April 24, 2015

Ring in the Spring: Aurélie Bidermann New York by David Mann

It girls have been flocking to Aurélie Bidermann’s jewelry boutique in Paris. Swanning past the charming facade, its breezy striped canopy sheltering petite topiary in a window box, they encounter whimsical necklaces, bracelets, and earrings awash in beach references. It’s all very bobo, as in bourgeois bohemian. Turquoise beads and seashells dipped in 18-karat gold have been favorites in recent seasons. 

An outpost on the other side of the ocean was therefore only a matter of time.
“The original store has a Saint-Tropez feel. We carried over that resort attitude but made it a bit more sophisticated,” MR Architecture + Decor president David Mann says of the New York boutique. For inspiration, he actually looked across the country, studying photos of Los Angeles in the 1960’s and ’70’s.

Though Mann had only 700 square feet to work with, the idea was to create four distinct areas: entry, sales floor, lounge, and back-of-house. He even lost a few of those square feet from the entry in recessing the storefront, at Bidermann’s request, to make room for her trademark window box. To further complicate matters, he says, “There was a structural column right smack dab in the center. So we used it as a starting point to develop the intricate floor plan.” Adding built-ins and raising part of the floor ultimately achieved the necessary demarcations.

Speaking of the floor, he tinted newly poured concrete white for a more relaxed vibe. The ceiling, meanwhile, got four coats of high-gloss white paint and a constellation of light fixtures. “When you look up, the pattern looks completely random,” he says. “It’s actually very calculated, to focus on the objects underneath.” Wall paint is a sand color. Côte d’Azur or Malibu? 

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