Designer Dreamin’

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    Leah Spurrier, co-founder at HighStreet Cincinnati, always had a knack for design. It started in her early twenties as she poured over pages of British design magazines, particularly Elle Décor UK.


    “I realized that European countries approached their design in a more organic and intuitive way than we do here in the U.S., and I loved that free approach to design,” she says.


    That’s where she got the idea to inspire people with a look that’s deeper, stronger and more interesting. She opened her first shop in OTR that was all about the cutting edge. OTR’s architecture aesthetics, coupled with its supportive culture for artists and designers, made it the perfect area, Spurrier says.


    Then, in 2004, she opened HighStreet Design in partnership with Matt Knotts. Since opening, the store has only occupied the first floor of the building and filled 60 percent of the inventory space. Now, they have merchandised the first floor to capcity, opened multiple, new in-store boutiques, including a spa section.


    “Our women’s fashion section has tripled in size,” says Spurrier. “Our bookstore, which is filled with books on contemporary art, design, architecture, fashion, culture and travel, has grown to 2.5 times its original size.”


    Additionally, on Sept. 20, HighStreet opened the second floor, which is now the Furniture Store at HighStreet. Now, there is 17,000 square feet of shopable space at HighStreet.


    When they first considered expansion, Spurrier says that they saw a niche in the market for the kind of furniture HighStreet was offering. They also thought expansion would be helpful for their clients and customers to see the furniture in a different context than they did on the first floor.


    “We wanted to exhibit a collection of exceptional transitional pieces from American and Canadian, with a few select modern, Italian frames added in the mix,” explains Spurrier. The goal was to place what HighStreet considers to be the best frames and furniture out there in an aesthetic so their customers can see, feel and imagine the pieces in their own spaces.


    Now that the expanded space is open at HighStreet, shoppers can enjoy a fresh new perspective, Spurrier says. “We can see the wheels turning in customers’ heads as they walk through the store, planning out what pieces they can put where in their spaces,” she adds. “We believe the new visual presentation available at the Furniture Store at HighStreet is inspiring to the customer in ways that we always hoped we’d be able to provide.”


    In addition, Spurrier says, HighStreet’s new Design Library is in the works to open in the first quarter of 2015 for friends and colleagues in the design trade. “Since HighStreet is already known in the community as a place of resources and fulfillment, we frequently do a lot of collaboration with other designers and architectural and construction firms,” Spurrier explains. “We want to open our resources for other residential designers and creative in our industry. It was really a natural step to make our resources that much more accessible and useful to our comrades in the design public.”


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