It seems that in this day and age the word ‘modern’ is almost synonymous with the word ‘quirky’. Walk down a high street and the stores that jump out at you are the ones that look a bit out of the ordinary, the ones that utilize bright garish colours and the ones that are in some way ‘fun’ or self aware. Walk down a high street with a Kid Robot store for instance and the strange Japanese-style figures, bare white walls and unusual display cases will almost certainly jump out at you and draw you in out of curiosity alone. And just down my road there’s a clothes shop with a deer skull in the window – go figure.
In many ways I look at this as a good thing. I’ve often wondered why shop designers have up until now felt the need to make their shops so samey and barren and it’s always seemed like something of a wasted opportunity. If your store is currently just a few isles and some corporate branding, then you shouldn’t be too surprised if a large number of people just walk on past and don’t so much as look up – they’ve become desensitized and the lack of imagination just looks old fashioned.
That said though it’s also possible to go too far the other way and make your shop look like it’s trying too hard to be fun and unusual and missing the mark as a result. There’s a cafe near me for instance that has a bed in it and a football table and that lets you sit in chairs that seem to have come from airplanes – and while it’s a lot of fun and a great place to bring a friend, it also feels somewhat pretentious and actually isn’t very relaxing to be in. It looks desperate for attention and it’s what I imagine Lady Gaga would look like if she were a coffee shop (an odd thought I know…).
How to Achieve a Balance
So how do you make sure that you fall on the other side of the fence and make your shop more fun and interesting without looking too eager or false? When one thing to remember from the start is that your decorations should be somehow linked to your company and should say something about who you are or how you want people to spend their time there. Don’t do things ‘for the sake of it’ because it will be obvious that’s what you’ve done – rather tie it into your corporate message, or use the unusual design to create a more comfortable and interesting environment. Don’t have a bed in your store unless you’re going to let people relax in it.
At the same time it’s also important to remember that less is more. One fun or obscure thing can become a talking point or a central feature, whereas too much just crowds your visual field and makes your store difficult to be in. A telephone box in a pub is fun. A telephone box, old car, bed, television from the 1960s and large model of Chewbacca is just insulting to the senses. If you’re unsure, speak to your shopfitters because they’ll know where the line is.
Lauren Ryder is a well reputed tech guru. She has been in the tech blogging industry for a long time now and has a huge fan following. Her blogs are mostly about the latest and coolest gadgets in the market.