Interview: Switch Modern, Atlanta

Showroom Switch Modern, Atlanta

Switch Modern was born out of necessity: finding a sleek, modern and functional kitchen for the home belonging to Roy Otwell, one of the two founders. That is why initially design-obsessed Roy together with Doug Henderson set shop as a kitchen flagship store, after which they realized that their clients’ quest for quality applied to all of their home-furnishing acquisitions – from furniture to upholstery, from lighting to rugs, all the way to accessories. This realization motivated Roy and Doug to complement their showroom with additional product lines. As a result, in 2003, they founded Switch Modern and, after two expansions, Switch Modern relocated to a 25,000 square foot warehouse in the Midtown West district of Atlanta. Here’s what Roy and Doug have to say about their design journey and experience with Walter Knoll.

What inspired you to found Switch Modern, Atlanta?

Design, of course. Both Doug and I are design obsessed. Most of my pleasure travel - and all of my business travel – revolves around seeing and experiencing art and design. I feel most alive when exploring ancient architecture, visiting furniture factories, or walking through a museum. About sixteen years ago, I realized there was no place in Atlanta to see and purchase the latest in Italian contemporary kitchens. This led to a discussion with Doug and the eventual opening of Poliform Atlanta. Then a year or two later, Switch Modern was born out of our clients’ demand for home furnishings.

What services does Switch Modern offer their clientele?

We do our very best to deliver prompt and efficient service. This standard is difficult to maintain but we remain dedicated to this ideal. We offer space planning and general design suggestions, when requested.

How would you define Walter Knoll and its products/pieces?

Walter Knoll exemplies the best in quality. It represents the intersection of German engineering and iconic contemporary design. We are always proud to deliver these products to our clients.

How do you select Walter Knoll products for your showroom, what are your criteria?

We try to strike a balance between the classic modern pieces and the newer designs that may include movable components, unique swivel functions, and/or never seen before stitching techniques.

Do you have a favorite project in which Walter Knoll products were involved?

We have several actually. We have one client, Leslee S., who has purchased a good deal of Walter Knoll ranging from sectional sofa to tables to rugs! She is definitely a Walter Knoll fan and she makes discerning selections. We also have sold Walter Knoll products to Coca-Cola and Duravit for their corporate offices. This speaks volumes.

Where do you see Walter Knoll in the near and distant future?

Global domination! I suspect they will continue to produce the best in contemporary furnishings. Their investment in technology, their commitment to research & development, and their passion for innovative design will keep them in the forefront of the industry.

Which direction do you think interior design and product design will move in the future?

I think the pendulum is swinging back to quality and refined workmanship. Walter Knoll will continue to create the new icons of the 21st century.