The making of the Leroy Merlin Kaliningrad stores interior design

Overview• Process

Getting the task. Getting acquainted with the client company and its features. Identifying the main idea we want to reflect in the project: each client can create the interior of their dreams using the affordable products offered at the store. Deciding to show the unusual application of conventional materials and realize different styles in interior zones.

Studying the source information and the location.

Looking at how visitor flows will be distributed in the store. Realizing that we will need to take into account the location of the main alley. Inside the zone, we will need to build the pathways for people to cover the entire exhibit.

Looking at similar zones in the company’s store in France.

Realizing that European solutions are too extravagant for the Russian market: the armchair made of wood pallets will definitely remain misunderstood by our compatriots. Deciding to look at the history and architecture of the country’s most western city.

Coming to a disappointing realization that the Soviet authorities weren’t too keen on preserving German heritage. The old city is not being restored and the Royal Castle was demolished back in the 1960s. Today the city is dominated by Soviet and post-Soviet buildings.

However, people of Kaliningrad love their history and images of German houses are still reflected in the modern architecture of the city.

Creating a concept based on the materials. The space is divided into six interior zones with different functions and styles. Each zone has its own unusual element. Exit from each zone leads to the central alley.

Placing a structure around the zone to visually separate it from the rest of the store. In the initial concept it is painted in brick shades.

Deciding to use white color instead to ensure better separation from the store’s colorful variety of products.

Looking at the store’s product range and populating the zone’s interiors.

Choosing Mediterranean, Neoclassical and Scandinavian styles as well as Pop Art, Eco Style and loft.

Putting together a presentation and a video.

Making a visit to the client. Overall, they like what we are suggesting but have a couple of comments. We need to:

—add a passageway so that people have more ways to exit the area;

—increase all passageways to 1,8–2 meters (6′–7′) in width;

—add more brightness and make sure there are more differences between the zones;

—use infographics to better explain the main idea;

—use the wall behind the zone to place an ad or a slogan;

—decrease the length of the zone by 2 meters (7′).

Getting started with the changes and giving the task to the information sign designer.

Due to the decrease in length we need to change the external structure.

Searching for ideas.

Choosing the last design. We should also be able to use the house in infographics.

Deciding to continue the street theme on the neighboring wall in the shape of house silhouettes.

Choosing wall 1 for infographics as it is better visible.

The designer makes the first sketches.

OK, but a bit bland and doesn’t reveal the store’s ideology. Suggesting other options.

No, in this case photos of the interiors will dominate over interiors themselves. We need something minimalist and delicate.

Even though it’s part of the corporate pattern, the green is too conspicuous.

Better. But a simple slogan is not enough.

Preparing ideas for illustrations.

Most of the products offered by Leroy Merlin are construction materials, not furniture, the client asks to emphasize this fact.

Trying to add variants of the slogan on the wall.

Choosing the first design with all words written on the same wall. Now we have a problem: how do we include prices of products used in the interiors.

We don’t want to hang price tags, this will ruin the impression. We need to show prices on the information panel and also show availability of the products for customers.

Deciding to create an illustration of the zone on the panel, add footnotes and have a separate index with prices.

The client likes it.

Finalizing the long panels for each interior zone.

Having the idea to draw the cutaway of the house on the sign. This will allow us to show more materials and direct attention to the prices.

Creating new variants and comparing them with previous ones.

Choosing number 6 for elaboration.

Thinking over details.

We also need to have something on the reverse. Drawing the same house but in the process of being renovated.

The house is ready!

Preparing the blueprints to start the construction process. Adding bright elements to the concept of the interior and going to the client with a presentation.

Everything is OK.

The client asks to round the angles.

Making changes to the blueprints.

Visiting the store to check the materials.

Choosing materials and finalizing the blueprints. Sending the result for further elaboration.

Preparing for the start of construction.

Going to Kaliningrad to conduct designer supervision. Arriving to find main walls and structures already built.

Spending the first day walking around the store, checking availability of materials required by the project. Answering questions about complex situations, clarifying details.

Realizing that some of the products are not available in the Kaliningrad store, making changes on the spot.

There is no fireplace that we needed but there is a different one with its own dimensions.

There are no wooden windows but there are furniture panels in the shape of doors.

Making changes to the entire living room area.

Looking at the result.

On the second day we start to make changes due to materials being replaced in the explication. Giving the result to the builders.

Returning to Moscow.

Continuing supervision remotely, receiving daily photos from the construction site by mail.

The builders manage to complete the work in time for the store’s opening. Overall, the result matches the concept by about 90%.

The client is happy, hooray!