BIG COOL NO. 1 de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry
whohadanunlimitedpocketbook,”Karensays.“Wehad tocreatesomethingthathadtobespecialandnotcookie cutter.Wehadtocompeteasthelittlebittyindependent, andwe were going to do the best that we could. And so we spent moneymore freely thanwas probably wise.” And they also wanted to be able to use the Houston store as a prototype for future ventures. “Wewantedthestoretobeopenandwelcoming,but elegant.Notintimidating,”Karensays.“Nottoocutting edge or too old fashioned. Classical and timeless.” TheyturnedtotheHoustonofficeofGensler,aglobal architecture,designandplanningfirm.Genslerarchitect and designer Lisa Pope-Westerman pulled together elements of residential and retail design to achieve an engaging balance. Denis says theGensler teampoured their heart and soul into the project, which, at less than 2,000 square feet, was relatively small in the grand scheme of archi- tecture and design. Pope-Westermansaysshewasimmediatelyimpressed with how lovely and hospitable the Boulles are. “The biggest thing I noticed visiting them in the original store inDallaswas that they treated you as if theywere welcoming you into their own home,” she says. “They wanted tocarry that throughto theprototypeHouston store, that very personal feeling.” A homey lounge between the jewelry showroom and the Patek Philippe shop in shop serves as a visual icebreaker with its comfortable furniture, coffee bar andrelaxedvibe.Brightyellowchairsprovideenergetic splashes of color while echoing the trademark tone of de Boulle gift bags. The curtains are a replica of those
used in their Dallas store, providing a unifying feature and an extra residential flair. The lounge serves as a transitional portal between the two sides of the store—the subtlymasculine Patek Philippe enclave and the slightly more feminine front of the store, where Karen’s jewels take center stage. The light fixtures in the front window are an ode to the residential side of the store’s personality. They act likeflickering sconces thatmight be foundon the front wall of a stately home, flanking the front doors. “The lanterns in the windows are welcoming and warm, and they invite you to take a closer look,” Pope- Westerman says. “When you do, you notice there are beautiful jewels perched on top of those fixtures. So you are engaged at different levels; you see something to attract you and lure you in, and as you get closer you seemore of the beauty inside.” Oneofthefirstobjectsofbeautyshopperswillnotice inside is the Italian crystal chandelier that looks like it would be at home in the grand foyer of an opulent residence. Brightly polished brass reflects the high-karat gold inKarenBoulle’s jewelry.While thebrassonthe façade is polished, brass finishes inside the store arematte, to take a back seat to the brilliant jewelry. Immediately to the left and right of the entry are lifestyle cases, designed to accommodate jewelry that is curated to reflect the changing seasons. The herringbone wood floors and plaster walls also provide a matte background. Choosing plaster walls over painted gypsum elevates the quality of the entire interior in a subtle way that quickly wins over guests,
TRY THIS Work with a Store Planner from the Beginning 5 Are you preparing to work with an architect or store designer on your own cool store to be? Always get design professionals onboard as soon as pos- sible, even before select- ing your space. “People who have been doing it a long time understand the pros and cons and oppor- tunities of certain spaces vs. other spaces,” says Lisa Pope-Westerman. “They will consider ceiling heights and other existing conditions. Assessing and analyzing those kinds of things gives store owners more information about which space is the better longer term investment.” PLAYLIST 5 Pop, alternative, acoustic rock, such as John Mayer and Michael Buble.
50 INSTOREMAG.COM AUGUST 2016
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