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Exclusive Look At New Store

Inside the new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store: Duo makes furniture buying fun

5 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Houston store September 2013
The new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store. Photo by Joel Luks
1 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Houston store September 2013
CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh, right, inteviews Bob Williams, left, and Mitchell Gold, center. Photo by Joel Luks
2 Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Houston store September 2013
Everyone home has at least one black sheep in the family. Photo by Joel Luks
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Get Directions - 4091 Westheimer Road Houston

It was a long time coming, but furniture titans Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams looked awfully satisfied as they gazed around their big new flagship store that recently opened in Highland Village.

In Houston for the big grand opening celebration, the duo took time out to talk with CultureMap during a video tour of the store, located in a 10,000-square foot space formerly occupied by Restoration Hardware. "It's the most modern evolution of the stores we are doing," Gold explained.

The store features more than 25 detailed vignettes of rooms just as they are shown in their catalogue, so a customer can get the idea of how different items look together in a home-like setting.

 The duo say that the most popular sofa color is creamy white because it's easy to swap out colorful accent pieces to give a fresh look. 

"They come into the store and see exactly the way it is. And then what we often do is say, 'Pick out what you like and we'll make it fit into your home. Maybe you need one less chair or a pair of sofas,'" Gold said. "Once they see it, touch it, feel it, they're ready to buy."

What room should a person tackle first? 

"It's funny because the bedroom seems to be the last room (people decorate) because it's a little bit more private," Williams said. "But sometimes decorating your bedroom and finishing it is the biggest treat they can give themselves, so I'm an advocate for that room.
 
"The flip side is you have people over and the entry hall leaves the first impression. A lot people forget that and they leave it bare and empty."
 
The duo say that the most popular sofa color is creamy white because it's easy to swap out colorful accent pieces to give it a fresh look. "It's how you use color and where you use color that's the secret to having something that doesn't look dated," Gold said.
 
"You can move around pillows, lamps, accessories — even books can change the personality of a room," Williams said.
 
They have had great success featuring a line of furniture as shown in the hit television series, The Good Wife. "We know the set designer who a lot of our furniture (in the show)," Williams explained.  "And people would tweet or Facebook, (asking) 'Where can I find this?' The set designer told the executives at CBS and they said, 'Let's do a collection.' "
 
The collaboration marked the first licensing agreement between a furniture manufacturer and a TV show.
 
The duo has expanded from sofas and chairs to rugs, tables vases, artwork and even luxe bed linens. What's next? They won't say, although Gold notes, "we're probably not going to do garden tools.
 
"For us, it's an evolution of things. Everything we do, we try to do right."

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