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A Peek Inside A Luxe, Feminine Bridal Salon Designed On A Start-Up Budget

AUGUST 4, 2015

San Francisco based online bridal boutique Weddington Way came to us with a design challenge we just couldn't pass up: transform a large, empty conference room into a luxe bridal salon...on a start-up budget. Decorist Elite Designer Alexis Robbins was the perfect match for this ambitious room makeover. Having worked for Restoration Hardware, Serena and Lily and Pottery Barn, she's keenly aware of the importance of store design to brand-building and importantly, the customer experience. Just as much as Weddington Way wanted to showcase their beautiful bridesmaid dresses, they wanted the experience to feel special and memorable for their guests - without having to spend a fortune on design.


Here's where we started...not quite special or memorable, right?



When we kicked off the online design process, the Weddington Way team shared an inspiration photo of a crisp, modern retail space with a single pop of color. Robbins cued off the clean, modern aesthetic and simple palette in that image, but given that she was creating a space for brides and bridesmaids to both gather and try on beautiful dresses, she infused a luxe, feminine-but-not-fussy vibe.



"I'd describe the aesthetic as luxe modern, or modern-meets-glamour", says Robbins.



The Weddington Way team talked about the idea of "creating her dream closet", which was Robbins' mantra throughout the design process. "A dream closet is about much more than the clothes. It's about the experience, the details, the feelings" says Robbins. "I brought this to life through a simple but sophisticated white and metallic palette, incorporating lacquered finishes, lucite details and rich textures like the Mongolian fur pillow and gold-flecked hide rug."



A gold wire Captain's Chair from Bend Designs sets the tone for the entire space; it's a unique, modern and glamorous twist on the traditional Captain's chair. A gold chair isn't something you see everyday, and that's what makes it the perfect addition. "To me, a dream closet is about the unexpected; design elements and details that aren't part of your "normal" dressing experience", says Robbins. And Robbins paid close attention to the details, from chic lucite and brass hooks for the dressing room from Etsy-seller LuxHoldUps to hanging brass clothing racks suspended from the ceiling, which impart an ethereal quality to the dresses.



Another out of the ordinary design element? The "floating shelf" wall. Robbins recommended installing a series of individual, clear acrylic shelves from CB2 as a chic display and storage solution. The end result? An elegant, floating bookcase where items can easily be swapped out and moved around. Even more fun? The oversized X's and O's are pulled from a tic-tac-toe set from Z Gallerie.



Small touches can really make a space feel special, whether it's a pretty box, gold dipped glasses or decorative arrows, instead of flowers, in a vase.



"A big part of my role was figuring out how to execute a luxe design vision on a more limited start-up budget" says Robbins. "I spent a significant amount of time sourcing great affordable options for the aspirational products that we wanted to include. We had our heart set on a glass bubble chandelier, for example, but the one in our inspiration photo was over $5000...much more than we wanted to spend. After a lot of hunting I found a stunning, custom-made bubble chandelier on Etsy for under $1000.



Inspired to do a little shopping? Following are a few of our favorite furniture and accessory finds from the Weddington Way makeover.



1. Bend Design Captain's Chair  /  2. For Goodness Sake Decorative Arrows  /  3. Euro Style Lighting Round White Mirror  /  4. Dot and Bo Pedestal Side Table  /  5. CB2 Credenza  /  6. The Light Factory Bubble Chandelier  /  7. Z Gallerie Calcite Geode


Need help transforming your space, in your style and on your budget? Get started with a Decorist Room Makeover!

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