Reflective materials harness abundant natural light
WILLIAM ASHLEY | Bloor St., Toronto
completed May 2018 | size 15,000 sf | photos Ben Rahn/A-Frame Studio
Contributing Shop! member: Unique Store Fixtures fixtures, lighting, metalwork/millwork, mirror/glass, stone/tile, wall treatment
Spanning two stories, this expansive design project rises to the challenge of creating a show-stopping environment, all while giving the retailer’s luxury home goods the starring role. Working on both floors of a historic property, the second of which measures 15,000 sq. ft., it was necessary to implement a design that would highlight yet not overshadow the products on display while maintaining a level of luxury in line with the retailer’s brand.
Playing to the light-filled space’s best features, perimeter shelving throughout the space stretches up to the store’s 23-ft. ceilings. The shelving is separated into a series of zones, each rendered in a complementary neutral palette that allows products to stand out and appeals to customers. Pull-out drawers enable shoppers to engage with the products and create something of their own.
With thousands of products on offer, a primary design challenge in developing fixtures for the store was understanding the most effective and visually pleasing way to display each product. To achieve the perfect final look, every item was studied individually to ascertain the ideal choices in terms of necessary shelf space, complementary lighting, color render, and ease of access. Products available for purchase are also incorporated within the space’s lighting and décor, including striking chandeliers, selected from feature brands to illustrate to customers what they can achieve in their own homes.
Aiming to redefine the storied retailer’s identity and draw in a more expansive clientele, new amenities were developed to expand what is on offer to customers. A grand hall provides a flexible space that can be used to host various events, and a welcoming lounge invites shoppers to linger, relax, and mull possible purchases.
Materials used throughout the project were chosen based on their ability to absorb and reflect the abundant light from existing windows throughout the space. Selections include Starphire glass, custom gold powder coated steel, and stone. Solid wood and wood laminates add richness to the more luminous materials.