They restore furniture; we restore Web sites

April 7, 2010

A while back, my rockstar colleague Hillary and I started working on a project for Danish Teak Classics, a shop in Northeast Minneapolis that restores and sells vintage furniture made in the Danish modern style. (They also sell accessories like dishes and mirrors, as well as some of their own original pieces.)

DTC needed a Web site overhaul: They have great photos of their gorgeous products, and their knowledge of the products and expertise in restoring them is unmatched. But the site didn’t do them any favors in terms of showcasing those assets, and its navigational structure made finding some sections and items a bit tricky. The shop’s owners had started a blog to write about events they hosted and trends in the industry, but it was entirely disconnected — structurally and visually — from the main Web site.

After a couple of chats with the owners and visits to the shop (which quickly resulted in an immediate lengthening of my household wish list), we knew what we had to do. Hillary went to work on creating a fresh, slick design that would match the modern, minimalist nature of the vintage Danish furniture and would show off the beauty of what DTC had to offer. We took a machete to the jungle that was the original site organization (or: deployed whatever other silly metaphor gives you the idea that we really started anew, from the ground up) and rethought how we could best organize and present everything we had.

DTC’s new site has the “news and events” blog built in, reflects a simplified organization, and with the help of the WordPress content management system, makes it relatively simple for the owners to add new content as their inventory changes. The large furniture photo that serves as the site’s background rotates through a set that shows off a variety of colors, shapes and textures, as does the centerpiece product featured in the middle of the page.

It took a lot of work to get this site up and running, and we couldn’t have done it without the code-ninja skills of Courtney Remes at Arrowplane.