Shopping at DCOTA, South Florida’s Interior Design Center
February 15, 2009
On Friday, I had the pleasure of spending a better part of my day with my assistants and one of our client’s for a shopping trip at DCOTA (The Design Center of the Americas). Sitting in the lobby waiting on our client, I was struck by the thought of of how lucky I am to be an interior designer in Fort Lauderdale located so close to one of the largest Design Centers in the country. Make no mistake this place is impressive, a whopping 775, 000 square feet spread over 3 interconnected 4 story buildings.
Every imaginable type of interior design product is available; from flooring and fabrics to fine furniture and kitchen cabinets, the best in interior couture from around the globe is available at our fingertips. All styles are represented throughout the 150 or so different showrooms, down to the out right bizarre.
I guess after walking the halls of this place for over 15 years I have become used to the endless choices that are housed within this massive structure. For first time clients visiting DCOTA it can prove to be a daunting and overwhelming place, even for the professional shop-a-holic. We plan first time visits very carefully and try to concentrate on specific showrooms because it is ‘so easy to get off track’ according to some of our clients.
Although DCOTA can be an exciting and awe-inspiring design campus it is my opinion that it has also been affected by the recent economic downturn. The building is so quite that your attention is immediately drawn to the dated and tired interiors of the public space. No piped background music adds to the quietness to the point where you feel that you must whisper, as not to have your voice echo through the halls and atriums. It is a surreal and sometimes depressing feeling that as one client put it “it’s like you’re at a funeral or walking through a or mausoleum”. This is an ironic statement considering we bring our clients to DCOTA to get them excited about designs for the living spaces. It is my hope that building management will take note and give this grand building a much needed face-lift to reflect not only the showrooms it houses but the beauty of what this building is there for, Interior Design.
Even with all her bumps and bruises, DCOTA is still one of the best sources for interior design in the country and I am proud and fortunate enough to have it in my own back yard. I will be also spotlighting individual showrooms located at DCOTA regularly so remember to check back frequently. Website www.dcota.com
Written by, A. Christopher Turan, ASID
Design Space Associates, Inc.