Avid was founded by automotive detailer Devon Gilchrist and is a premier car care and detailing company with a focus on delivering an exceptional level of workmanship and service. Late last year, we had the privilege of working with them to help create a luxury ‘lounge’ space within their new premise.
Headed up by Jayne Cross-Hunter (Furniture Category Manager for McKenzie & Willis), this wasn’t your typical commercial project. Just like the cars Avid works on, this space is defined by luxury. Jayne and the Avid team worked together to choose pieces that would ensure longevity while adding to the opulent look and creating a warm and welcoming space.
We caught up Devon and Jayne who filled us in on all the details.
Can you give us some details on the project?
Devon: In September 2020, Avid opened our new purpose built premises on 59 Harman Street in Addington Christchurch, which is a much bigger and better space for us to service the local car community. We wanted to provide them with not just a place for their car to be cared for, but a hub where likeminded enthusiasts can come along, catch up, chill out and just enjoy the company of fellow enthusiasts.
The design vision for the showroom space and customer lounge was to play off the vibe of a vintage and luxury gentleman’s lounge with whisky & cigars, leather furniture, and vintage motoring memorabilia. Deep warm colour tones, mixed with leather, steel and dark stained wood all working together to create an inviting and comfortable space to hang out in.
Jayne: When we were first approached by Avid to help create their customer lounge we spent some time learning about their business and core values. It became clear very quickly that there was a strong link between their brand and the Halo brand which ended up being specified for the majority of their furniture. Both brands value quality and luxury craftsmanship and both have a love for history and nostalgia (Avid with vintage cars and Halo with vintage leather). The design brief was to create a relaxing and comfortable space akin to an old style whisky lounge. Having worked with Halo over the years, we knew this would work perfectly with the brand’s philosophy and design aesthetic. Halo is all about luxurious comfort and is renowned for their exquisite hand crafted pieces.
How did you achieve the look and feel?
Devon: The beauty of the Halo collection is that it seemed to fit perfectly with our core vision to create a space that gives customers entering it the impression that they are a part of an authentic brand, which gives the luxury that we associate with older values with a modern twist.
Jayne: The key piece of this space is the Halo Balmoral sofa. The Balmoral is very much a modern version of a traditional English rolled arm sofa. Combining heritage design with beautiful antique details, it is a surprisingly comfortable sofa. Its vintage aesthetic and high level of comfort were perfect for the relaxed environment Avid desired.
In the large showroom there was also a need to define and separate the lounge from the rest of the space. This was achieved with large heavy sofas and armchairs, statement accessories like the vintage trunks and a rug to really ground that area.
Another important aspect we had to think about was the furniture would likely be subject to heavier use being a commercial space. The like of Halo was chosen for not only its vintage aesthetic but also for ability to perform in a commercial space. Halo leather wears beautifully, with any wear creating a soft, lived in patina that only gets more beautiful over time.
What is your favourite part of the space?
Devon: To be honest within the showroom space, the customer lounge is our favourite part. To see how our vision came together, the feel of it and how everything works so well. We love how the cars can sit on display right next to the customer lounge and our office area, it creates a really cool atmosphere and shows just how much we are enthusiast about auto-motoring. The space is warm, comforting and inviting for everyone that steps inside.
Jayne: My favourite part would have to be the link I mentioned before between the two brands. I love how much they suit one and other with their foundations built on quality, tradition and craftsmanship.
How do you hope this space makes your clients feel?
Devon: Overall, we hope that our new premises becomes a hub for the motoring community and that customers and car enthusiasts feel like they are welcome to stop by any time for a chat and a coffee and enjoy the space. We love hosting events within the space and love seeing people enjoy it. As we sit in the higher end of the car detailing industry, we want our customers to feel like their car is in the best hands with us, and that we will continue to offer them support after leaving Avid. We give them an improved satisfaction of vehicle ownership, and also offer them a community of other car enthusiasts to be part of.
We want the customer lounge to be a relaxing space for customers to wait in while we work on their car. We have free Wi-Fi and coffee/tea on offer, so it works as a great space for them to relax with a magazine or to do some work and catch up on emails in a quiet and comfortable environment.