It wasn’t long ago that furniture stores and home accessory shops were built warehouse-style; jamming as much product into spaces with massive ceilings and concrete floors. It was impossible to visualize any piece of furniture in your own home because the lighting was harsh, rooms were not to scale and the layout was lifeless.
Taking the lead from fashion boutiques and interior designer shops, over the past decade, furniture store owners have begun to realize that if they simulate an upscale home environment, not only could they sell more product, but that a pleasant shopping experience would result in happier customers who quickly become loyal clients.
Furniture retailers woke up to the fact that interior design was less about the mechanics of the furniture and more about the art of home fashion.
Inspiration is everywhere…
Walk into many shops today and instantly imagine how a sofa, chair or chandelier would look in your home. Modern retailers recreate stylish rooms and home fashion vignettes from which you can take just a few of the design elements, or take the whole room home with you. It is easy to feel the look, understand how different elements play together, and of course, properly measure room scale.
Shown here are Jonathan Adler, Boston (left) and Mrs. Howard, Atlanta (above). Wouldn’t you live in either of these fabulous rooms? And yet, they are both retail showrooms. Jonathan Adler offers a modern approach with bright, fresh colours and bold design elements. Mrs. Howard is more traditional in its approach, offering a mix of old and new, but lovely just the same and very relevant to the local market.
In Victoria, there are many retailers that offer an ‘at home’ shopping experience. A few of our favourites include InsideOut Home Store and Chintz & Co, who use vignettes to inspire customers.
A TRIO of TRIP TIPS:
- Take photos. Visual references, even low
resolution snapshots on your cell phone, will become invaluable as you narrow your search for the perfect piece.
- Bring promps. If you have a favourite pillow, fabric swatch or paint chip, don’t leave home without it. You will be amazed at how many shades of white are out there.
- Be realistic. It might be lovely in the showroom, but does it really fit into your home and lifestyle?
By: Sylvia Day – NICHE Magazine Winter 2013
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