A reputable furniture store with a reputation for offering some uniquely filled family fun required a floor that complements these features.

Monkeys, Sharks & a Star Wars Movie Theatre – Flowcrete has been involved in an interesting project at Gallery Furniture’s newest and largest furniture showroom in Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas. The 15 000m2 store is a sprawling series of sofas, tables and light fittings mixed with a few surprising attractions along the way.

Gallery Furniture is an iconic business in the Houston area, having built a reputation over the last 30 years for its high-end furniture, inspiring retail spaces and contribution to the local community.

A 1 800m2 glass roof atrium is located at the heart of the new store, complete with an elevated koi pond adorned with lily pads and blooming orchids, which sits next to a green living wall containing over 12 000 plants.

In the spirit of the original Gallery Furniture showroom, the atrium is home to three tufted capuchin monkeys, Katie, Houston and Sugar, who share their enclosure with a toucan, a macaw, a cockatoo and a couple of caique parrots.

A 135 000-litre saltwater aquarium fills one showroom wall and contains blue tangs, puffer fish and stingrays as well as a zebra shark and two black tip sharks. There are plans to add turtles to the mix in the near future. Added to these exciting features is a Star Wars-inspired movie theatre at the back of the store decked out with gyrating chairs to enhance the viewing experience through added motion.  

Flowcrete manufactures seamless polymer flooring and has a sales presence across Africa as well as two manufacturing centres in South Africa. One of the company’s most decorative polymer floor coating systems, Metallic Expressions – in a striking coffee shade – was selected for installation in the monkey enclosure. It was installed by skilled craftsmen, delivering a smooth, high-gloss and swirling metallic finish that is a one of a kind and cannot be re-created.

Store owner, Jim McIngvale, opted for Metallic Expressions after having witnessed the monkeys at his family-owned leisure club, Westside Tennis – where Metallic Expressions was also installed – dancing with their reflections in the high-gloss finish and playfully sliding across the super-smooth, super-flat surface.

The material is also highly robust, offering excellent chemical-, wear- and stain-resistance properties combined with UV stability, in order to prevent the surface from yellowing with exposure to sunlight – a must with the bright Texas sunshine pouring through the glass roof.

A second system, Flowfresh SR with a Flowfresh FCUV topcoat, was installed in the kitchen of the store’s Brick & Mortar Kitchen, the full-service, on-site restaurant run by McIngvale’s daughter, Laura.

Flowfresh SR is a slurry-broadcast, anti-slip, wear-resistant, antimicrobial-treated polyurethane flooring system, designed for use in food processing, handling and preparation areas.

The material is HACCP-certified as food-safe and contains a powerful silver-ion, antimicrobial additive that eliminates up to 99.9% of bacteria in contact with the floor finish.

‘We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Gallery Furniture and to provide a range of flooring materials for use in the new Richmond store,’ says Dave McNeece, Managing Director for Flowcrete Americas. “Much more than a furniture store, Gallery Furniture has become known as a great day out for all the family and a much-loved brand within the local community.”