Crate & Barrel’s New Design Studio Takes You by the Hand

New Pasadena location helps provide one-on-design advice for newbies and experts
By EDDIE RIVERA, Weekendr Editor
Published on Feb 7, 2020

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The Earth did not spin sideways on its axis. That Crate & Barrel Store near Colorado Boulevard and De Lacey Street in Old Pasadena simply moved south across the street to the former H&M store location.

The massive space—approximately 10,000 square feet of selling space— while still not quite as large as the former store which featured every spoon and glass you might ever desire, has been compressed to feature working room layouts and furnishing ideas.

They call it the Crate & Barrel Design Studio.

We walked through the store the other day, while new customers streamed in, and chatted with Vicki Lang, Crate and Barrel’s director of public relations, as she led us through the store’s two-story space.

“We felt like if you’re going to try and conceptualize, California’s a great place to do that, for sure,” she said. “And the name says it all.

“What we’re trying to do is really shine a brighter light on the services part of our business that we have had for many, many years,” Lang continued. “It’s really one of our core strengths with our customers, and this space is really all about providing that design service experience for our customers.”

Lang acknowledged that for some, picking out the perfect piece of furniture or decor, “is great fun and they feel super confident. But I think even for those of us who work in design all the time, it’s good to have a buddy, a guide, an expert, to walk you through the process and, and make it less stressful. Just make it more fun, and answer some of the questions you might not know.”

As Lang continued, “Let’s say you’ve moved into a new home or apartment, and, you’ve got an unusually shaped living room. You’re thinking, ‘I really want a beautiful new sofa for my home, but I don’t know what to do with this space.’ You can have a one-on-one consultation appointment with one of our experts. Everyone here that works on the team is an expert and can step in and do that.”

Pointing out the wide array of stylish bedroom, living room and dining room configurations, Lang expounded, “You sit down, you create a floor plan with them. You can pull up all your ideas.”

Got three dogs? she asks. They’ll show you something durable. Got kids? You’re covered.

And the store atmosphere is relaxed, indeed casual, Lang emphasized.

“You can say, ‘Okay, these are great ideas. I need to sleep on it.’ They can send them to you via email. You could have them at home to think about, or you can also have them come out to your house and walk through the space with you. it’s really all about giving you the tools that you need to make a decision that you’re going to feel great about.”

Lang added, “Some of these purchases, or many of these purchases, are investments you want to buy, something that you feel happy about and that you continue to love. That’s what we want.”

Lang showed us a small handful of charming, sophisticated, even whimsical room layouts, and talked about the employees and customer loyalty that a company like Crate & Barrel engenders.

“We all know that, that we’re in a workplace landscape where there are many companies where there’s a ton of turnover. Loyalty is something that we have nurtured and valued for many, many years. I think when I think about a market like this, you can bet that many of the customers that are going to come and shop with us, and I hope they will, will be customers that already have wonderful relationships with maybe some of the sales associates they worked across the street.”

Lang also emphasized that while the space might be smaller, you can buy anything you see online at the store, and have it shipped to your home. Free.

“If you don’t see it,” said Lang, “it doesn’t mean that we don’t have it.”

The Crate & Barrel Design Studio is at 60 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA. (626) 683-8000.

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