Nostalgia is a funny thing. As time goes by, it causes the past to develop a dreamy, soft focus quality that can cause us to forget the pockmarked imperfections of reality. It can also hold us back from embracing change.
This has been on my mind lately as I’ve been spending time considering an item that some find intrinsically linked to Starbucks: the plush armchair.
The plush armchair was a staple in our stores for the better part of a decade. It was comforting and familiar, even in its imperfection (it wasn't the easiest chair to keep looking sharp). It was beloved: a security blanket you could sit in.
But it also represented a time in Starbucks history when furniture was highly standardized, and the name of the company was at risk of becoming synonymous with cookie-cutter design and ubiquity.
In the last few years, our design philosophy has undergone a major shift. We started examining ways to celebrate our heritage through design that reflects the historical trajectory of coffeehouse culture.
From coffee-based mercantile environments to cool, modern oases for the coffee connoisseur, our goal is to give each location a unique feel befitting ithe local neighborhood’s history, the building’s architecture and the needs of the people who visit the store.
The desire to use eco-conscious materials has also taken center stage. As we focus on using more locally sourced and locally relevant items in our stores, it’s become apparent that a “one-size-fits-all” solution for furniture simply won’t work anymore. We need to embrace new options.
How does this tie back to my plush-armchair-as-nostalgia musings? I guess it’s what I remind myself when I look at something in the past (be it a plush armchair, my senior year of high school or anything else) through my nostalgia goggles: it was great, but not perfect. It was a moment in time -- or something evocative of a moment in time -- but the future is bright and exciting, too.
It’s about learning to embrace change, as an individual, as a consumer and as a part of a culture: the change in times as well as the change in what I see in Starbucks furniture. With the development of the new design concepts comes a need for furniture that reflects our new approach. We’re still working tirelessly to put inviting, functional furniture in stores to support the new store design concepts and meets your needs. It just might look a little different than the purple plush of days gone by.
For some examples of how we’re doing this, check out our new store designs.
Inspired by your ideas:
Sofas and Chairs
posted by Jo Anna