The store won PLAYTHING’S magazine Toy Store Of the Year award, which is a national competition
The design concept is loosely based on Alice In Wonderland with very colorful, playful, over scaled shapes and design elements. However, the landlord had an extremely strict design criteria that required our store blend with their overall mall theme of old world Andalusian architecture with it’s Moorish and Spanish influence of stone, wood and subtle, muted colors. This presented a particular challenge because the very idea of our store is just the opposite; things are slightly askew, larger than life, very bright and fun.
We met the challenge by keeping certain complimentary design elements from each diverse concept and thereby creating a unique marriage of the two. By installing rich gold and cream tumbled Tuscany limestone squares in a harlequin pattern on the storefront we were able to stay with the harlequin pattern we used on their previous Child’s Play stores but also incorporate an element traditional in Andalusian architecture. The base of the storefront is hand chiseled limestone and the wood is stained to simulate the reddish mahogany commonly used in Moroccan culture. All of this creates a subtle backdrop for the visual impact of the two Mad Hatter characters which act almost as caryatides holding up a whimsically curved wood trellis welcoming shoppers into the store.
Deeper, more subdued shades of the bright reds, purples, greens and golds of the previous stores were selected to accent but not compete with the rich, warm tones of the storefront limestone and wood. On the interior, thematic elements common to the Child’s Play theme, such as the Court Jester holding the egg, Cardmen and Humpty Dumpty were carried through to this store to bring continuity to the design. The 20’ high ceiling was deliberately kept open and painted a deep purple (although the photos don’t illustrate that well) to allow for the 15’ tall harlequin and Mad Hatter display fixtures which act almost as characters that have come to life.
The project budget of $225,00 for construction, fixtures, Mad Hatter fiberglass characters, graphics, design and engineer fees was another real challenge because everything in the store was custom designed and manufactured and the landlord had very high expectations for an elegant storefront. By using stained concrete in a circular pattern only at the entry and installing carpet tiles throughout the rest of the store, using wood simulated laminate instead of real maple and painting rather than laminating some of the designs onto the display fixtures, we were able to come in on budget. But one of the most important factors in holding the costs down was by calling upon the services of a few dedicated and talented people we had used on previous stores and who wanted to help make this a successful project.