A Remodel’s In Store
Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Text by Amanda Koellner
Photos by Paul Costello
Feature Company: Olivia Erwin Interiors
Location: New Orleans, LA
Project Type: Store
Project Name: Mimi Nola
When the mother and daughter duo behind New Orleans boutique Mimi decided that their store was in need of a complete remodel to create a more open, clean space similar to the New York showrooms that they so often visited, they turned to designer Olivia Erwin. “The existing space was very heavy with carpet, drapery, and numerous wooden retail fixtures dotted throughout the store—all grey,” Erwin says. “It was very choppy, mainly due to a Vera Wang bridal salon, since removed, that was portioned off and occupying a quarter of the store.”
The project took only eight weeks from design development to doors being open, and we talked with Erwin about the quick, client-pleasing design.
Design Bureau: What steps did you take to refresh this space and give it an updated design?
Olivia Erwin: We removed the carpet and installed a warm, rich hardwood floor, and we removed the curtains, exposing very cool, large steel warehouse windows. We also painted the walls and ceiling a neutral white. We changed the floor plan by pushing most of the merchandising to the perimeter of the store, freeing up valuable space. We also created a much more curated space by sectioning it off by various groups of brands. Each vignette is anchored by large, custom backlit panels that display each brand on sheets of Lucite. We also added floating shelves between each area for continuity. Warmth and texture come from large area rugs, and the center “runway” is broken into equal parts, adding to the fluidity of the store and simultaneously allowing for multiple merchandising opportunities.
DB: How does the shoe department stand out among the rest of the store’s sections?
OE: The shoe department, named CeCe Shoe, is a more feminine space to help separate it from the rest of the store. We floated custom fluorescent pink Lucite shelving on wallpaper with a pink damask design on mylar to add a fun, playful tone. For lighting, we hung various-sized custom hand- blown glass globes, giving the effect of being in a champagne glass.
DB: Which of the details do you think best represents the project’s aesthetic?
OE: The custom backlit panels because the client was craving a more organized, refined space, and these panels are the main component in achieving that goal.