The importance of furniture decorating for a beauty shop
This is, of course, because Takashimaya is in a retail category of its own.
Until this past summer, cosmetics were, in fact, for sale on Takashimaya’s ground level. A small but busy area, the department purveyed exclusive and esoteric product lines, which over the years won a cult following. When it was decided that the department warranted expansion, Takashimaya’s management felt confident that, contrary to industry norms, devotees would follow their favorite products up to the store’s sixth floor. The company called upon architect David Mann of MR Architecture + Decor to create a sophisticated, salon-like setting that would be well worth the elevator ride. Having worked previously on aspects of the store’s design as well as product development, Mann has a firm command of Takashimaya’s luxurious but understated aesthetic.
The apotheosis of subtlety and elegance, Takashimaya’s sixth floor is the opposite of most cosmetics departments. The visual maelstrom of signage, the cacophony of aggressive perfume spritzers, and the blinding glare of make-up lights are noticeably absent. Instead, Takashimaya offers a rather civilized, if not soothing, shopping experience in a setting that is tempered by a muted, earthen color scheme and subdued lighting. Mann’s design represents a skillful integration of materials and textured surfaces. “Nature is a prominent motif throughout the store, and we intended the sixth floor to be as `natural’ as possible,” says Mann, citing the use of wood, plaster, concrete, stone, and bronze. Among the design’s most interesting components is the floor, a combination of valverde stone and cast concrete insets that gives the impressions of wood planks, tatami mats, and raked sand.
Natural beauty shop decoration
The space is organized around an opening in the floor that establishes a visual connection with the level below. Butterfly-inhabited bronze twigs sculptured by jewelry designer Gabriella Kiss ring the circular aperture, a gesture that brings together nature and artifice. In plan, the space is loosely divided into three areas. The central region, occupied by the bronzed thicket and a pair of commodious, kidskin leather banquettes, serves as a sitting area for shoppers and a waiting area for those with scheduled beauty treatments. Brightened by an expanse of windows, the west side of the floor is devoted to cosmetics while beauty products occupy the east side. A partial-height plaster wall supports an elongated concrete sink with bronze fittings, where tested salves can be rinsed off if a customer so desires. The top-lit plaster partition is a discreet but suggestive divider between the private treatment rooms and the public sales floor.
Perimeter walls feature illuminated bays of transparent glass shelves backed by frosted, mirrored glass panels where products are displayed without signage. Palladium-leafed panels divide each bay, and can slide to protect shelves from dust at night or to highlight a particular product line. Alternatively, rolling carts and antique tables display additional offerings and invite study. As customer service and discretion are of utmost importance at Takashimaya, sales staff consults privately with clients at tables equipped with bronze-framed mirrors. The consultation tables’ lithe silhouettes “offset the architecture,” says Mann, while the mix of antiques adds a “quirky edge.”
David Mann extends credit to William Clukies, Sophie Brouzes, and Renee Cooley.