House of Aroma

Iris, the newly launched a unique aroma bou­tique con­cept, houses fra­grance, ac­ces­sories and home decor arte­facts un­der one roof. De­signed by 4 Di­men­sions, the store is promi­nently lo­cated at Lavelle Road in Ban­ga­lore and is de­signed in an ‘out­door in natu

VM&RD - - INDIAN DESIGN - Sus­mita Das

IRIS from Rip­ple Fra­grances, the spa­tial fra­grance ini­tia­tive of the Mysore-based N R Group launches In­dia’s first com­plete home fra­grance bou­tique at Lavelle road, Ban­ga­lore. The IRIS Aroma Bou­tique is de­signed to pro­vide fra­grances and dé­cor for fine liv­ing and features an ex­ten­sive fra­grance col­lec­tion of both eclec­tic and af­ford­able lux­ury. The of­fer­ings in­clude IRIS fra­grance prod­ucts, ac­ces­sories and home decor ar­ti­fact that in­cludes an ex­ten­sive can­dle range rarely seen un­der one roof.

The de­sign in­spi­ra­tion for the store en­vi­ron­ment is taken from the el­e­ments of na­ture to cre­ate a unique ex­pe­ri­ence of the store and its ex­clu­sive of­fer­ings. “The need took shape of a de­sign brief which was to cre­ate an am­bi­ence around the prod­uct with­out over­whelm­ing the prod­ucts and at the same time adding value to the same. The

idea was to cre­ate some­thing sim­ple, ele­gant, earthy yet con­tem­po­rary,” avers Na­garaja R, Di­rec­tor De­sign, 4 Di­men­sions.

Spread over 1295 Sq. Ft, the store space is cat­e­go­rized to of­fer a range of prod­ucts for key cat­e­gories like pre­mium, lux­ury, eth­nic and life­style. The di­ver­sity in the pre­sen­ta­tion of each was ren­dered with the use of spe­cial de­sign el­e­ments like fix­tures, light­ing and

props. “For iris, ev­ery­thing was cus­tom­ized to achieve the en­vi­ron­ment that per­fectly com­ple­ments the prod­ucts, the rus­tic metal ceil­ing, the her­ring­bone pat­terned floor, the fur­ni­ture, the hang­ing shelves with metal mold­ings and the pen­dant lamps. Tak­ing note of each prod­uct range the re­search in­volved was a de­tailed study of what, where and how the prod­ucts are go­ing to be show­cased,” says Na­garaja.

The de­sign strat­egy was to cre­ate a store char­ac­ter that epit­o­mized na­ture and the

fresh­ness of its pro­duce. “Im­i­tat­ing na­ture in its raw and rus­tic form, the mi­lieu was con­cep­tu­al­ized from the act of ‘Pick­ing fra­grance from the garden’, thus em­pha­siz­ing the au­then­tic­ity of the prod­ucts as though the prod­ucts are hand­picked from na­ture it­self,” shares Na­garaja.

Care­fully se­lected props were used to add drama and au­then­tic­ity to the store char­ac­ter across the dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories in the store.

“Keep­ing in line with the con­cept, VM was de­signed to en­hance the over­all am­bi­ence and com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the store. Wo­ven bas­kets, colour­ful dry flow­ers, white peb­ble on the floor to­gether cre­ate the mood,” adds

Na­garaja. The store char­ac­ter of ‘Out­doors in na­ture’ de­ter­mined the se­lec­tion of the store de­sign el­e­ments like the floor­ing, ceil­ing features, seat­ing, dis­play fur­ni­ture and the graphic lan­guage used to cre­ate the per­fect set­ting. “The cus­tomer seat­ing is in­spired from the benches in the park while the pro­mo­tional vi­su­als are show­cased on an easel used by the artists. Each el­e­ment is unique in na­ture which gives the cus­tomers an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover some­thing new at ev­ery cor­ner,” says Na­graja.

The store light­ing strat­egy and the spe­cial ef­fects to draw at­ten­tion to de­sign features in the store played a sig­nif­i­cant role in cre­at­ing the set­ting. Warm bou­tique light­ing was used to cre­ate an am­bi­ent out­door feel and shape ac­cents used to high­light the store of­fer­ings. Ex­plain­ing fur­ther about the light­ing strat­egy Na­garaja says, “To ren­der the wooden logo a float­ing feel be­hind the cash counter was back lit with white LEDS against a serene white back­drop. Sev­eral petals in­spired by the logo drops through the rusted metal frame at the en­trance as pen­dant lights to com­plete the sce­nario.”

The store front with the use of ma­te­ri­als like wood, stone, wrought iron and fo­liage cre­ate a dis­tinct per­son­al­ity of the store and also beck­ons with an ex­pec­ta­tion of the store ex­pe­ri­ence. A back lit let­tered logo stands out sharply over the back open win­dows and cre­ate a sig­na­ture for the store. On en­ter­ing the store the lay­out and the cat­e­gory ad­ja­cen­cies help achieve con­ve­nience in cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence in terms of cir­cu­la­tion and in­formed de­ci­sion mak­ing.

“As soon as one en­ters the store he is greeted by the bold wooden brand logo against the white wall while var­i­ous sup­port­ing el­e­ments unique in char­ac­ter from other points of at­trac­tion. Th­ese el­e­ments are used to de­mar­cate zone and thus cat­e­gories of mer­chan­dise. The cash counter is strate­gi­cally placed in the cen­ter of the store to as­sure sur­veil­lance of the en­tire area. It cou­ples as a greet­ing desk for the cus­tomers as well. The walls on ei­ther side of the en­trance de­scribe the brand his­tory and prod­uct types in de­tails with a new ar­rival gon­dola at the cen­ter ex­hibit­ing the new launches of the sea­son. The left zone is ded­i­cated for can­dles and ac­ces­sories high­lighted by the aroma tree and the right by the sus­pended shelf for life­style prod­ucts,” ex­plains Na­garaja.

Speak­ing about the chal­lenges in cre­at­ing a cus­tomer friendly re­tail space, Na­garaja ex­plains, “Big­gest chal­lenge was to con­vert a res­i­dence into a com­mer­cial con­cept store ap­peal­ing to the T.A. A lot of walls had been re­con­fig­ured to achieve the de­sired zon­ing along with changes in the frontage to im­prove the vis­i­bil­ity of the store. Also to com­pli­ment both her­itage and con­tem­po­rary within a space, show­cas­ing var­i­ous kinds of prod­ucts with a con­cept very new to the In­dian mar­ket was pretty chal­leng­ing,” shares Na­garaja.

Af­ter see­ing a lot ap­pre­ci­a­tion from pos­i­tive cus­tomer feed­back, the brand plans to open more com­pany owned stores in Ban­ga­lore and then scale up with a fran­chis­ing

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