Mike Ward Maserati Customer Case Study

Mike initially sought a variety of options from vendors,
but ultimately, what caught his
eye was a custom solution from Gunlocke.

Ergonomic meets elegance with Silea sit-to-stand casegood solutions, Ciji lounge and a high aesthetic standard..

​Location: DENVER, CO

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High-profile auto sales require a high-end look in all areas, from the sales floor to the service desk. So, when management at Mike Ward Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Fiat in suburban Denver built its new sales, service and executive offices for these premier Italian brands, they had to follow corporate design standards in outfitting the space.

The dealership, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, near Denver, houses all three brands under one roof. It opened in August 2016 and features separate showrooms dividing the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands from the Fiat line. Because of requirements from brand standards and related specifications, particularly those of Maserati, both showrooms needed to have a distinct look but also remain cohesive with one another across the building. This included furniture.

When it came to selecting furniture, one thing was certain: Owner Mike Ward required an ergonomic sit-to-stand feature throughout the dealership.

“Mike initially sought a variety of options from vendors, but ultimately, what caught his eye was a custom solution from Gunlocke,” noted Jynx Messacar from Merchants Office Furniture in Denver. “Mike liked the sit-to-stand feature of Gunlocke’s Credentials line in combination with its Silea product. Silea’s clean lines and design matched the Maserati standard.”

But, there was one catch: This custom-design, sit-to-stand feature wasn’t part of the approved corporate standards, although Gunlocke was an accepted brand.

“Moving to a sit-to-stand option wasn’t part of the designs Maserati usually has on its spec,” Messacar said.

But as designer Klea Jones of Jones Design Group in Broomfield, Colorado, notes, Ward remained steadfast in his quest to offer sit-to-stand to his employees, choosing Gunlocke’s Silea line, which presented a full-shroud, height-adjustable desk.

“Mike was pretty adamant he wanted to provide a sit-tostand option for his employees,” Jones said. “Gunlocke had the clean lines and the sit-to-stand option with full-shroud detail that they custom matched to the desk finish. It was one of the only manufacturers that could deliver a product that would conceal the mechanics. A custom-matched shroud was paramount to Mike’s wishes. The desks look just as good elevated as they do at a normal height, remaining clean and consistent with the surrounding furniture.”

And, Gunlocke was a brand Ward already knew; his Highlands Ranch Infiniti dealership also has Gunlocke furniture, Jones added. Ultimately, after reviewing multiple white papers detailing sit-to-stand benefits and knowing that Maserati would be comfortable with this approved brand Mike Ward placed the order.

“I believe in the health benefits of standing and the idea of giving people in the sales and service departments that option instead of sitting all day,” he said. “Gunlocke was a designated brand, had the right finish color and was what we needed. Everything turned out great.”

Corporate design standards also posed a hurdle when it came to specifying the lounge furniture for the dealership. The standards for lounge seating initially meant an expensive custom design for Maserati, but Ward wanted something slightly different and more economical. Gunlocke proposed its Ciji lounge collection as a great alternative, suggesting a beautiful, cost effective textile to complete the pieces. The Ciji chair, featuring tufted upholstery and metal legs, offered a high-end look and a better fit than the original options.

“The Gunlocke name was familiar to them and was in the spec, so, its quality was a known quantity,” Jones said of the alternate submittal to the Maserati teams in New York and Italy. “That ultimately helped sell these changes to them rather than an out-of-the-box corporate solution.”

Jones worked with the brand standards to create a sleek, contemporary palette of clean whites and grays for the Maserati and Alfa Romeo showroom. She used laminate tops and chassis on the office desks, with a white finish in the offices and a gray stone laminate top and chassis in the service area.

Jones gave the Fiat showroom and offices a warmer, classic wood finish, using Gunlocke’s unique Sumatra finish on Stratawood veneer. The fact the furniture, despite the difference in finishes, came from the same lines tied the entire dealership together in a cohesive look.

“It took a little time to go through brand review and approvals, but ultimately, we were able to bring in a line that offers commercial quality and finish in a look that’s right for the dealership,” Merchant Office Furniture’s Messacar said. “Klea helped us curate an excellent, in-depth furniture package for the space.”



The dealership’s 17 private offices now have seven sit-to-stand stations across the entire facility



Silea, a forward-thinking casegoods collection, provides flexibility for the dealership, allowing each brand their own personality, while maintaining a consitent look across the Maserati, Fiat and Alpha Romeo showrooms.



Gunlocke’s furniture solutions carries the high-profile aesthetic the Maserati brand is known for into the office and lounge areas of the dealership.