We believe that the story of a space is just as important as the design and the objects that go into it – it all plays into the experience. Hightower, CEO and founder, Natalie Hartkopf waited ten years before the perfect showroom became available at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. When she signed the lease for her Chicago showroom, opening in 4 short months for NeoCon, she enlisted Casework to bring it all together. 

At the start of each project, we work with our clients set the tone. We asked Hightower to define three words. Co founder Natalie Hartkopf and Marketing Director Jessica Ahlering came back to us with varmt välkommen (Swedish for 'warm welcome'), linger, and unexpected. Hightower wanted guests to feel welcomed and at home, even during the chaos of NeoCon.  We set to create a variety of moments to sit and rest your feet after walking the 4 million square foot Chicago Merchandise Mart all day. We designed a bar to grab a drink from and invited people to charge their phones and sit with friends for a moment of reprieve.

Awarded Best Small Showroom and Best in Show at NeoCon 2019 by IIDA and Contract Magazine


Varmt Valkommen
(warm welcome)




“An entire showroom full of goodness.” –Design Milk

Through space and scale Casework explored unexpected details. Traditional arches were paired with upside down arches to create vignettes into other rooms. We brought the focus back to the female founders with a wallpaper installation by Chicago artist, Laura Berger and Portland company Juju Papers. Scale was played with in a big way. From the custom blush pink 12’ Boxplay sofa by Swedish furniture partner Swedese to the 37’ Four Likes booth by Four Design in the atrium that feels like it could be at home in a restaurant or hotel as easily as an office.

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The palette was decidedly neutral with hints of everyday luxury like shearling and spun wool. We played with textures and incorporated color and pattern to create unexpected statements. North Carolina based Haand Ceramics contributed pieces for the custom plate wall as well as the serving pieces on the open shelving.


From day 1, every selection aimed at a warm, welcoming & intimate experience so visitors would linger, immersed in Hightower’s unique experience. There are so many amazing furniture details one would not see had guests not been invited to stop and enjoy the space.

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Interior Design: Casework - Casey Keasler, Miranda Williams, Haley Voght

General Contract: Bushman Construction Management

Photography: Casework