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From intimate boutiques to larger stores and showrooms, retail projects walk a fine line between luring customers in with atmosphere and appealing aesthetics and highlighting the merchandise they sell as the main feature. So the burden falls on the shoulders of architects, interior designers or retail design specialists to find the right pairing and balance. If you’re setting out to design such a space that exudes modern sophistication, we’ve got nine suggestions to help you get started.
CRL-U.S. Aluminum: Blumcraft 1301 Series All-Glass Entrance System
First impressions really do matter, and so we’re starting off with an entrance suggestion. This clean, minimalist system boasts one of the slimmest door rail profiles in the industry, offering several benefits from practically disappearing into the overall project design to affording unobstructed views of the interior and merchandise from the street side. The sturdy and secure entrance system is composed of solid stainless steel or bronze in brushed, mirror or oil-rubbed bronze finishes.
Ceramica Fioranese: Concrete
Concrete is all the rage these days and makes for a perfect floor in retail environments. However, if for any reason you can’t uncover and refinish an existing concrete floor or pour in a new one, consider these handsome, large-format porcelain stoneware slabs to recreate the look. What’s more, this line by Ceramica Fioranese includes corresponding decorative tiles and trims that dress up walls beautifully. The matte rectified tiles are offered in Ivory, Beige, Light Grey and Dark Grey tones and in a range of sizes.
Tech Lighting: GATICA
Lighting is paramount in retail spaces to provide both general illumination and spotlighting on key displays. But because merchandise is constantly changing, the lighting also needs to adapt. That’s the strength of GATICA, a highly flexible modular LED system that can be suspended or recessed into ceilings and adjusted in the field by the end user. Components include the main panels, aimable spots with built-in heat sinks and field-changeable beam spreads, tilting or fixed direct/indirect LED panels, optional daylight sensors, connectors for linking additional kits and end caps.
B&B Italia: Tufty Time
Anchoring the retail space with a comfy seating area makes for a welcoming atmosphere — particularly when one, of a pair or group of customers, just wants to kick back. This tufted modular sofa collection can be configured in numerous ways to craft the perfect lounge spot. Pieces in the line include linear or corner sofas and ottoman-like island elements.
Sossego: Ylla Bench
Another elegant seating option that works in both a lounging or even fitting-room scenario is this limited-edition four-seat bench by Brazilian studio Aristeu Pires. In fact, a native Brazilian boat inspired the top’s gentle waves that “cradle” the sitter, while contrast-stained wood strips delineate each seat. The bench is available in the U.S. exclusively through Sossego.
Modern Shelving: RAD Series
Display fixtures and furniture are, of course, a must. We like that this California-based company has a very clean, easy-to-configure and -customize wall-mounted line that provides both display shelves and storage units below (though you can go all shelves and no storage, as well). The RAD (Retail Aluminum Display) series is offered in a few different color options from satin anodized to black with walnut, maple or white doors and shelves. The website also provides pricing for its popular options up front and a basic online design tool to play around with.
Sonneman – A Way of Light: Grapes
If you have the space — and height — to implement a focal lighting element, consider clustering together pendants as opposed to installing a single chandelier. The effect can be just as dramatic, if not more. The Grapes line is an LED luminaire series that looks just like its namesake. Each pendant’s spherical form is made with a precisely crafted metal hemisphere with an infinity wave and a crystal hemisphere that acts as the diffusing lens. The luminaires come in three sizes and two finishes.
Sonneman – A Way of Light
Wilsonart: Decorative Metals
Well-suited to feature walls and even changing-room partitions, the Decorative Metals collection consists of anodized or non-anodized aluminum sheets in a diverse selection of designs from smooth to wood-grain or stripe-textured. The designs come in silver, penny, bronze, gold and black aluminum colors, among many, many more, and with brushed, natural or polished finish. Standard sheet sizes are 4 by 10 or 4 by 8 feet, but custom formats are also available.
Arktura: Solutions Studio
Top off the space with a completely site-specific canopy, ceiling cloud or other sculptural element for visual interest or to highlight or delineate an area such as the cash-wrap/transaction desk. Arktura’s Solutions Studio helps you with your vision from conception to completion, including fabrication and installation.
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