Behind the Scenes: The (Schematic) Design for Our Children's Boutique


We've been talking about our work for a children's clothing boutique in NW Portland. Today we show the Schematic design!

But what does Schematic design mean?

If you've followed along with this series, you'll remember how we got here. (If you want to catch up or are just joining, here are the posts for inspiration, before photos, space planning and furniture sourcing.)

For Wise Design, our work is done in several stages:

1. Conceptual

This phase includes inspiration images or palettes; it's when we establish the direction for the project. It's also where we start doing preliminary space planning with all those pieces of trace paper!

2. Schematic

We really put pen to trace paper and then translate our top 1-3 ideas in the form of drafted floorplans and 3D models. We begin sourcing materials and furnishings and really look at how everything would come together. At the end of it, we have the design worked out to show our clients and get their feedback. For our children's store, we stopped here at this phase. The 3D model images in this post are all from our Schematic design meeting with our client. She took these plans and made everything happen herself! In less than 30 days! This deserves so much praise and attention!

3. Design Development

Though we didn't go into this phase with the store, I thought I'd mention it: this is where we finesse & add those finishing details to the design. It's VERY rare that we show a client a Schematic design and hear, 'Yup! Make it happen!' There's a lot of give and take and 'oh I should have mentioned but I hate the color blue' and 'I like that but what if we did two sinks rather than one...' that happen during a Schematic design meeting. And we expect it! Design Development is where we take client feedback and refine, refine, refine.

There are other stages to our process but those are the top three. And every design we do involves the Schematic phase.

So if you'll remember, here's the floorplan for where we left off:

We decided to use the Algot system from IKEA for our inventory display. And big shout out to whoever modeled up this system in SketchUp and then put those files on 3DWarehouse for everyone to use. Seriously appreciate how much time you saved me, buddy. Thanks!

I mentioned in our previous post that we had a 'Big Move' for the store: our client's inspiration was 'Enchanted Forest' so we played on that theme by creating a mountain backdrop. They would be made from inexpensive plywood and hide not only the column but also serve to designate areas like the play corner, book & toy storage and behind the scenes work for the employees. Remember: in a consignment store, there are people selling items that an employee would need to sort through, tag and steam to display. You need (private) space for all of that!

We designed five plywood 'mountains.' The one on the far left would have three small shelves bracketed to it to serve as display by the cash register and to hide the back of scenes work/storage. The far right mountain would be the book and toy display:

Here's how they would look as you came in through the doors. You wouldn't see the book/toy area until you walked back there. Oh I *love* this view! It's even better IRL:

Here's a view of the toy area. We are using IKEA kitchen base cabinets for the cash register but ultimately decided to rotate them so all open shelving was on the employee side rather than the public side. Open bins for display storage are scattered in front:

There's a little shaker rail we added behind the counter for hanging display. And you'll notice the string lights in the model; I believe that's coming to the store but our client has found that the light in there has been pretty great without them.

Here's a look at the 'behind the scenes' area of the store on the bottom right. Another IKEA base cabinet is there in the back corner for tagging and sorting:

Display area to the right as you walk in. Our client put all the infant sized clothes & accessories here. And yes, we did gush at them:

Opposite side display for older kids. Our client decided not to put the large display table in the space and I think that's a good call. The store is so organized and open and we didn't miss it being there at all:

Front windows. Her dresser is in that right hand side window but rotated around so our client can use the drawers to hold inventory. All the little mannequins are there as well. The clouds you see were an idea we had for display but ultimately weren't used. Maybe we'll talk her into it for the future!

One more view of the store! Love this so much!

Next up: Photos!!! Of the actual space!!! We're so excited to share them with you!

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