No Day at the Beach One of these interior designers, Maggie Aardema, the creative force behind Wilmington-based Design Associates, does a lot more than shop the High Point Market for her residential and commercial clients. Indeed, she is known in High Point as a showroom designer of the highest order, responsible for the look and feel of Stanley Furniture, one of the industry’s leading and most well-known brands. While most come to High Point to be inspired, Aardema is among those responsible for creating the inspiration. Imagine for a moment a movie set, encompassing some 25,000 square feet on two levels connected by a sweeping staircase. The set changes almost entirely every six months, from architectural details to flooring, to wall cover-ings and paint colors acting as the backdrop for the stars of the show — the hundreds of new products Stanley introduces each Market. Anyone who has ever under-taken a small-scale, DIY renova-tion of a kitchen or bath, or has waited impatiently for a contrac-tor to show, can only begin to imagine the level of controlled chaos Aardema marshals. Her do-or- die schedule includes intimate involvement with every aspect of the showroom’s build-out, from shooting the catalog and national advertising photogra-phy to ordering and arranging the fresh flowers that welcome shoppers to Stanley’s showroom on the Market’s opening day. It’s a mammoth project akin to building and furnishing an entire mansion (at 25,000 square feet the Stanley showroom can hardly be called a “home”) every six months. Aardema simply loves it. “Twice a year High Point turns into the pulse of what is happen-ing in the world of furniture. It’s really exciting to be on the cutting edge of displaying the products for the retailers and designers who will eventually present them to con-sumers,” Aardema says. Her design process for a new season begins with black-and-white 48 august 2015 WBM Maggie Aardema inside the Stanley Furniture showroom she designed at the High Point Furniture Market, April 2015.
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