Design Source at West Ave: What’s Cooking?

Bruce Wolfe, who owns Houston’s Ligne Roset furniture showroom — and is about to open one in Austin — tells Houston Business Journal reporter Allison Wollam that business at the sleek and modern 3,500-sq.-ft. store in the strip center just north of the Rice Village at 5600 Kirby Dr. was better this holiday season than last, despite problems in the economy that have hurt other home-furnishings retailers:

“It’s not unusual for one of our clients to come in and show us their floor plan and hand us a $40,000 check to furnish their entire home,” he says. “When it comes to furniture, if you pay with peanuts, you’re going to get a monkey. And you can’t pay for a Pontiac and expect to drive away with a Mercedes.”

The Houston Ligne Roset store was one of the few in the chain to carry the entire catalog in Spanish, which Wolfe says that also helped attract new clients.

Wollam goes on to report that Ligne Roset will be expanding and moving up Kirby in April, to the new West Ave development — where the store will be 1 of 5 showrooms Wolfe will operate under the name Design Source:


Design Source will span 12,000 square feet, with Ligne Roset taking half of that space. One of the other furniture showrooms in the store will be the prestigious Austria-based Wittmann collection.

And then there’s this interesting comment:

Wolfe declined to divulge the other three showroom brands.

But a West Ave press release from back in October was a little more forthcoming:

New to the market, Houston @ Home (H @ H) will showcase some of the finest home furnishings from around the world. A third showroom will be specific to luxury kitchens by the Italian Varenna line from Poliform. The final two showroom collections will be announced at a later date.

An October Chronicle report by David Kaplan identified the Wittman line as part of Houston@Home. So maybe that’s still there. But those fancy Varenna kitchens are gone from Wolfe’s latest report.

Did Poliform back out?

Kaplan also reported that Design Source would use one of the West Ave penthouse apartments as “a lifestyle showroom.”

Photos: Ligne Roset Houston (furniture), HAIF user UrbaNerd (West Ave construction), and Poliform (Young model Varenna kitchen)

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