In visiting many of the NYC department stores, I cannot help notice the lack of interior design that once reflected the taste and style of the clientele. For the most part stores are now either metal and glass open spaces with racks of discounted merchandise exhibiting the space's only color, pattern and texture or the current ubiquitous "warehouse" look that is supposed (I suppose) to subliminally suggest huge bargains to shoppers. I don't think that warehouse interior design comes cheap and the merchandise is not always inexpensive either.
There are, of course exceptions. My last blog was about Henri Bendel, a veritable bastion of grace and beauty. The store's interior wood paneling alone is a lost luxury that may never be replicated in a commercial space. The elegant interior is complimented by the stunning exterior that seems to be a throwback to another age. Lalique windows are set into the building's facade like jewels and the elaborate Art Deco ornamentation throughout the store bespeaks glamor, a sense of style and a shopper who is discerning. Amazingly, the entrance to the Ladies' Lounge is, in fact itself a beautiful Lounge with Barcelona chairs and glossy books (!) on sleek glass tables. The room says, "Sit a while; relax before continuing your shopping." In the snatch-and-run of today's experiences in stores, how refreshing and evocative of a time when one could stop for a few minutes to enjoy!
To learn more about Bendel's please visit: