Thomas Sorensen

Chris Fleck
Wednesday - February 09, 2011
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Who says furniture can’t be fun? Thomas Sorensen, owner of Honolulu Design Center on Kapiolani Boulevard and Inspiration. Fun in Pearlridge Center Uptown continues to bring a youthful hipness to furniture design.

Inspiration.Fun, which opened in October 2010, is an idea Sorensen had hoped to pursue for sometime. He wanted a presence in Pearlridge Center since he closed the original Pearlridge Center INspiration store last summer.

“Inspiration.Fun is a bit more hip and young. It is for families who are just starting up. Most of the merchandise is affordable, primarily under $1,000,” says Sorensen, who was featured on the MidWeek cover Jan. 31, 2007. “The furniture at Inspiration.Fun is very colorful. I wanted it to appeal to a little different demographic than our flagship store at HDC. It is a perfect place if you need a cool futon or pullout bed for family that may be coming to town.”

Sorensen, who has lived in Hawaii since 1979, says he’s now working much more hands-on within each of the INspiration stores.

He’s very pleased with the progress of INspiration at Honolulu Design Center, or what he calls “the Orange Building.” With six concepts ranging from high-end Italian office furniture, contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture to lighting, there is something for everyone from all walks of life.

Aside from the furniture, what Sorensen takes great pride in at the flag-ship store are The Cupola event center, Amuse wine bar and Stage restaurant.

“The event center is probably the best thing I have ever done because it brings in a lot of activity. Recently we have had so many events for nonprofit organizations, business luncheons, ballroom dancing, art exhibits and even mini concerts,” says Sorensen, who notes he wouldn’t open another flagship store without those food, beverage and entertainment components. “Without the food and entertainment, it would be quite a different place. Now it is bustling with people. Our lunch and dinner crowds are really picking up, and we have music Wednesday through Friday from 5 p.m. to basically whenever we kick them out,” he adds with a chuckle.

Sorensen also has preliminary plans to build a furniture distribution center in West Oahu.

Aside from the world of furniture, Sorensen spends his time training for triathlons and currently is training for the Honu Half Triathlon on the Big Island in June.

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