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It’s the little things

image Making small changes created a huge impact for Diverse Marketing’s showroom.

DALLAS/FORT WORTH – Gift products company Diverse Marketing has a prime location for its showroom in Dallas’ World Trade Center, but prior to January, the interior looked as if the 1980s had come in to shop and never left. Black ceiling and slat board-covered walls, single level display tables and insufficient lighting made the space seem unwelcome and outdated.

Nicole Arnold, owner of Nicole Arnold Interiors, was brought on board to revitalize a 600-sf section of the showroom with a new floor plan and light construction to bring the space into 2016 and so that it would bring new clients into the shop.
    “They have this really great corner space,” Arnold explains. “There’s a glass wall on the store’s front section, and in the area where the chain security gates open, there are no walls on two long sides of the corner, so you can walk right into the showroom. It is immediately adjacent to a main escalator and is very close to the central elevator, so there’s tons of traffic. It’s in a great visual spot; they have great real estate.”
    But even “location, location, location” wasn’t bringing in the amount of customers Diverse Marketing wanted
    “As with any trade show, they wanted to attract more walk-in customers for their January market week, not just make it a destination that someone has to come to at market,” she says. “We were hired to go in and give it a new look, something fresh and exciting, give it some color pop and make people want to come in and stay.”
    Arnold met with the DM team the first week of December to begin making plans, with the deadline being set as the second week of January. To meet an extremely tight deadline of one month was challenging enough, but complicating matters was that everything had to be coordinated and accomplished over the holiday break, when many resources were closed or had limited accessibility.
    “The greatest challenge was the timeline, for sure,” Arnold says. “I literally had to draw the design on graph paper rather than go through an architect; that’s how fast we had to do this. Concepts had to be formed, specifications made, contractors hired, and purchases made, delivered and installed. Coordinating all of these people to build furniture, directing the contractor who was retrofitting and painting the walls and getting the tables built and shipped here – it was challenging.”
    Arnold changed the floor layout to create a pleasant experience for people to walk through and shop. A wing wall protruding into the space was removed and the laminate floor was patched. The slat board wall was removed and reconfigured with bays and shelving for products. Track lighting fixtures were expanded to provide optimal lighting and the dark and dingy ceilings and walls were brought to life with bright white paint. New signage was installed and Diverse Marketing’s logo color, “Reflex Blue,” was incorporated through the bases of the display tables built specifically for the space.
    “The problem in the past was that they had black tables with tiered boxes displaying their products, so they had tons of little items that needed to be showcased. It was disorganized,” Arnold explains. “They were using single tier tables that weren’t utilizing space all the way down to the floor. In order to maximize our vertical display space, we had to make sure the new tables had a shelf high enough for people to see but still low enough to not waste valuable vertical cubic footage.”
    To solve this, Arnold ordered the multi-tiered tables in white and had her carpenter build boxes, paint them blue and then sat tables inside the boxes to elevate them by one foot.
    “That was something they were really impressed with,” she says. “They couldn’t believe the difference [the new display tables] made. It also gave us a vehicle to incorporate that logo’s blue color in a manner that made sense. By having it at the bottom of the tables, it gave the showroom a good grounding factor.”
    The transformation worked: Diverse Marketing opened approximately 43 new walk-in accounts during market, a number the store had never before achieved.
    “That was definitely something they view as a real positive, that our goal was achieved when we created that visual impact for people to walk into,” Arnold says. “Everything we did contributed to the results, but removing that wall, lightening those colors and putting the lights up made the biggest difference.”
    The renovations have only been in place a few months, but the impression has been a strong one for the client, and not just in an economical sense.
    “Diverse Market loves it,” Arnold says. “They have people calling from showrooms across the country asking about the science of this, wanting to incorporate a draft of what we started in Dallas to improve the showrooms’ visual effects. It’s influencing other showrooms throughout the nation.”
    Nicole Arnold Interiors is a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm, offering space planning, specification, supervision and project management of renovations and new construction. –mjm

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net