There’s nothing we love more than a makeover story. We’ve seen nearly every episode of Extreme Home Makeover, and right now we’re hooked on Target’s Best Year Ever dorm makeover series. So when we heard that Target was revamping home brand Room Essentials (also known as RE), we had to get the details.
Designed by Target’s own Product Design and Development (PD&D) team, the updated Room Essentials line is more modern — from the logo and the packaging to the assortment itself. Traditionally aimed at the college consumer, RE has been reimagined to also appeal to the growing millennial guest looking for cleaner and simpler, yet authentic and livable looks at an affordable price point.
“Our job was to elevate and evolve Room Essentials by using updated materials, integrating small-space attributes and distinguishing the collection from our competitors,” says James Gallagher, director of design, PD&D.
In 2013, his team had the chance to evolve Room Essentials into a more confident, contemporary collection that easily transitions from dorm rooms to first apartments.
“Research showed that our guests associated RE with basic, low-quality products for tweens and teens,” says James. “That may have been hard to hear, but it gave us an amazing opportunity to revamp this beloved brand.”
Updated, higher quality materials are now at the core of the collection, including solid woods, textural fabrics, cotton blends, hand-dipped ceramics and metals. There are also fully assembled and dual-purpose furniture items ideal for smaller spaces.
James’ favorite pieces include a stacking end table and a “C Table” that can be used as an end table, but converts into a coffee table when rotated 90 degrees. Every item in the collection had to serve a function, he says. “While rooted in value, the brand needed to be more thoughtful, purposeful and inspirational. And we think we accomplished that.”
For the PD&D team, that meant creating and testing more designs than ever. “We went through 200 prototypes before getting to our final bookcase design — a minimal and versatile piece that works as a bookshelf, room divider or a shelving unit,” says James.
Beyond function, color and prins were also a huge focus. “We added more sophisticated hues in addition to neutrals,” says James. “Prints and patterns are also a bit softer, which complements the expanded color palette.”
Take a look at the revamped collection, below!
Shop Room Essentials
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