Local boosters describe Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., as “a city in a forest, with the greatest weather and cleanest air and water.” Those natural attributes have turned the town into a tourist magnet – with a corresponding retail/restaurant base catering to day-trippers.
But Carmel is also an enclave of the well-to-do – you may recall that Clint Eastwood once served as the town’s mayor. To lure that upscale clientele into its new Carmel store, San Francisco-based specialty retailer Wilkes Bashford sought to create “an urbane in-store experience,” says David Ebert, principal-in-charge, FME Architecture + Design (San Francisco).
That meant utilizing a sophisticated materials palette throughout the two-level, 9000-square-foot store, Ebert says. The ground floor, which houses men’s and women’s fashions, features custom millwork with back-painted blue/green glass on display tables and counters. To welcome shoppers into the space, a warm beige porcelain tile was installed at the entrance, with textured carpet covering the rest of the floor.
Downstairs is the Blue Room, which sells jeans and other casual wear. To guide visitors to this space, designers framed the stairway leading to it with a blue light column. Upon descending, shoppers encounter woven tatame-like flooring and fabric banners hanging from the ceiling that lend an air of casual sophistication to the environment.
Client: Wilkes Bashford, Carmel, Calif. – Wilkes Bashford, owner; Joe Callahan, owner; Ross Hunter, general manager, merchandise
Design and Architect: FME Architecture + Design, San Francisco – David Ebert, principal-in-charge; Kelly Yoho, project manager
Outside Design Consultant: Architecture + Light, San Francisco – Darrell Hawthorne, principal (lighting); Rosendin Electric, San Jose, Calif. – Willie Micene (Electrical Engineer)
General Contractor: Hathaway Dinwiddie, San Francisco
Audio: DMX Inc., Seattle
Carpet: Nood, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Draperies: Knoll, East Greenville, Pa.
Fixtures: Mission Bell, Morgan Hill, Calif.; Wolford, New York; Shu Uemura Cosmetics, New York
Furniture: Woodtech, Oakland, Calif.; Brayton, High Point, N.C.; Knoll, New York
Lighting: Starfire Lighting Inc., Wood-Ridge, N.J.; Kurt Versen, Westwood, N.J.; Lightolier, Fall River, Mass.; LSI Industries, Cincinnati
Signage/Graphics: Toll Architectural Graphics, Emeryville, Calif.
Photography: John Sutton, John Sutton Photography, Point San Quentin, Calif.