We're so lucky to share a floor with the incredible architecture firm Meyer Davis Studio—they're right next door to us (and even worked on Christiane and Josh's SoHo loft—as seen in Undecorate). So when we decided to open our first brick-and-mortar store in Soho, we didn't have to look very far to find the perfect team to collaborate with on building out the space at 77 Wooster. And it doesn't hurt that we count this world-renowned design duo as close friends of the Studio—it really made everything from the creative brainstorms to the operations to the logistics of mounting our flagship store more personal.
Just before the store launch, we managed to snag a few moments with our awesome architects to chat about the design process behind the DwellStudio Flagship store…
Meet Gray Davis (R) and Will Meyer (L) of Meyer Davis Studio.
Tell us about your relationship with DwellStudio and Christiane.
GRAY DAVIS: We originally met Christiane and Josh when we helped them with their loft in soho. They just have a great energy about them. We had a lot of fun working with them on that project, and when they needed to expand we ended up helping them on the design of their new DwellStudio offices here on 6th Avenue as well. It's a really natural team effort with them. Their aesthetic and our aesthetic mesh well together.
WILL MEYER: We've developed a long term relationship with them. We're always recommending DwellStudio textiles and products to our clients, and they have used us to design their apartment and their beach house, so this has been the natural next step. We do a lot of specialty retail design.
(View of the DwellStudio flagship from Wooster Street.)
What was the overall concept for the space?
WM: We do Oscar de la Renta's stores and the John Varvatos stores—which have very different atmospheres, but they are very specialty environments. For Oscar's stores, his sales environment represents his personality and for John Varvatos who is this rock-n-roll personality—we wanted that to come across in the retail environment. With DwellStudio it was really important to have their personality and sensibilities speak through the design.
(Overview of retail space.)
GD: I think one of the things that's important to create in a store's retail environment is to have it feel like a real residential environment. When you go into a lot of stores and see product lined up you don't really get a sense of how the things will feel in your home. That is one of the things we worked hard on—to design the space with nice lighting and good finishes so that the space has an authentic residential quality. That's one of the things that will really set the DwellStudio store apart—that the store feels more like a home with the beautiful Farrow and Ball finishes on the door and the lacquer and brass detailing and the mixing of all the different metals and these vitrines that we've had custom made that are based on vitrines that Christiane had found in Paris and then we had them custom made.
(One of the custom-made vitrines.)
WM: Everything in the store is custom made—it's all functional. There's a real beauty to the design. The details of the space were really thought out. If you look at the DwellStudio collection, it's referential to many different periods. One of our goals was to really let that come across in the store.
GD: It's very tailored, very timeless.
Any interesting anecdotes from the design process?
WM: It was really pretty smooth—we really like working together—it's just fun. We have a lot of the same design values, and there's a real harmony there.
(Inspiration board for the store layout.)
GD: Typically when you're working with someone on the design of their house or store or restaurant, a lot of the effort is getting them on board with your concept, but with Josh and Christiane and Jen you're already on board and you can really focus on fine tuning all the details.
WM: When you're in tune with each other, you leap frog that whole initial concept, and you immediately go into the meaningful and tactile details that will make store timeless.
(Custom-made counter and hand-sewn upholstered wall.)
GD: Working with them and with them being so design-savvy, you can really push the envelope and take more risks than you would normally. You really want to create this store that's unlike another store, and I think thats what was really fun with this project—the amount of risks that we were enabled to take. We did all these really dark finishes to get it to look very luxe. They would throw out an idea, and we would pick up and run with it, or we would throw out something, and they would tweak it to their aesthetic. It was a really fun process. It's just a really nice relationship.
We're very excited about out new Soho address (77 Wooster!). How does the location of a space inspire and influence the design?
GD: It's in this beautiful, old iron facade loft-like building. It's kind of that classic Soho building and some of the elements had been really stripped down. We added a brick wall to bring back that sort of loft-like feel with the original tin ceilings—we repaired them and added new lighting but we wanted to be respectful of the type of lighting that you might have seen in that space originally—with industrial looking lights. We brought in more modern layers by having the lights lacquered with this high-gloss finish, so there's this juxtaposition of the industrial feel with these really nice finishes.
(Products displayed in the window.)
WM: The design of the store is very respectful to DwellStudio's aesthetic and marries well with the design of all their furnishings.
(Dark shelving with gold accents.)
Tell us about how you find inspiration.
WM: On our travels—we have projects all over the world, and we so we travel all the time. We get to see and have exposure to a lot of different environments.
GD: In Hong Kong you might see something, or if you're in some great little shop in Belgium you might see some beautiful finish or a quirky piece, and your mind just starts spinning. You can really jump off from there.
Thank you Meyer Davis Studio for taking the time to chat with us... We love our Soho shop on 77 Wooster!