IAA was hired by Blend to design their flagship retail store at Hawthorne Plaza in Overland Park, Kansas. Specializing in aromatherapy and relaxation products, Blend is the result of two seasoned retailers uniting to expand their product lines and establish a new brand image. As part of the Blend experience, customers can select high-end oil scents that are custom blended to their specifications, then mixed with soaps, lotions, bath gels, and the like. In order to meet the targeted grand opening date, IAA would need to begin schematic design while Blend’s business and merchandising strategies evolved.
The design team worked closely with the client to address the aesthetic and functional needs required to support a vast range of merchandise related to relaxation, sleep, health, and beauty. IAA crafted an inviting, elegant, calming environment consisting of dark wood floors with emerging, curving white forms that form the store's transaction desk, scent testing stations, product displays, and a communal hand-washing sink. A custom, ‘tree’ sculpture with LED lighting integrated into the ends of the branches was designed to draw customers into the scent testing station. Soothing earth tones, natural materials, and soft lighting create the feel of a relaxing spa.