Retailers have many choices when they design their stores. The large variety of materials ranging from wood to concrete and the endless options of colors and shape of design elements are hard to fathom. And what exactly is the latest trend? Interior designer and co-owner of Raumprobe, Hannes Bäuerle, has an amazing overview.
What materials are currently the latest trend?
Bäuerle: One frequent question right now is whether to choose matte finished or polished surfaces. I can answer this: neither one of them! It is the super matte and super polished new designs that make everything "normal" pale in comparison. Until now, matte finished surfaces were not terribly suitable for a store since you constantly had fingerprints on them. With the new super matte finished surfaces, they are clearly less visible and the light infraction is also significantly higher. The highly polished looks are even more brilliant and most notably scratch-resistant. Hence, both of these surfaces offer brand-new possibilities.
I also believe the time has come when materials are allowed to once again develop a true patina. Brass, for instance, is permitted to tarnish again over the years and get marks. The material is allowed to tell a story. It no longer has to look like it has just been installed.
In your materials report where you show materials online, you can also tell by the number of hits which ones the designers’ favorites are.
Bäuerle: Yes, that’s true. One perennial hit that still enjoys increasing popularity is wood including all of the new wood-related material developments. This is perhaps also due to the fact that there is a certain amount of rethinking in terms of fire safety in construction. Although wood burns timber structures can tolerate quite a lot until the static values give in.
Which senses influence you personally the most when you enter a store?
Bäuerle: Of course, I gain my first impression with my eyes, linked to form and colors. However, I noticed that I am more strongly affected by my ears and haptics. I generally have a hard time making a decision without a haptic experience because then I know intuitively whether I perceive a product as robust or of premium quality. Addressing all five senses will be the future challenge for retailers.