rowhouse includes a design studio and showroom on main and lower levels and a 145 square-meter home setting on the upper two floors.
“It’s explicitly designed NOT to look or feel like a store, but like the enviable home of your friend,” Vincent says. “People keep mistaking this for a cool apartment, but everything you see here is for sale, despite the fact that it looks bespoke and coordinated.” The Poliform | home is the only interiors retailer in Mid-Atlantic area whose products are displayed within a real home: Put your feet up in the living room, for example, sip espresso at the kitchen bar, or browse the master bedroom’s built-in shelving displays. Customers can see how Poliform’s vast collection of kitchen products, furnishings, libraries and wardrobes combine to create an authentic living space, enhanced with architectural lighting and smart-home technology. “It’s not a showroom experience. It’s a home experience,” Vincent says. “Everything is designed to come together.”
This presentation enables a more informed dialogue between the client and design team as it demonstrates refined details and design solutions: Clients see how furniture is integrated into architecture, and how spatial arrangements facilitate flow and create different moods, and how varying levels of lighting creates ambiance and illuminates tasks. From start to finish, the Sagart Studio team guides customers through the entire design and construction process with more confidence and understanding of what it takes to achieve the final result.
One of the best benefits of this experiential-design concept is the least obvious: Smart-home automation and LED architectural lighting. Visitors can interact with the technology themselves, using the studio’s iPhone, touchscreens and minimalist Basalt keypads that are built into the walls. The controls can adjust the home’s lighting, HVAC, audio/visual systems, security and surveillance according to your needs and the time of day. “Seamless integration of digital and analog aspects of our everyday life becomes paramount,” he says. “While our homes need to be a place where we can relax, unwind, and simply be ourselves, we multitask constantly, interacting with our families, friends, colleagues and surroundings in multiple ways. To make it effortless has become a great challenge of today’s design in general.”
By arranging Poliform’s collection within a quintessential Georgetown rowhouse, the Sagarts are also challenging the largely American notion that modern design must be housed within modern architecture. They round out the monobrand experience with other exclusive European lines, including solid-wood furniture by Riva; doors by Rimadesio; Agape bathrooms; and light fixtures and rugs by Moooi. This immersively designed environment illustrates how the brands’ streamlined silhouettes boldly stand out from the historic architecture that embraces them. The juxtaposition sharpens the definition and character of both. “We truly are trying to show the integration of sophisticated, cutting-edge European design with existing traditional American architecture, which in our market is still unusual,” Vincent says. “The luxury clients need to be surprised by original solutions they have not seen before.”
Since Poliform | home opened last year, Vincent has seen that architects and designers are more likely to schedule visits and meetings at Poliform | home with their clients and general contractors or builders. “It’s a space where clients, architects and designers can see things in the context of a home and study everything in its setting,” he says. “We’re inciting an emotional connection, and that creates loyalty.”
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Poliform | home is located on P Street in Georgetown, within a largely residential enclave off the beaten path from the district’s commercial corridors.
Sliding aluminum-glass door by Rimadesio divides the showroom with Poliform dressing room display from the apartment entry. Traditional molding on the foyer wall provides a handsome frame for the Porada mirror and Deltalight lighting fixtures
The two-story apartment’s main level is a master class in small-space efficiency: The sophisticated chef’s Poliform kitchen is encased in spessart built-ins that hide its functions while a sunny area beyond allows for a multi-purpose table. There’s even room for a bar-height table and stools on the small outdoor landing in back.
The built-in Poliform cabinetry flows seamlessly into the living area, where the spessart oak paneling creates backdrop for the television and bookcases.
The kitchen panels open to expose the kitchen’s comprehensive storage, a coffee bar, ovens, and refrigerator/freezer.
A Poliform wardrobe system greets visitors inside the street-level showroom door.
A Moooi chandelier crowns the space, which includes hanging racks, storage bin.s, dresser drawers, jewelry display, and a lit glass cabinet for shoes or handbags
The master bedroom on the apartment’s second floor is a vision of modern elegance within the historic home’s generously tall ceilings. Poliform library illustrates a wide range of display and storage options.
The Sagarts took advantage of the curving bay window to create some whimsical delight: a freestanding Agape tub lit by a delicate Moooi chandelier, all framed within rich draperies and sheers.
A Poliform wardrobe with leather paneled sliding doors lines the wall on the stair landing that separates the master bedroom and bath. The Agape bathroom lies beyond a sculptural sliding door by Rimadesio.
Moooi’s Smoke armchair, starkly framed in the master bathroom, offers a modern treatment of traditional form, just as Poliform | home illustrates throughout its 19th-century rowhouse.
Book matched carrara marble slabs beautifully encase the shower and water closet in the master bathroom. The basalt smart-home control pad, right, complements the Agape shower fixtures.
The Sagarts chose clean-lined, solid wood wood furnishings by Riva for the lower-level design studio, which integrate with the rowhouse’s exposed, century-old brick, and staircase made on the site from 200 year old pine beams reclaimed during building restoration.
Poliform | home’s architectural lighting by Deltalight and smart-home technology can be operated via phone, touch screen, or basalt keypad.
The touchscreens and keypads add a graphic element to each room.
Vincent and Helena Sagart in the apartment’s Poliform kitchen.