A shopping trip can either leave you feeling elated or exhausted, and some nicely-planned store interiors can make all the difference between the two outcomes. And yet apart from the specific wares on sale, many shops appear close to identical when viewed from the inside. It’s those shops that show clear evidence of having being laid out with the customers’ experiences in mind, rather than just their likelihood to make a purchase, that in fact encourage people to feel happier about what they’re buying, going home excited and satisfied rather than guilty and fatigued. The designers of some shops go all out in asserting their individuality, creating concept stores that aim too to transcend conventional notions of shopping completely. Others are less ambitious but sometimes even more effective, using subtle touches to bring out the character of their brands. The shops in these pictures fall into both categories, and could provide design inspiration for small businesses and homeowners alike.
This shop design incorporated the products themselves into the decor. Organised in solid blocks of colour, they bring the room to life.
This clothing shop seems well organised but fairly unremarkable in its design, until you look up at the ceiling and see the impressive mural that dominates the space with its dark, swirling lines. The lollipop red lights provide a strong contrast with the monochrome picture, as well as drawing the eye upward with their bright colours.
Sweet in every sense of the word, this little confectionary shop displays its goods proudly on shelves built into a forest backdrop. The way the tops of the trees continue onto the ceiling, defying gravity, brings an additional touch of whimsy.
The view from the street reveals an unusual door design that seems to promise that something magical lies within. And if you happen to have a sweet tooth, that’s perfectly true.
This shop is all about the visual markers of luxury and the physical sensations that go along with them. Texture is therefore the key feature here. Richly iridescent wallpaper; velvet sofa; velvet cushion; velvet foot stool ; and of course a crystal lampshade… there is nothing subtle about this look, but then subtlety isn’t the goal.
It’s hard to imagine mobs of shoppers swamping this sedate shop. It seems to have been designed with quiet, thoughtful browsing in mind, rather than the rough and tumble of peak Saturday afternoon shopping hours. From the bar seen on the left hand side to the few – carefully selected – clothing items on display, every element of the space seems to convey a very measured sense of exclusivity and sophistication.
By including a crystal chandelier, heavy, ruffled drapes, thick carpeting and a large and eye-catching piece of art, the designer of this changing room has obviously taken a very conscious decision to veer away from some of the more conspicuous hallmarks of modern shops, such as minimalism and easily replicable uniformity. The wood panelling and dim, almost romantic lighting are also unusual in a commercial context, making it appear that this could be an elegant, old-fashioned home rather than a shop.
It would be hard to find what you want in this cluttered shop, but the chaos is all part of its charm. And the thrill of finding just the right bedside lamp in this jungle of furniture is sure to be a thousand times more satisfying than just picking one out of the IKEA catalogue.