Emotional Retail Design

While attending the Retail Design Show recently, I was treated to an inspiring talk by the Creative Director of Antwerp based design firm Pinkeye. As I’ve been designing various retail spaces, I really connected with what Rudd had to say about the role of design in the retail landscape. In fact, I think the ideas he shared are applicable to the design of any space. Here’s a summary of the talk combined with examples which I think illustrate the ideas well.

The Evolution of the Retail Landscape:

Whether it’s a service or a product, over the last decade retail brands have evolved from being transactional to making emotional connections with their costumers and cultivating brand loyalty. They’ve also come to realize the new generation of consumers have more choices than ever before and aren’t swayed through traditional advertising/marketing gimmicks. Social media makes it quick and easy for consumers to share feedback among friends and fellow customers. When customers love a brand they share that emotion with their friends, family and peers. In essence, businesses must re-evaluate their engagement with the customers both in their physical and online space.

What does this mean for a designer?

It means a functional, ergonomically designed space which meets the program and budget is the bare minimum. In order to stand out and make a lasting impression, the entire retail experience needs to be designed consciously – from the moment someone enters a store, their interaction with the salesperson, till they purchase a product and walk out of the store. We need to immerse ourselves in the experience a customer will have, think about how he/she will feel and find opportunities for improvement. We can create the environment which helps a brand make that emotional connection with the consumer.

Examples:
  • It’s essential for a design team to understand the brand and it’s values and let their findings inform the design process. This video illustrates that well and reveals the successful collaboration between McEvoy Ranch (an olive oil retailer) and Gensler who designed their store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

  • This project designed by Pinkeye is a great example of finding an opportunity for improvement and grabbing it! The Wasbar Launderette in Ghent is a laundromat which has been combined with a bar and hair salon. Customers can get a haircut while their laundry gets done or better yet, have a drink with a friend! The design of the space is equally charming sporting recycled furniture and vintage drawers which display the menu:

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7. Pinkeye WASBAR

Wasbar Laundrette, Ghent (By Pinkeye)

  • The following example is an employment agency called Start People in Belgium which was re-designed by Pinkeye who treated it more like a hospitality project than a retail/office space. The result is a casual space and a pleasant experience for it’s visitors as opposed to a feeling of discomfort at the idea of visiting a staffing agency:
The transparent facade gives a clear visual of what to expect inside and creates an inviting feeling for the customer.

The transparent facade gives a clear visual of what to expect inside and creates an inviting feeling for the customer.

 

A bar/coffee shop inspired area for job seekers to search the system or discuss opportunities with consultants makes the experience comforting.

A bar inspired area for job seekers to search the system or discuss opportunities with consultants makes the experience seem as casual as visiting a coffee shop, hence less daunting.

 

This waiting area for costumers who have a complaint/feedback is inspired by hotel lobbies and will certainly take the edge off!

This waiting area for costumers who have a complaint/feedback is inspired by hotel lobbies and helps to take the edge off!

I hope this post will be helpful to fellow retail designers and want to end it with a great quote by Maya Angelou which Rudd used in his talk:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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05. February 2014 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 comments

‘Tis the season to be jolly and make Wreathes!

 

It’s the holiday season and the merriment has begun all around! As the hubby and I are off to Seoul to visit his parents for the rest of this year I wanted to spend this past weekend doing my two favorite things: catching up with some dear girl friends and getting my craft on! In between sipping a glass of wine (or two ;P), catching each other up on the latest life stories and listening to holiday tunes we made these wreathes:

 Wreathe Adventures 2013! - 6

Inspired by this incredibly beautiful burlap wreathe posted at Darling Street, we made our own unique versions! Our local Michaels store had burlap fabric available in a variety of patterns from daisies to Parisian motifs, I picked the fun polka dotted one to wrap around the foam ring:

Wreathe - 3

We easily secured the burlap using nails and the rest was all about adding our own unique personality to the wreathes!

Wreathe Adventures 2013! - 1 copy

Hope this inspires your own holiday creation and that you have a merry time ahead :). Thanks again for reading and see you all again in 2014!

 

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17. December 2013 by Charu
Categories: Art, Fun | Tags: , , | 1 comment

Chic Chairs for Entertaining

Today I’m excited to welcome a guest from the Arcadian Home Blog on PFOD! With the holiday season in full swing, I’m sure many of you are planning to entertain family and friends in the coming weeks. While you focus on planning the perfect menu for your guests, Mari from Arcadian Home is here to solve your seating conundrums with some great examples of chic chairs for entertaining. (Arcadian Home is an established retailer of furniture, lighting and other home accessories.) 

I hope you enjoy the post and have a delightful holiday season!

Hello, everyone! I’m Mari, here with a guest post from Arcadian Home blog. It’s a great place to find interior design inspiration for everything from beautiful buffet lamps to decorative pillows for the sofa or bed.

Today’s topic is chairs, specifically chic modern chairs that are perfect for entertaining. I’ve pulled together eight rooms with chairs that are beautiful and work well while making guests comfortable. Please enjoy!

Thanks to Charu for letting me visit for a bit.

~ Mari

Chairs for Entertaining

Ghost chairs are perfectly suited to large gatherings as they take up very little visual space making any room they’re in seem larger than it is. Here these clear armchairs work well around a long narrow dining table.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

Armless Ghost chairs look chic and elegant encircling a white Tulip table. Notice how light and airy the room feels giving lots of space to mingle.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

Bertoia wire chairs are also visually light, offering comfortable seating without impeding guest movement around the space. A modern pendant light in pure white is a great design choice over the sleek contemporary table.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

Dark and handsome Panton chairs may not be as light and airy as acrylic or wire chairs but they certainly are beautiful and comfortable. A conversation starter at any gathering.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

White Eames Eiffel chairs play well with other seating including an unexpected wide indoor swing. This large space is wonderful for entertaining.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

The Ant chair and its many look-alikes, one of which is seen here, offer another seating option that works beautifully in large or small spaces. These chairs are shapely, comfortable and space-efficient.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

Some chairs are designed with large-scale entertaining in mind. These beauties are eye-catching and stackable, which means they are perfect as extra seating for parties. When not in use they can be easily stacked in a closet or storage area.

 

Chairs for Entertaining

With simple table decor and desserts all set out, it seems a party is in progress. This great mix of modern chairs is tied together by sunny yellows hues.

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these chic chairs? Leave us your thoughts below and stop by our blog for delightful home decor, mini pendant lighting and interior inspirations!

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11. December 2013 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 comments

A Children’s Day Treat: Inspiring Illustrations by Smita!

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I’ve always been passionate about art and children and this is what drew me to Smita’s Illustrations after meeting her in Singapore. Smita works as a press manager by day and an illustrator for non profit organizations by night! As you’ll see in some of the illustrations below, she narrates powerful stories of children and women who triumph against all odds. Her work has enriched children’s books, postcards, products and now an app for a children’s story is in the pipeline too!

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productsI love the colors and soothing quality in all of her work but her initiative ‘mY FaTHer illustrations’ is my favorite. The series is dedicated to all the fathers around the globe who stand up for their children’s rights, especially for their daughters. She regularly illustrates amazing stories submitted to her by her readers through her facebook page and website. Among those illustrations is the story of Malala Yousafzai who won the International Children’s Peace Prize this year:

malala

I can’t help but respect and admire how Smita uses her creative energy to spread positive stories about fathers who actively empower their daughters. She believes one positive story can create another and I couldn’t agree more! Looking forward to many more stories through Smita’s sketches.

Happy Universal Children’s Day everybody!

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20. November 2013 by Charu
Categories: Art, Fun | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Singapore Hosts Inside Festival 2013

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel hosted the INSIDE Festival – an awards program specific to interior design for which around 400 projects from around the globe were submitted under 17 categories like culture, civic & community, house, museum, schools, hotel/leisure etc.

Sadly I missed this exciting festival hosted by my previous home city of 8 years this year. Hopefully I’ll be there to soak in all the award ceremonies, lectures by architects/designers and exhibitions in future! For now, I’ve sifted through tons of shortlisted interiors to bring you these highlights:

1. Fai-Fah is a community center where underprivileged children can take part in creative activities and workshops as a means of self-development:

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Fai-Fah, Bangkok. Designed by Spark Architects. [Image via Contemporist.com]

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Fai-Fah, Bangkok. Designed by Spark Architects. [Image via Contemporist.com]

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Fai-Fah, Bangkok. Designed by Spark Architects. [Image via Contemporist.com]

2. Carrer Avinyo 34 is the winning entry of this year’s INSIDE festival. Located in Barcelona, it’s a holiday home for two brothers. The highlight of the design are the triangular floor tiles (made of 25 different designs!) which gradually change colors from red to green:

Carrer Avinyo 34, Barcelona [Image via Dezeen.com]

Carrer Avinyo 34, Barcelona. Designed by David Kohn Architects [Image via Dezeen.com]

Carrer Avinyo 34, Barcelona [Image via Dezeen.com]

Carrer Avinyo 34, Barcelona. Designed by David Kohn Architects [Image via Dezeen.com]

3. This Auckland Art Gallery is a reflection of the natural landscape around the site. I really like the canopies covered with wood from recycled trees which float above the space:

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Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand. Designed by Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp [Image via Dezeen.com]

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Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand. Designed by Frances-Jones Morehen Thorp [Image via Dezeen.com]

4. The Crumpler store at Prahan, Australia is a canvas of monochromatic finishes where the products stand out illuminated by a 3 dimensional grid of lights:

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Crumpler Prahan, Australia, Designed by Russell & George [Image via idea-awards.com.au]

5. Located in the tropical city of Singapore, the Parkroyal Hotel on Pickering is a pleasant departure from the city’s largely homogeneous skyline. The dramatic undulating layers of pre-cast concrete seamlessly flow into the interiors too. Reminds me of the amazing sandstone rock forms I saw in Utah!

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Parkroyal Hotel, Singapore. Designed by WOHA Architects [Image via designboom.com]

8park royal on pickering

Parkroyal Hotel, Singapore. Designed by WOHA Architects [Image via designboom.com]

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Parkroyal Hotel, Singapore. Designed by WOHA Architects [Image via designboom.com]

6. Of all their locations, the new Google office in Japan has got to be the most tolerable in terms of design. I’m happy to see some of that minimalist Japanese aesthetic and culture instead of the usual kaleidoscope of colors and shapes:

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Google Japan, Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture [image via Dezeen.com]

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Google Japan, Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture [image via Dezeen.com]

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Google Japan, Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture [image via Dezeen.com]

7. The Wanangkura Stadium is an impressive recreational facility situated in western Australia, a region with extreme climatic conditions and red soil. The facade made of colored cubes contrasts the surrounding tangerine landscape and represents colors of the local team. The building’s textured facade gives a mirage-like appearance from a distance:

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Wanangkura Stadium, Australia. Designed by ARM architecture [Image via designboom.com]

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Wanangkura Stadium, Australia. Designed by ARM architecture [Image via designboom.com]

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Wanangkura Stadium, Australia. Designed by ARM architecture [Image via designboom.com]

I’m already excited to see next year’s entries. Tell me about your favorites in the comments below!

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24. October 2013 by Charu
Categories: Architecture, Interior Design | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Poetic Forms by Matthias Pliessnig

Wood – a traditional material, steam bent and expressed in striking, undulating forms which are both art and furniture at the same time. What’s not to love about pieces created by the American designer Matthias Pliessnig?

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Matthias at his studio in Philadelphia [Image via matthias-studio.com]

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Matthias challenges the notion of using wood as a flat material. With the help of 3D modeling tools and a technology similar to boat building, he creates furniture and sculptures which appear feather light (to me anyway!) by virtue of their forms. I’m in awe, how about you?

Providence Chaise Lounge [Image via craftcouncil.org]

Providence Chaise Lounge [Image via craftcouncil.org]

Sketches [Image via matthias-studio.com]

Spill II seating, steam bent white oak [Image via Matthias Pliessnig's website]

Spill II Seating, steam bent white oak [Image via matthias-studio.com]

Concepts using 3D Modelling (Image via Matthias Pliessnig's website)

Concepts using 3D Modelling [Image via matthias-studio.com]

Embrasure [Image via jocundist.com]

Embrasure [Image via jocundist.com]

Ash [Image via thefabweb.com]

Ash [Image via thefabweb.com]

Do check out all of his other fantastic pieces here.

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15. October 2013 by Charu
Categories: Art, Interior Design | Tags: , , , , | 8 comments

Painting 101 (Finale): Special Techniques

In this final post of the Painting 101 series, I’d like to share tutorials of some special techniques which elevate the act of slapping paint on a wall to a whole new level of creativity. Having sifted through tons of tips and tutorials, here are the ones I liked the most:

1. My personal favorite, the Chevron Pattern. Of all the tutorials out there describing mathematical and scientific ways to achieve this pattern, the tutorial over at Casa Cullen made the most sense to me! I think this pattern is versatile enough to be used in any space of the house.

Chevron Wall Pattern

 

2. If you’re a fan of Multicolored Stripes, thisoldhouse has a great step by step video to start you off!

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3. This super sized Floral Stencil  technique from Kristen F. Davis instantly caught my attention. It requires some work and patience if you’re making the stencil yourself but the finished look is fantastic! There are plenty of resources out there to purchase stencils if you’re short on time/patience :).

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4. Here’s another great idea from Kristen F. Davis using a Starry Stencil! Isn’t it perfect for a kid’s room?

Starry Ceiling

 

5. This simplified Damask Pattern is another clever way to add interest to a wall. The tone on tone paint gives it a subtle, wallpaper like quality.

damask-pattern

 

6. The Rag Painting technique has been around for a while and pretty easy to achieve. Check out the instructions in this video tutorial by Aliya Riaz.

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7.  Fancy yourself a Spotted Wall? Hop over to this simple tutorial at myhomemystyle!

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Hope these last few posts have inspired you to pick up that paint brush! In case you missed the last two posts, you can find the first post on the basics here and the second post on painting here.

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04. September 2013 by Charu
Categories: Interior Design | Tags: , | 2 comments

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