Chicago’s Merchandise Mart is an awe-inspiring landmark so vast that it once held its own zip code. How does Middleby, a high-end kitchen appliance company, establish its first Chicago showroom to stand out in the Mart’s abundant collection of interior design-oriented businesses?

For Inspired Interiors founder Emily Mackie, the answer lies in utilizing the surroundings to engage with visitors, to create an interactive space where customers give themselves license to dream and want to return to time and time again. An inviting test kitchen space showcases these luxury kitchen products in the best way — by cooking memorable meals. Cinnamon buns baked lightning-fast in the morning, compelling lunch-and-learn gatherings in the afternoon and dinner parties that bring together guests to share an experience.

The Inspired Interiors team introduced several intriguing elements into their design plans, all of which served to showcase the Middleby range of products. A chandelier that doubles as a hanging herb garden, with a grow light to produce fresh-at-your-fingertips herbs. A touch-screen backsplash that gives home cooks freedom and flexibility. A robotic arm to fill wine glasses that frees up hosts to mingle with their guests. 

By rethinking a showroom as a day-to-night destination, purposeful design can connect the consumer to the company in memorable and lasting ways.