Two longtime Minnesota companies have joined for their first collaboration together. Room & Board, known for its modern furniture and décor, and Cambria, known for American-made natural quartz surfaces, came together to create the Pren Collection, launched in January.
Playing off Cambria’s Welsh roots, the collection is named from the Welsh word for wood, pren. It features items that are suitable for both commercial and residential spaces. These include dining/conference tables that can also easily work as desks for the home or office, coffee tables, console tables, and dining and bar cabinets. The pieces look appropriate in a home or contract space, be it office or hospitality.
All pieces are available with domestically sourced solid Midwestern walnut or Appalachian white oak wood bases and 1 cm Cambria quartz tops in Brittanicca, Brittanicca Gold or Mersey. Cabinet hardware options include stainless steel, brushed gold and graphite.
The pieces create soft lines with rounded corners, and the Cambria surfaces are nonabsorbent, scratch- and stain-resistant, and maintenance-free. All Cambria tops are also GREENGUARD GOLD and NSF/ANSI 51-certified, Health Product Declaration Collaborative v2.1 listed, Living Building Challenge compliant, a Declare program participant and part of the Mindful MATERIALS product certification library.
“For the Pren Collection, we wanted to do something as beautiful as we could with the best materials and standards,” says Gene Wilson, director of product development for Room & Board. “If you do that, you’re building something that’s going to last. It’s going to work for someone in the hall just as well as it’s going to work for a hotel lobby.”
A Shared Vision
Both companies pride themselves on their craft, service sustainability and customer focus. Because of that shared vision, the two companies have wanted to do something together for a while, Wilson explains. They didn’t have the right opportunity until recently when Room & Board was looking to create more luxury items and move from residential into the commercial space with its winter launch of Room & Board Business Interiors.
Working together on this collection seemed like an obvious choice to MacKenzie Weldon, Cambria’s vice president of corporate partnerships, because of a shared location and set of values.
“The mission was to create a collection that represented the best of both brands while offering pieces unlike anything else in the residential and contract market creating the ideal 'resimercial' collection,” Weldon says. “The pieces are pure modern luxury. We look forward to our continued collaboration and to expanding the Pren offerings."
Michael Brotman, merchandising and design manager of Room & Board, also hopes to see more collaboration between the two brands, saying the initial response to the collection is excitement. “People are responding to the new form and how clean the collection is and the great details.”
The collection is available in any of Room & Board’s showrooms or through the Room & Board Business Interiors site, the recently launched commercial arm of the furniture company.
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Business Interiors Launch
While Room & Board has helped contract clients for years upon request, once it saw a need for its products and changes in the industry toward resimercial items, it worked to position itself to serve business clients on a larger scale. (Photo: All pieces are available in walnut or white oak wood and three quartz top styles. Cabinet hardware is available in stainless steel, brushed gold and graphite; Credit: Room & Board)
“Before a formal launch, we knew we had to get things lined up,” explains Nicole Gaynor, customer experience manager for Room & Board Business Interiors. “We wanted to test products and ensure we had the right requirements for different applications. Launching with confidence was important.”
They did this by testing its existing lines, including working with mill partners to see which fabrics would meet ACT, are ANSI and BIFMA tested, and offering five- and 10-year product warranties.
Not everything for residential use is available for Room & Board Business Interiors contract customers. Wilson explains that the contract collection has been curated three ways:
What’s relevant for the customer
The products that will stand up and the company guarantees in commercial settings
Items kept in stock or able to fulfill quickly to ensure enough inventory for commercial and residential demands
All the items in the Business Interiors collection are mix-and-match, making it easier to find pieces that work together. And because all fabrics can work on any piece of furniture, customization is easy and keeps lead times in the four- to six-week range.
“We only put things in the collection we can stand behind and feel confident about,” Gaynor says. “We want people to feel confident in choosing Room & Board. I don’t want to do a project and then we don’t see them; it’s all about relationships.”
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