Commercial interior design: when retail design and art come together
In decoration, in styling, in architecture … In many sectors it has always been said that less is more. Something that also happens, of course, in the world of retail design. And it is that for years we have seen how in commercial interior design there is a minimalist and exhibiting trend that turns the establishments into authentic masterpieces, as if we were in an art gallery, thus also offering a better shopping experience.
The concept of a store has evolved a lot throughout the history of retail design and commercial interior design projects. From the small neighborhood stores where design took a back seat, we went to large surfaces and shopping malls, where absolutely everything was thought out to the millimeter to attract millions of people to the stores and encourage their purchases.
The arrival of technology has also been a turning point in the way of designing commercial spaces and how it evolves at the speed of light, even today stores continue to adapt to new realities. We see it in retail intelligence or, to offer a more specific example, in smart fitting rooms.
And if we think about the most recent news, we must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic has brought about many changes in retail design (omnichannel, click & collect …). Stores and establishments around the world have had to adapt to the new regulations that all countries implement to curb infections and create safe and healthy environments, but also to changes in consumer habits.
Why is commercial interior design so important?
A product can sell very well on its own, but it will be easier or sales will increase if the scenario in which it is exhibited contributes to it. For example: in a shoe store that is dark and in which everything is disorganized, it will be more difficult to feel comfortable to see the product in detail and to try it on. Therefore, commercial interior design contributes to creating the ideal atmosphere for the client based on what the brand wants to convey.
In this context, we could say that commercial interior design helps …
- Create a shopping experience.
- Differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Create a corporate identity and generate brand image.
On this basis, we could say that any commercial interior design project needs three key ingredients: innovation, creativity and functionality. And between the three concepts you have to find a balance.
Commercial interior design contributes to creating the ideal atmosphere for the client based on what the brand wants to convey.
Tips for designing a commercial space that looks like a real art gallery
The first step to make your store or establishment look unique and with so much character that even without exhibiting the product it looks like a work of art… you need a team of experts in retail design.
Our commercial interior design studio can help you create a space that is a clear reflection of the visual identity of your brand and leaves customers with their mouths open while turning their visit to the physical establishment into an almost artistic experience. Something that is now more important than ever considering that, due to the coronavirus, people are more reluctant to visit stores and there must be something very special in them so that they choose the physical option instead of e-commerce.
We want to expose some basic aspects to take into account when betting, for example, on minimalism, a clear trend in interior design.
The choice of colors
It is a decision that must be, above all, rational and that, obviously, responds to a purpose and commercial and design objectives. If we want a minimalist or typical style of art exhibitions we recommend:
- Neutral colors like gray, perfect as a background color that remains in the background but perfectly complements the product.
- All to the white. In art galleries, offices, large surfaces … In most establishments, white is a recurring color although it is important to design it taking into account the lighting since it could create a dazzling effect depending on the type of light it receives.
- Dark blue is another basic for those looking to recreate a stylish and minimalist space. It transmits tranquility and serenity.
- As a tip, avoid more intense colors such as orange, red or yellow. They are colors that, by themselves, generate tension and do not help to create a comfortable and calm space for the client.
Decor? Yes, but very exclusive
In the most minimalist stores, as happens in art galleries, for example, the decoration loses a certain prominence to give it to the product, which also usually stands out thanks to the color of the walls.
Although in art galleries there can be no decoration to direct attention exclusively to works of art, in commercial spaces this “norm” is more lax. Decoration can be incorporated as long as it does not take away the prominence from the exhibitors and the product and when it is discreet.
On the other hand, it is recommended to place the decoration in such a way that there is a central space or corridors through which customers can wander comfortably and easily to observe the products, approach them, take them, etc.
Don’t forget about lighting
We have commented on it in previous articles and we reaffirm ourselves on it. The lighting of stores and commercial spaces is not a trivial issue. It must respond to certain objectives and must be part of the interior design project.
Lighting should be applied head on. For example, the spotlights have to be directed towards specific points of the exhibitors so that the products can be viewed correctly. In addition, when studying lighting design it is also important to avoid shadows and glare.
At the level of light and lighting, it is best to try to have as much natural light as possible and also place spotlights on the ceiling but being sure that they do not create glare. Finally, another type of light to value is the central light, a very powerful lighting that allows to give light to the space in general.
Shops that look like art galleries
We want to share some stores and commercial spaces that make us feel like in a gallery or work of art when we see them. They all share something in common: they are simple and minimalist but have their own character and personality.
In Stockholm, the fashion brand Acne Studios has turned its new store (an old abandoned bank) into a real space that looks like it was fresh out of Greece.
Customers who come to see clothes in this store feel that they are taking a step back in time and that at any moment they could stumble upon the entrance to the Parthenon. One of the main materials in this interior design is marble.
© Copyright. Acne Studios. José Hevia.
It is one of the most groundbreaking and innovative luxury brands, something that transmits not only in its products but also in its stores or maisons, the French name that the brand uses for its boutiques.
For decades they have been working with the interior architect Peter Marino, who is committed to a maison concept closer to art galleries than to other conventional luxury stores. We see it for example in the store they opened about a year ago in Seoul (South Court), where the connection between art and craft strikes the perfect balance.
Cheerful, happy or bright are some of the words that the architect uses to define this Louis Vuitton store in Seoul. On the ground floor, composed of an Art Deco limestone structure from the 1930s and a Georgian masonry from the late 18th century.
Although the entrance and the grand staircase are spectacular, Marino highlights the store as messy and open, as his experience tells him that when there is more space, customers stay longer in the store.
From Seoul we flew to Miami, where another luxury brand has created a perfect setting. We talk about Dolce & Gabbana and their store in the Design District.
The new two-story boutique blends its identity with architecture in an elegant way, something that goes perfectly with the brand’s fashion and fine jewelry collections.
With a modern and urban style, this Dolce & Gabbana store is a clear tribute to one of the great theaters in Italy: La Scala in Milan. Historic and exclusive, this theater is one of the favorite haunts of the brand’s founders: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
Wandering around the store really gives the feeling of being inside an Italian theater, where contemporary art meets classic travertine or Veselve marble. Special mention also for the glass facade with wavy movements that remind us of the curtains of a theater stage.
© Copyright. Dolce & Gabbana