Wandering through most furniture showrooms has a blurring effect on potential customers. As you walk in between pieces, the tables, chairs, and shelving units all start to blend together; after a few minutes, the room has been covered, and it's time to leave.
The Shuya Design Lab has taken a different approach to showing off their wares. Shuya Café de Ramen is a restaurant on Queens' Broadway Boulevard, and it acts as the showroom to founder Shuya Iida’s most notable pieces—rendered from oak, maple, and walnut. The items range in price from $800 for a simple chair to $6,000 for an oak-and-stone dining table. The ramen shop does what no other furniture design showroom can: keep people inside for longer than the mere seconds it would take to stroll through a room of this size.
Among the edible offerings at Shuya Café de Ramen.
By serving people a great dish, it keeps customers returning again and again. The ambiance of a restaurant allows people to see each piece in a natural setting and envision it at home.
The Arm Chair Seiren.
Broth and noodles aside, Shuya’s designs—like the Arm Chair Seiren (above); the Bench CATERPOLLAR (below); Dining Table One Third; and Dining Chair Konoha—reflect a modern approach to woodworking that has seen a new rise in interiors. Each piece is built with longer lines, leaving open spaces between chair and table legs or seat backs. Designs around the shop offer a nostalgic vibe, like a modern take on the chair or table one might remember from middle-school classrooms in the 1980s or '90s. For Iida’s modern approach to these classic pieces, the wood used gives the more angular designs a softer finish that feels right in any home.
The Bench CATERPOLLAR.
From mounted compartmentalized bookshelves to tripod end tables, Shuya’s work feels natural and at home in most interiors. The modern aesthetic of any given piece in the showroom may shine through in shape, but the color, material, and texture feel markedly organic anywhere from the kitchen to living room. The designer has created furniture to curl up in with a bowl of soup on a rainy day—and the showroom-cum-café allows potential buyers to do exactly that.