Colours, 3D, Time & Action!
Aurum was my baby. My first boutique.
I love clothes and Aurum was exquisite, expensive clothes- designer wear ghagra cholis, sarees, party dresses and the like!
When I was asked to take a look at the clothes, I was blown by the colors and combinations on display. One thing was clear to me, I had to keep the interiors neutral to bring out the vibrant colors and patterns on display at the boutique. I started thinking blacks, whites, greys and browns.
The owners Jagan and Vivek – Chalk and Cheese. But I was surprised at how well they complemented each other. Jagan was interested in seeing a good design while Vivek was cautious about a set budget. Rahul who actually referred us to the clients, got involved only at the launch of the store – Such was the faith he had in us! 😉
The dress designer, Honey Jain was this short, cute girl, who refrained from exchanging pleasantries when we’d first met! She abruptly started out with a list of things she wanted to see in her boutique -a store room, an office space, display for about 200 sarees, a separate display for her most expensive clothes, a trial room and a toilet. Talk about talking-to-the-point!
The site was located on the first floor, with two other clothing boutiques coming up on either side and as though this were not enough, the entire lane was filled with boutiques! Designing for this project literally felt like setting up a base camp bang in the middle of enemy territory!
The site was around 1000 Sqft in area and had a 9ft high ceiling. The height of the ceiling was a minor disappointment, for it made the space look much smaller!
Clients were still coming up with names for the store. After discussions (read violent arguments ;)), the name Aurum (meaning Gold) was agreed upon. That was when I finalized the colors for the boutique – black, white and gold. I felt the vibrant clothes would take care of my subtle color scheme.
During my extensive research for design elements, I stumbled upon and was blown away by a mirror ceiling idea. It gave the whole space so much grandeur and elegance. I saw that the idea best fit the situation for it would compensate for the low ceiling! I really liked the bronze mirror because it looked much like muted gold. So Voila! The ceiling material was final!
I did not want to leave the bronze mirror at just the ceiling. So I decided upon going with a cascade effect to create a sort of connect between the glassy ceiling and the rest of the space.
When I discussed the concept with my mother, she gave me the amazing idea of placing a show stopper right in the middle of the store! I usually like to challenge her ideas (they are usually best fits, but I like bugging her a little :)) but in this case, her idea complimented my design so well that it gave my ceiling a great finish point. I loved what it did to the entire space!
So the concept we finalized was simple – the show stopper would showcase the most expensive garments and would be surrounded by a myriad of comparatively-lower-budget-yet-great-looking stuff !
I usually prefer finishing the design before starting with project execution. I am not comfortable giving my design out in parts – the false ceiling layout or the furniture layout first and then a 3D view and so on. That’s because I start with my 3D views and that gives me a better picture and newer ideas for enhancing a space. My mom, on the other hand, bugs me all the time for pieces of design such as the false ceiling layouts or the electrical point layouts – it is probably her way of getting back at me for challenging her design ideas!☺
Our task at Aurum was to finish design in a week followed by timely execution to enable our clients to open the store within 30 to 45 days. That meant no time at all! I quickly realized how thinking in 3D didn’t help tackle time bound situations. Luckily I had the backing of our talented 3D person who understood my vision and sat with me for 3 consecutive, frustrating days and nights to come up with a rough sketch to assist my further design. In 3 days flat, we were able to go back to our clients with a 3D view and the furniture layout. And they loved it! Yay … and phew 🙂 We finished execution with some time to spare!
I realized I could work better against deadlines – my take away from this project. The overall experience on this was exhilarating!