Our new space needed a little work before we could open the doors. While it was habitable enough for some, there left much to be desired by me in terms of style and character. If you ever visited Urban Dwellings Design, my former store that was located in the historic River Market of KC, then you know we had “built in” charm there. The tall ceilings, exposed brick walls and concrete floors were loved by all. I too loved these qualities but came to realize they were actually detracting from our merchandise (not a good thing when you are trying to run a retail business). Nearly everyone who entered our downtown shop had the same reaction: “Oh wow, cool space.” I never got comfortable with people saying that–while it was true, it was a bummer because I had invested a lot of money into beautiful furniture and home accessories, and yet people were unanimously commenting on the space.
With this in mind as I set out on the search of a new location, I kept an eye out for a more blank canvas and knew the store would sport white walls wherever we went. The following photos showcase how we transformed a boring suburban location with no charm and lots of dated and dirty fixtures into a bright and chic shop where everyone that enters now says “Oh wow, I love everything in here!”
Before: shot from the rear of the store, looking at front door
The space had lots of box fluorescent lights, dirty ceiling tiles, wall slats to hang clothing racks on, gray rubber baseboard, and ugly laminate wood floors.
After: shot from the rear of the store looking at the front door
Although I wanted to take out all of the fluorescent box lighting my electrician objected. The space does not get very much natural light and the track lights are more for highlighting settings and merchandise, not overall lighting. I was able to eliminate all but about 4 of the box lights. The ceiling tiles got painted Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain, a dark charcoal that really makes the lower ceilings recede. I had the walls stripped and the dry wall repaired and painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. Over-sized wood baseboard painted in Black Beauty (Ben Moore) replaced the horrid institutional feeling rubber stuff. As for the floors we really lucked out. A little bit of downtown got to make an appearance as we peeled back the laminate to reveal concrete underneath. All it needed was a good scraping, cleaning and shiny epoxy coat.
Before: Taken from the front door.
After: Taken from the front door
I trust you can see why this would not work, I will not even bother describing except that the laminate floor was seriously grimy.
All the doors inside as well as the front door got painted Oregano by Benjamin Moore. The same black baseboard was installed with a large black tile and matching black grout. A snazzy new Kohler toilet replaced the 20 year old looking previous one. The real stunner is the wallpaper. A brand new print from Schumacher called Queen of Spain caught our eye in the catalog and was immediately the winner.
A new marble top vanity from Lowes and our mirror from the old shop complete the bathroom renovation.
Before: Future fabric wall/design consult meeting space
After: Fabric wall and design consultation meeting space
Our custom sales counter was built with what our previous counter lacked: drawers and options for organizing sales materials, bags and tissue paper. The counter itself is a Cambria white quartz installed by Trendstone. The base of the cabinet was painted with a faux metallic finish by Jason Newton whom I use for all my faux finish needs with clients–he is amazing!
I love this setting! Amanda found the taxidermy head from a dealer in the West Bottoms. The blend of the modern leather Martin sofa from MG+BW with the rustic vine ottoman and Aoudad head is pretty awesome if you ask me.
Our new location provides exactly what we were lacking downtown–high traffic and increased visibility and exposure in the community. The interior provides a perfect backdrop to showcase all the amazing lines that we Covet!