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Reinvigorating Retail

Outside and In and Interior Designer, Roxanne Ferreira of Arrange Studio, had a catch-up to discuss how the recently created Me&B Concept Store took its form.

  1. What did your brief from the client entail?

Kelly Gibberd (from Me & B) saw some of the other projects we’ve done and really loved Arrange Studio’s work, so found my number and phoned me out of the blue and said: “We have to open our first joburg store in a month. ie. we have no time and no budget, are you in?”

Roxanne: “I am currently working on two other jobs and I have just moved to Cape Town, but it sounds interesting. YES! I’m IN!”

Kelly wanted me to speak to the brand’s vibe-  vibrant, passionate & fun.  “We love colour and Roxanne is incredible when it comes to colour combinations, so I really wanted her to take the lead on palette. I can sometimes go a little crazy and I didn’t want to be sick and tired of the store in 6 months. “

  1. What inspired the design concept of the store?

We wanted to make the most of the existing industrial finishes & style of the building by leaving the ceiling services exposed and the floors as is, a nod to a New York loft showroom. By marrying the above with bright colours and organic curvy shapes, it’s reminiscent of the Memphis group & their post modern style. 

  1. What were the influences behind the chosen colour palette?

The colour palette evolved organically and came about based on some of the restrictions we faced during the design process, ie which colour tiles were available in the limited timeframe and within budget? The same reasoning applied to the Perspex sheets – so we created our core palette within these parameters. Sometimes the best end results happen when faced with more than one limitation! The end result of bright juicy orange, lilac, lime & pink bursts with fun and vibrancy – the essence of the brand. 

  1. What based your reasoning for choosing the textures within this interior?

The aim was to strike a balance between the hard base shell we started with, and introduce a handful of softer textures and materials to create a pleasant retail environment. For example the exposed steel beams and concrete floors were softenend by the inclusion of plywood shelves, joinery & mobile boards, painted MDF (mirrors), feature organic shaped area rugs in a bright chartreuse colour – and a statement curved sofa upholstered with a velveteen fabric. 

  1. What were a few of the key considerations for the site?

To make the most of the street facing window display – while simultaneously alllowing as much natural light into the store as possible. We also had to work around the T-shaped floorplan, to create a layout & flow that makes the most sense when entering the space – making sure the fixtures & placement leave enough room to browse freely without feeling sparse or incohesive. 

  1. Which brands and finishes were utilised for this space?

Tiles from Limegreen Sourcing Solutions, custom area rugs made locally from YUDU, Dokter & Misses hooks in the fitting rooms, a selection of Plascon paints, stand out signage and signage elements from SPS (Signage Production Studio),  

  1. What are a few inspiring ideas that you love for retail spaces?

To incorporate and include as many local designers and artists in the overall design as possible. This not only adds another layer to the customer’s shopping experience (ie spotting a new potential favourite artist or maker)  but also strengthen’s the notion that we can go further when we build each other up – especially fellow local work. 

When designing a retail space I try to create an inviting backdrop that will enhance the product and make the brand shine!