In the world of retail interior design, “new” is often simply not new enough. As the embodiments of brands, retailers themselves are ever-changing, constantly chasing the next big look in order to compete in a viciously competitive sector while desperately struggling against a recovering economy and the online shopping boom.
UK interior designer Christoper Jenner has turned the tides on the trend towards sparser – or purely online – retail spaces with his reimagining of luxury French fragrance brand Diptyque Paris.
Looking like something out of a costume drama, the store has been developed in the grand style of Victorian architecture with both English and French influences. Located in London’s Leadenhall Market, the space stands out from the sidewalk with its dark wooden exterior framing and very Victorian shop front.
The layout is styled after a traditional French perfumery, with a small service desk surrounded by walls with built-in product cabinets and multi-layered classical mouldings. Mirrors back these displays, maximising the small retailer’s space while also offering a perception of multiplied products, much like the wall-lined traditional perfumeries.
Other traditional features include stained glass window work, gothic revival wood-cover features, brass doorknobs and other classic elements, as well as a moulded ceiling. The colour and pattern schemes also offer a strong nod to the Victorian era, with walnut and dark woods dominating the interior architecture, and warm reds, golds, blues and purples standing in place of the commonly seen plywood and stark monochrome finishes of many modern retail spaces.
While to some the space may seem cluttered and heavily lit, to others it offers a snapshot of time gone by, enlivening the feelings of luxury and glamour that were traditionally intertwined with the perfume industry.
The shop’s loyalty to tradition and the strong Victorian influences allow this particular space to stand out and apart from its counterparts, breaking the retail monotony and finding fresh innovation in heritage inspiration.