Over the course of the next year, we have set out to shine the spotlight on our wonderful partner showrooms across the country. 12 showrooms in 12 months. From coast to coast we will travel, and log stories of the people who work with our leather day in and day out. Along the way, we will highlight the best in food, drink, and goings on about town. We can’t wait for you to join us on this journey.
We begin in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. Conveniently located in the heart of one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, Hines & Company is a design showroom that overflows with inspiration the moment you walk through the perfectly shined glass doors.
Celebrating nearly two decades of dedicated service to the Washington, DC design community, Hines & Company is distinguished as a premier independent showroom representing the finest in American and European manufacturers of luxurious home furnishings and textiles. Established in 1986, Hines & Company is renowned for its exceptional customer service and vast breadth of unique materials and furnishings. Their commitment to offer the very best is paramount–from their meticulously curated collection of beautiful textiles, extraordinary trims, unique lighting, custom shades, one-of-a-kind and custom wall-coverings to their expertly crafted, American bench-made furniture, Hines offers one-stop shopping.
In July 2014, the entire Moore & Giles portfolio was introduced into the showroom. Our partnership with Hines & Company offers the perfect venue to showcase our extensive leather offerings. Our teamwork brings a higher level of service, responsiveness and provides an excellent opportunity for our contract, hospitality and residential designers to touch and see the finest leathers in the industry, up close and in person.
We sat down with the ladies of Hines & Company to get an inside peek into their design center.
M&G: Tell us about your showroom.
H&C: We are the second largest multiline showroom in the Washington Design Center. Because we are multiline, when people come into the showroom they become instantly inspired just from walking around. Design is something you need to touch and feel—it’s very tactile. Although convenient, searching online can be flat and uninspiring, whereas coming into a showroom turns into a whole experience of inspiration.
M&G: That must ring true for those designers who are specifically looking at leather.
H&C: Yes, for leathers especially! You can’t imagine what they’re like until you touch them and feel them—the suppleness, the smell, etc.—there’s just so much more about leather than just a glossy photograph, which is why we sample so much. Designers love having the product in their hands. Even the designers who are selecting items online—you can’t just plug that into a spec without actually seeing and feeling the leather. Having a conversation about the application and finding the best leather for the project is what we specialize in.
M&G: Describe how the showroom aids designers in their creative process.
H&C: The Hines showroom has been around for a long, long time. We have a great reputation in the design community, so a lot of times the calls we’re getting from designers looking for direction for their projects. We can provide information and feedback from previous design projects, using papers or fabrics or leathers or whatever the case may be. The team at Hines & Company serves as an extension of the designer’s office in a way. If you provide them with valuable information, suddenly that might open the door to step 2 or 3 of their project or maybe a whole new project altogether.
From an everyday point of view, it can be so distracting for designers to be in their office, at the computer, responding to emails and the demands of the job—so coming into the design center acts as an oasis for them to escape and really focus on their design and draw inspiration, which is really important. We liken it to going to a library to do research—it’s a nice space to get away and spend dedicated time designing. It’s all about design when you enter our showroom.
M&G: What differentiates H&C from other showrooms?
H&C: One major thing that sets us apart is the fact that we offer an upholstery service. We can keep everything in-house. We are definitely one-stop shopping due to the variety of things that we carry—textiles, lighting, outdoor, trim lines, etc.. We can cover the entire house with the top-tier lines from around the world. The lines that we offer carry a prestige and a lot of history. The lines that we offer carry a prestige and a lot of history. They have survived ups and downs of the economy and the industry.
Another differentiator is the fact that our people, our staff, are here to stay. We know our client—there’s not a revolving door of new faces that designers have to familiarize themselves with. We are consistent. This instills confidence in the client. They know we have experience—and even our young team members have experience.
M&G: Are there any standout projects that your team has worked on recently?
H&C: We recently did the Round Robin Bar at the historic Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. We worked with designer Tracy Morris, of Tracy Morris Design, to completely re-do their bar and seating area with Moore & Giles leather. We used Chainmaille Baroque Sahara on the backs of the barstools and it turned out beautifully. On the insides of the stools we used Palazzo Pine, which provided a nice contrast. For the banquettes, we used Monte Cristo Old Bay. The results were stunning, and it was wonderful to be part of a project that carries so much history.
M&G: What’s next for H&C?
H&C: Our youngest team member has been focused on the digital side of the business—our website, social media presence and blogging, etc. It’s been a great way to get in touch with younger designers and introduce us to a brand new online audience. The designers we work with are drawing inspiration from everywhere these days, so maintaining an online presence is very important to us.
While you’re in town, we selected a few of our favorite local spots [not too far from the showroom] to enjoy a coffee, cocktail or bite to eat:
Nestled in Shaw’s Blagden Alley, just minutes from Hines & Company, sits one of DC’s top craft coffee spots. La Colombe is like Candyland for those who love coffee. This Philadelphia-born coffeehouse is known for their artisanal coffees and specialty drinks. They are they originators of the Draft Latte—a drink that combines the texture of a true iced latte and a frothy layer of light foam.
Located in the same alleyway as La Colombe—The Dabney [a recent Michelin Star recipient] is the perfect spot for dinner or cocktail while in DC. Named one of America’s Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit magazine in 2016, The Dabney is a restaurant that sources food from the Mid-Atlantic region from the finest farms and purveyors. Upon arrival, each one of your senses is stimulated simultaneously. The buzzing bar greets you as you walk in the door, the wood burning hearth’s open flame flickers gently, the meticulously placed artwork transports you back to simpler times—all of these details engulf you. Spot on with their blend of rustic and sophisticated, this is a place you must visit.
Ted’s Bulletin is a DC classic. Ted’s seamlessly combines the charm of an old-school diner with a modern menu and pastry selection that will make your reconsider any New Year’s resolutions you had hope to keep. With two locations in the district, Ted’s is our choice for breakfast or brunch. We advise to not miss out on a #tedstart—their own version of a pop-tart with daily flavor offerings. Simple, beautiful, and packed with a massive flavor punch—don’t miss out.