Randal Weeks, the founder of Aidan Gray, is putting the final touches on his own four-story, 7,000 sq. ft. High Point showroom at the corner of Kivett & Main The new showroom will be ready to showcase his designs in a way that was never possible before. With accent furniture playing a greater role in the collection – and featured prominently in the new Main Street showroom – Weeks promises customers an edited, yet eclectic product line focused on unique occasional tables and larger accent pieces and color choices on chairs for the first time. Here, he provides customers with a checklist of why Aidan Gray is a “must-see” come October.
Please outline your primary High Point introductions.
Throughout our table presentation, we are featuring mixed mediums. To that end, one of our new collections is a great line of mirrored and stone top occasional tables. All of our tables, from cocktail to coffee size, with be offered in gold, silver, our new steel color and an antique brass that we are launching as well. While in the past we have been more decorative with our tables, now we are looking to bring more functionality to the pieces. This mean making sure there’s a second shelf on the bottom for storage, for example.
For our larger case goods, side tables, dressers and consoles, we are really striving for unique pieces that have a bit of an edge. Aidan Gray is identiﬁed by authentic pieces that exude “European grandeur;” we’re still focusing on the history but making sure we present newer, fresher versions. A great example is a new console table that’s done completely in metal that’s made to look like fabric drapes over the top of a board. It is hand painted in a distressed ﬁnish and the look is phenomenal!
We also have a new diminutive entryway chest that features great lines. Wider at the bottom, it’s the perfect French chest. And in chairs, this season we are all about offering choices to our customers. For every chair and bench, customers now have nine different options. Now rounding out our trademark linen are options such as black and white and different shades of leather. It’s been fun to add color to our traditionally neutral palette.
What best describes an Aidan Gray accent piece?
People come to us for a timeless, tried and true look. I stay away from trends; I want every piece that we put into the market to be able to stand on its own and be able to mix with various design interiors — something that someone does not look at 10 years from now and say that was so 2015!
Will accent furniture continue to perform well?
Certainly the days of “matchy match” are over, but at the same time, nowadays there is too much emphasis on not buying everything to match. This makes the hunt for the perfect piece that much harder. Retailers and end consumers are looking for items that are easy to pull in and easy to push out; this is why we have been concentrating so hard on accent pieces, especially small items, that are priced right and allow for quick turns.
What are your expectations for this milestone High Point market?
High Point will be the ofﬁcial launch of our new building at 201 Main Street (at the corner of Kivett & Main). It will provide an entirely new experience for buyers who have never seen what we can do outside of a temporary location. At previous High Point markets, we had a small space and customers were never really able to understand my design perspective. Now with a four-ﬂoor presentation, we’ll be able to show Aidan Gray from a lifestyle perspective. This is personally rewarding and very exciting for the Aidan Gray family and our customers. This time around, we have a very edited accent furniture collection that features some fun pieces – such as the metal drape table – that will grab a lot of attention.