More than a decade ago, two designers met serendipitously while working in different cities for Design Within Reach. Seth van den Bergh was based in Atlanta, while Daniel Zimmerman worked in West Palm Beach, FL. The pair have different backgrounds — van den Bergh has a degree in interior design, while Zimmerman has an MBA and is a ceramicist — but they knew they wanted to do something creative together.
After Design Within Reach, the two worked together at a design firm for three years before starting their own company, The Drawing Room, in 2018.
“We recognized what was missing in the Atlanta market,” van den Bergh says. “We noticed that a lot of designers tend to be a little bit more like chameleons in the sense that they are willing to ebb and flow with the style that their clients bring to the table. We decided that when we launched The Drawing Room, we were going to draw a line in the sand and say, this is the standard we want to set; this is the vision we want to create.”
Part of creating this vision involved setting themselves apart through the use of unique and vintage furnishings. In their past design jobs, the designers often found themselves scrambling for last-minute finishing touches at installations or for photoshoots.
“That became really challenging because you’re only buying or have access to things that are on hand at that moment,” van den Bergh says. “Sometimes those may not be the best reflection of what you want to show, so it dilutes the overall vision or aesthetic. Starting the brand three years ago, we decided that we were not going to run into that problem.”
The duo decided to build their own inventory comprising three pillars: art, vintage furnishings and custom bespoke pieces.