The Dutch phrase "Te Koop" ("For Sale") appears above the entrance of a store on Toronto's Queen Street West that sells a whimsical line of lifestyle accessories, including hats, socks, lingerie, handbags, stuffed toys and hot-pink Paul Frank bicycles.
Owner Doug Malcolmson hired II BY IV Design Associates Inc. (Toronto) to create a retail environment for Te Koop that would appeal to the maverick fashion tastes of its youthful clientele. To give the shop a strong street presence, designers had simple backlit lettering of the store's name installed above a deeply set doorway that's flanked with mod-style, moire-patterned acrylic panels lit in yellow and orange.
The interior of the 1650-square-foot space is a gallery-like setting sporting an unobtrusive palette of white, charcoal and pale gray that acts as a backdrop for the vividly colored merchandise. To visually express Te Koop's paradoxical futuristic/retro character, the front of the space features a hand-painted mural depicting a fanciful forest, while at the rear, contemporary animated films are projected onto a white backwall that demarcates the changing-room area.
Client: Te Koop, Toronto - Doug Malcomson, owner
Design: II BY IV Design Associates, Toronto - Dan Menchions, Keith Rushbrook, principals; Tanya Yeung, Azen Barker-Jones, designers
Suppliers: Maharam, Toronto (upholstery and fabrics); Canadian Builders Hardware Mfg., Toronto, Guardian Industries, Toronto, Häfele, Toronto (fixturing); Stone Tile, Toronto (porcelain tile flooring); Litemore, Toronto (lighting); Becky Brisco, Toronto (in-store mural); Nova Classique, Toronto (mirrors); Parallel, Woodbridge, Ont. (millwork and metalwork); Platinum Signage, Concord, Ont. (signage); Wanderosa, Toronto (plastic laminate)