Archrival is “a creative agency with an expertise in youth culture” located in trendy Inner Southeast Portland, so when Mandy Riggar of Mandy Riggar Interiors was tasked with the interior design of the agency’s new space, she knew she wanted to select pieces that were edgy, modern and multi-functional.
For Archrival’s communal space, Mandy knew she wanted a sectional that was “sleek and modern” and could be transformed into many different seating options, “I walked into Perch and thought: That is the sofa that’s been in my brain!”
“The first thing I start with a commercial client is their brand: what do they stand for, how it visually comes to life in their branding, logos, their website, and then I work to bring their brand to life, says Mandy. "With commercial design, it’s about how we bring the brand to life through their environment and space. The happiness level of your employees is directly related to how well designed the space is.”
Audrey Merwin, the Design Program Lead at Perch, designed the Division sectional that Mandy chose for the Archrival project and she enjoyed the process of working with Mandy to customize the modular sectional specifically for the Archrival space. “We wanted to make a piece that could grow with the space but also be scalable, and that could have different options. I think the Division works really well in an agency setting, because you can have different areas where people are working individually, or you can bring the pieces together to make more of a collaborative setting.”
“Mandy was super-involved in the process- I just sort-of helped her along and showed her the options; she chose all the fabrics and finishes,” says Audrey.
Perch added a custom upgrade to Archrival’s Division sofa in the form of an extra layer of foam. Audrey explains, “since this piece has such a big cushion, we layered the foam. It has a firmer core layered between two softer layers of foam, which isn’t typical. We wanted it to have more structure, but also a softer sit.”
Audrey elaborates on how the Division’s modern floating effect is achieved: “Under that wood trim are half-inch legs that are inset. The wood trim finishes the sofa and helps it connect to the other pieces in the space.”
Audrey contemplates the future evolution of her Division design, “I’d love to add more components to it, and build off of the modularity aspect. We have channeling on the Division ottoman in our showroom, so maybe we’d add other details like that, and other components that can be added or taken away. We’ve been working a lot with office spaces where clients want an individual area, so maybe making a higher backdrop option. It would be fun to have components that can be added or stored away.”
Having furniture that was both modular and easy to move was a connecting thread throughout the Archrival interior design process. Mandy added the modern ottomans from Blu Dot that have removable trays and lots of functionality.
Architectural details by Fieldwork Design make the Archrival interior dramatic and modern. The communal space at the heart of the agency is framed in by black walls of shelving that display books, plants and album covers. Light enters the space in small, dramatic bursts through openings in the shelves.
Company meetings are held in this space, so forty people needed to be able to sit comfortably in the room. The agency also wanted the space to be “beautiful and functional” as well as welcoming for clients and employees. Mandy pulled in elements like throw pillows from Hay and live plants from Solabee to bring some softness and beauty into the dark, edgy space.
Though commercial and residential design each have their own challenges, a modular sofa tends to becomes the popular center of any space it inhabits. Mandy recommends customizing your Perch sofa with commercial grade fabric, no matter what kind of setting you are designing for- this will add longevity and durability to your purchase whether you have kids, are a dog owner, or are using the piece in a busy commercial space.
The success of a space isn’t always apparent until it’s being utilized by the people it was designed for, and it turns out that the Archrival’s modular sectional is large and inviting, but also easily movable. Mandy is thrilled her clients are happy, “Today when we walked in, they had reconfigured it, and they say they move on a weekly basis, which is awesome to hear- it’s exactly how it should be.”