Fairfield Eyecare

    June 10, 2012

    Time flies….

    Today we present you with the first of 2 commercial projects we were fortunate to be involved in throughout the last months.

    The first was a retail space for Fairfield Eyecare, located in the Fairfield Mall in Victoria.
    The store has been in business for about 30 years, and when the current owner took over 3 years ago he figured that it was high time to create an environment that was in keeping with the high end exclusive designer frames he was bringing in from Germany and France.

    The store when we started


    It was a real challenge to create a space concept for this rather small store – we had about 300 sq.ft. available for the merchandising area, the POS/ office and the workshop, with another 150 sq.ft. for the doctor’s examination room and back of house.

    The second challenge was to create custom millwork for the high end products, as for security reasons those were supposed to be presented behind glass doors. The owner asked us to design custom units, rather then using readily available stock products from an outfitter for eyewear stores.
    Never having worked on an eyewear store before we had to educate ourselves on the various ways for displaying and illuminating glasses.

    View of the high end display wall

    High End Products

    As for aesthetics: the client was looking for neutral, sleek, contemporary, with the incorporation of some colour in order to create a fun environment. I learned that a lot of business came through the door in form of teenagers who wanted to check out a pair of cool glasses, with the parents ending up purchasing something for themselves as well…
    Given the fabulous pieces for sale it is no surprise, though – those designers from Paris turn each frame into a piece of art!!

    View of the sunglass display case with the workshop behind– note that we arranged for storage cabinetry whereever possible!

    sunglasses and workshop

    A fun little fact – and it was not so much fun while we were at it – the previous tenant 3 decades before was a barber shop – and all the plumbing had been kept alive inside blocked off walls!! We ended up freezing the lines in order to install shut off valves, as due to the age of the mall there was no such thing as a water shut off for the individual store. We would have had to either bring the plumber in at midnight, or close the pub that was on the same plumbing circuit for the time we had to work on it!

    We started out with the selection of finishes by looking at the right type of floor, and picked an unusual white-based faux wood floor made out of commercial grade vinyl, which is tough and easy to maintain.
    From there we picked the various laminates for the cabinet fronts – mainly white faux wood ones from Italy, in both matte and glossy finish, a white leather-like wallpaper, paired those with a touch of bark-coloured faux wood and copper hued high gloss foil to introduce a masculine element, added some black and stainless accents, and threw in a few watercolour shades of blues, greens and lavender.

    View of the open merchandising area

    Product display

    And a detail shot of the POS and office area – we told you it was a tight space!

    POS and filing

    Oh – right! We also added some royal blue for low counters, and the special ‘sneaky’ little cabinet at the dispensing table, which holds ‘add-on’ sale items in its top drawer. That’s it for you for sales-psychology…
    Some curvy legs add the special something to the stylized eyeglass-shape of that dispensing unit.

    The dispensing unit

    dispensing counter with display

    It sounds so easy, right?!!

    As usual it was all about sweating the details.
    This is one of the aspects that makes the profession of design so similar to that of a dancer – no matter how much blood, sweat and tears heppen behind the scenes, the end result is suppossed to look easy and simply beautiful.

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