Monday, 23 May 2016


Stripped back interiors have been around for a while now, particularly in retail and café society. This style still seems to be as popular as ever and personally, I think it works.

I may be a bit of sucker for industrial finishes but, why I think this works in retail is because of the combination of texture, natural colour palette and great lighting, which shows up every crack and surface finish. This all helps create character and sets the tone for great retail product.

We are very used to seeing this interior style in fashion, lifestyle stores and super cool urban cafes but its appeal stretches even further and would suit any number of retail stories.

I think it works best when the contrast is well defined between interior finish and product. There is something very appealing about the contrast of new against old, shiny against matt, rough texture against smooth and decay against new. It’s a very touchy feely approach but in retail this is a good thing, instantly creating an atmosphere that is sadly lacking in many shops

Of course, this stripped back look isn’t just about hacking off a bit of plaster; it needs some serious design input and greater flexibility in the shop fittings. We have to remember that retail is about change, the interior needs to be able to reflect this and visually demonstrate change without the need to completely refurbish. Ultimately, this comes down to some all encompassing retail campaigns and inspiring visual merchandising. Without the ability for simple change or enhancement of the shop interior, as with any strong theme, customers will soon tire of the look.

Personally, I don’t think this interior style is going away anytime soon and, although I don’t want to see it everywhere, I’m more than happy to see it flourish for some time to come.

All the best

#retail   -consultant  -designer  -visualcommunicator  -educator
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shop images - St Vincents, concept store, Antwerp

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