Making our mark on Downtown Providence

The local creative small business – a prime example of the growing design-related companies in RI – celebrates its one year anniversary with a RI Monthly GOLD design award

In just one year, Libby Slader Interior Design (LSID) has dramatically changed the face of some of downtown Providence’s most popular and important interiors. This local creative small business is responsible for the interior renovations for 38 Studios’ new offices on Empire Street, the newly located Korean restaurant Sura and the award-winning redesign of the popular restaurant and Tazza Caffe’, both on Westminster Street. The company’s success will be rewarded with a 2011 RI Monthly GOLD Design Award in Commercial Interior Design on October 12. LSID is representative of the 68% growth of design-related businesses in Rhode Island in the past three years.

Working with LSID, Gavian Whishaw, Studio General Manager at 38 Studios states, “Moving to Providence has been an amazing experience for 38 Studios. We’re a creative company, with design at the core of our business and it was critical for us to work with a like mind who understood the impact interior design can have on improving work flow, communication and creativity. Libby helped us imagine and adapt our new downtown space into one that makes sense for our long-term growth. The result is a productive and inspiring environment for our team that we’re confident will contribute to our future success.”

According to RI Citizens for the Arts, the creative industries have seen steady growth in Rhode Island. A study conducted by affiliate Americans for the Arts shows the fastest growth is with design-related companies – a 68% increase in the past three years. Downtown Providence is seeing this growth with the relocation of design and tech-related businesses to the area. Video game company 38 Studios, owned by Curt Schilling, recently relocated from Maynard, MA to One Empire Plaza, directly across from acclaimed art collective AS220 earlier this year and expects to fill its space with upwards of 400 people. Nearby, Hasbro will soon occupy the building at 15 LaSalle Square bringing an additional 284 people to the area.

Providence hasn’t seen this level of infusion in some time. Arnold “Buff” Chace of Cornish LLP can contest. “We have been working to revitalize downtown Providence since the early 90s, first focusing on the Westminster St block,” shared Chace. “The goal of our investment has been to bring people and life back into our city core. While we focus on the buildings and tenants themselves, it’s been people like Libby that help us create the right environment inside and fill it. LSID produces quality work, and with this, has been at the forefront of the positive changes in the area.”

On October 12, LSID will receive the 2011 RI Monthly GOLD Design Award for her redesign of Tazza, a celebratory event for the company’s one year anniversary. In giving the award, the magazine stated, “It’s really Slader’s modern sensibility that has turned things around. Her keen material choices and sculptural lighting appeal across the board. Tazza has never looked better or more inviting.” Principal Libby Slader launched LSID in September 2010.