"Really wonderful and thoughtful transformation. The beautiful and artistic canopy helps define the new and beautiful checkout area. Taken together the whole project is a tour de force!"
2021 NARI Regional CotY Award Judges
The basement was rejuvenated with custom-made period appropriate cabinetry, exposed rustic Alder shelves supported by brackets forged by a local blacksmith, and plenty of space to organize laundry and crafts.
Moveable storage sections adjust to your changing needs.
Art Museum Gift Shop: Enticing retail experience
Commercial interior remodel; Sheboygan, Wisconsin: Located within the John Michael Kohler Art Center, this gift shop offers a unique collection of one-of-a-kind gifts handcrafted by North American artists and includes jewelry, functional art and home décor. Although the museum is known for innovative arts programming, and embraces a broad range of artists, the gift shop did not reflect those ideals.
The narrow entry hid the shop from view and did not invite people into the space. The interior was dark, despite a wall of windows.
More thrift store than exclusive shop offering one-of-a-kind gifts, heavy wooden boxes clumped together to make display cases, giving the impression of a jumble sale.
The sales reception desk disappeared into the clumps, lost in the jumble of display boxes. It wasn’t identifiable as the sales or service counter.
The glass front entry wall, custom-framed in Hard Maple reveals the exciting treasures within, enticing you to enter. The lines are modern and clean, from the pattern of the marble tile, the design of the entry wall, to the displays and the customer service counter.
Using more glass and metal in the modern museum-quality display cases lightens the overall look of the fixtures and makes the products more visible. The overall impression is high end boutique.
At the center of the shop is the custom-designed customer service hub made of Hard Maple, Quartz and glass, itself a well-crafted piece of art. This work space has secure display cases, a counter area for serving customers, a desk area for administrative tasks and a lower counter space for accessibility.
A “cavity within a cavity” construction method created sections of storage that can be removed and rearranged as needed, using adjustable shelves and shelf pins. The storage can evolve as the client’s needs change.
A “floating” ceiling installation of Hard Maple planks, conceptualized by the gift shop staff, was inspired by the architecture of a nearby building. This unique art piece draws the eye and frames the customer service desk.
Handcrafted Hard Maple door matches larger main entry doors and leads to private office space behind the customer service desk.
Custom-made glass enclosed display cases, accessible from the enclosed office, flank the back of the customer service desk.
Spotlights above the narrow shelving units by the window and in display cases, hanging lighting bars and accent lighting in the canopy over the customer service counter draw the eye and make every item in the shop visible from any angle.
The new gift shop now acts as a standalone retail destination, and as an extension of the art museum experience. It is welcoming, energizing and a place to linger. Shop items are highly visible and easily featured on the display units. Art is in every design element, especially the handcrafted central customer service desk and the canopy above it. This modern, bright welcoming gift shop will continue to inspire and entice museum visitors for years to come.
This project won the following awards and recognitions:
2021 NARI Regional CotY™ (Contractor of the Year) Award for Commercial Interior
2020 NARI Milwaukee RotY (Remodeler of the Year) Award for Commercial Interior