On our travels in the past year, we discovered some incredible retail store designs. Each reflects the diverse creative vision of interior designers from across the globe. In this article, we take a look at several of our favorite spaces and what inspired them. First, we journey to the Cuadernos Rubio bookstore in Valencia. Then we take a look back to the luxury Barcelona boutique, Darial. Finally, we visit three pioneering retail concepts in Belgium that ooze modernization. Each shop is innovative, unique, and expressive while still functional and aligning with the brand image. Together, these factors make for a great customer experience and offer an inspiring take on retail interiors.
Retro Bookshop Cuadernos Rubio, Valencia
Cuadernos Rubio is a retro-themed kids’ bookstore chain that channels fun and creativity. The chain is well-known in Spain for its innovative interiors, with this flagship store being located in Valencia. This particular space has been created by Columbian interior designer Ana Milena Hernandez and the design agency Masquespacio. It is fun, lively, and interactive, taking an entirely new approach and traditional education retail store design.
You are met with yellow and blue neon signs directing customers to different areas upon entering the store. White mosaic tiling reminiscent of a notebook covers the walls and flooring, and the shelving and furniture are mathematical and geometric. Keeping the kids in mind, the designers have used bright and inviting colors throughout. There are also interactive elements worked into the space. Kids can solve maths problems using rotating shelving and are encouraged to get creative and write directly on the bookshelves. By transforming the space into a funhouse in this way, Hernandez has redefined educational, retail store design.
Luxury Concept Store Darial, Barcelona
While in Spain, we also ventured to the beautiful and historic city of Barcelona. Here we were amazed by a luxury concept store called Darial found in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods, Dreta de l’Eixample. The retail store design exudes a mix of Parisian chic and art deco glam. Designed by Djabe Diassamidze, the interior designer uses arched doorways, folding screens, and Persian-shaped mirrors to create an indulgent space. This echoes the chic Spanish streets outside and complements the brand image perfectly.
Guests can dine in the brasserie, sat at red velvet plush couches or sleek black and gold chairs. These metallic accents match with the striking gold ceiling and unique palm tree pillars. The statement trees are eye-catching and unique, adding definite character and flare. The muted color pallet of red and gold with monochrome tones further makes for a regal and lavish interior.
A trio of Retail Store Designs, Belgium
In Belgium, we visited several innovative examples of retail store design. A stand-out retail shop design in Belgium is that of Ace & Tate. The brand is on a mission to do its bit for our planet, pledging to be carbon neutral by 2030. And the brand has used this mission as its design inspiration. The walls of the store are all made from PE waste designed to look like brightly colored terrazzo. This is through collaboration with Plasticiet, founded by designers Marten van Middelkoop and Joost Dingemans. The pair use recycled plastic collected from across the Neverlands to create this innovative material used throughout the store.
The retail store design of Aesop in Brussels relies on unusual materials to add character. This time, designed by Bernard Dubois, terra cotta bricks turned vertically to cover the entire store from front to back.