Shop to offer cutting-edge furnishings

August 12, 2011
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SOUTH ST.—Room 68, a furniture shop coming soon to 68 South St., will feature cutting-edge designs in a gallery atmosphere.

“It’s going to impress people,” said owner Brent Refsland, who also runs the Hallway Gallery two doors down. “It’s nice to bring this quality of design to the neighborhood and kind of shock the design world.”

Refsland said that Room 68, which aims for a soft opening on Sept. 1, was inspired by the lack of a contemporary-themed furniture and home accessory store in JP. But he has taken the concept further, seeking out new designs from New England, New York and Paris. He said it will run like a gallery, with lectures by design experts.

Joining Refsland in the business are two other JP residents: Eric Portnoy, a furniture designer and collector, and Nick Siemaska, a furniture expert.

During a recent Gazette visit to the under-renovation shop, Portnoy showed off a 1960s Italian chair that was among the first to be molded entirely of one piece of plastic.

Refsland said the shop is part of the acceptance that design—“everything from a pencil to a sofa”—is art.

“You can collect more than two-dimensional art on the walls,” he said.

Room 68 is replacing the clothing store Dame, which closed last month.