Photography by Mary Fehr
Anyone who has ever stepped inside Hiltz-Lauber knows that the lofty retail space feels more like a visit to a good friend’s home than a showroom. Yes, it’s beautifully appointed—even more so with a recent renovation—but mostly it’s due to the warm welcome from Joe and Nick Lauber, brothers and co-owners. The duo purchased the 1905 building 30 years ago, quickly turning it into a magnet for designers and retail shoppers alike thanks to their curated wares of fine carpets, lighting, furniture, and antiques. To celebrate their company’s anniversary, the Laubers enlisted the help of husband-and-wife architects Mark and Christy Pledger to make their interiors even more indicative of the homes they love to help appoint.
“We wanted to stay true to the original character and integrity of the building while making it more beautiful and accessible.”Joe Lauber
Implementing classic design profiles, the Pledgers sought to recall a Southern-mercantile-meets-London-library feel. A paneled entry hall with black-and-white antique marble floor and English lanterns sets the sophisticated tone. The foyer segues to a design studio on one side, while a new arched opening over the front stairs invites guests to the second floor. Transoms run throughout, bringing in more natural light for viewing samples and swatches. Vignettes offer inspired designs through an old/new mix of antiques, furnishings, carpets, and lighting. The store also gained a new garden area reminiscent of a Charleston courtyard. “We wanted to make this space beautiful and inviting for our customers,” Joe says.
In the Showroom
Downstairs, well-organized aisles display hanging and stacked carpet samples. “We’re always here to help, but this makes it easier for anyone who wants to take their time and shop by themselves,” Joe says. Carpet lines include Stark, Stanton, Prestige Mills,
and the complete line from Knot & Co. Upstairs, Hiltz- Lauber expanded the Visual Comfort showroom and brought in more antiques and upholstery. Additional square footage made space for rugs and remnants from Rugko, Hiltz-Lauber’s warehouse that is also open to the public.
hiltzlauber.com / 2838 18th St. South, Homewood, AL 35209 / IG: @hiltzlauber
Rugko: 3328 6th Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35222 / IG: @Rugko
Furnishings & Lighting: 205.879.0039
See Hiltz Lauber’s past showroom.