The recently opened TOWNhouse is a melting pot of culture from different periods and regions worldwide showcased in one space to celebrate the essence of design.
Eddy Doumas, founder of TOWN Studio and TOWNhouse, started his career as an assistant bookkeeper in Detroit more than three decades ago. With a plethora of books about art and culture at his disposal, he immersed himself into the community of design, learning about history, art and designers from around the world. He quickly developed a love and appreciation for the design process, and thus, the idea for his passion project, TOWNhouse was born.
The project is a showroom in Scottsdale filled with unique furniture and art from various periods and regions amalgamated in one space. The making of TOWNhouse has been in the works for 30 years and finally came to life this past September. TOWNhouse celebrates the core aspects of design and aims to dig deeper than just the product.
“Regardless of price point, there is a spirit to the way things are designed,” Doumas explains. “I think so much about how you see people ignoring the fact that they’ve been inspired by something. I’m trying to pay tribute to where the spirit of the design came from. I’m trying to make a point that everything influences us.”
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The TOWNhouse showroom features designs inspired by prominent and emerging artists from various periods and regions worldwide. Doumas wants to share how design is connected across the globe. “You can trace something as simple as a chair leg and see that design happening in India at the same time it’s happening in Paris,” Doumas remarks. “I find that kind of fascinating because the designers didn’t know each other, so the ‘how did that happen’ question goes back to the spirit of the design versus decorating.
“I really love flipping through art and architecture books, and I find the correlations fascinating. In our showroom, we have both contemporary art and true vintage furniture,” Doumas says, pointing out a pair of pub chairs from the 1920s. “TOWNhouse is a collection of art and furniture from throughout history and the world. It shows how we can blend it all in one space and proves there aren’t any rules with design. To me, being a good creator and designer is having the skill to blend things, and we are trying to do that to the extreme here.”
TOWNhouse is a sanctuary that welcomes all, whether you are a designer, an avid art or design enthusiast or just someone who enjoys looking at unique pieces. Doumas says that he wants TOWNhouse to be a space where people from all walks of life can unite and celebrate design.
“We want it to become a place where people can just hang out; they don’t necessarily have to buy,” he notes. “We could’ve done another showroom open only to the trade, but that’s not what we wanted to create. We wanted to create a space where it inspires and influences people. This is a space for anybody to come.”
The idea of emergence is popular at TOWNhouse, where change is embraced, and a household name isn’t required to secure a spot in the showroom. TOWNhouse fosters new artists’ work and welcomes collaboration with upcoming and prominent designers.
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“We keep using the word emerging, which I like because it allows TOWNhouse to be fluid,” Sarah Roy, art advisor for TOWNhouse, says. “It’s not that we only work with one set of artists. You won’t see the same things in this showroom. We will feature different art forms, and the showroom will have a different design when somebody comes in.”