When designer, art dealer and shop proprietress Laura Vogtle debuted Birmingham’s Design Supply in 2017, she ushered in a new era for design sourcing, stocking brands local customers previously had to drive hours to find. Now Germane, her by-appointment showroom opening this month mere blocks away in the Lakeview District, arrives in concert with a sophisticated e-commerce companion for shoppers in other states. “It’s predominantly antiques, handmade and similar finds,” Vogtle reveals. “Almost everything is one of a kind.”
What inspired Germane? I love art, I love antiques and I’ve always had this vision of where I wanted to be—I’ve just been chipping away at it. When I decorate, I prefer to mix old things with new, and art with the this and the that. So, I was just trying to get it all under one umbrella so we could truly be a full-service design house.
How did the idea for a new showroom come about? I wanted more inventory at my fingertips for design projects. Which meant multiple containers coming from many different countries—and all those pieces weren’t going to fit on the Design Supply floor.
Tell us about your new space. It adds 12,000 square feet to Design Supply’s 9,000. It’s more of a warehouse feel, with pretty storefront windows and great natural light.
We hear you’re launching a new collection of furnishings this fall, too. We’re calling it Opal: headboards, benches, dining chairs, swivel chairs and sofas in six styles, with a few available in sectional configurations. They’re comfortable, livable pieces with an emphasis on interesting, textural, mostly European fabrics. And we’re answering a big local demand for in-stock upholstery.