Award-winning Melbourne interior designer Mardi Doherty of Doherty Design Studio has created a stunning new flagship store for Marquise, Australia’s best-loved babywear brand for almost 90 years. And, in a retail sector that is saturated with brash and garish outlets, this sublime store in Melbourne’s Malvern Central offers, instead, an oasis of calm beauty that perfectly reflects the romance and excitement of anticipating a newborn child.
From the enchanting peek-a-boo entrance featuring a deliberately imperfect organic curved circular form, through to signage placed deliberately at toddler height, the whole store has been designed with a sense of gentle playfulness. Of course, it was of paramount importance that it appeals to its adult customers, so a certain level of sophistication was required. “We wanted to create a store that is playful and nostalgic, and that showed true appreciation for the intricacies and pleasures of shopping for baby clothes,” says Director Mardi Doherty.
Thoughtful design ensures that customer comfort and experience is paramount, but also that the merchandise is thoughtfully displayed in the custom cabinetry throughout. Perfectly designed fixtures work to showcase the delights of baby clothes, with the scale ensuring that even the tiniest pieces are visibly appreciated.
However, it is the subtly gentle colour palette that is the true hero, lending a prevailing sense of serenity to the shopping experience. On the walls, there is textured plaster in muted porcelain pink, as well as blush ceramic tiles. The custom clothing racks are gently rounded, and an occasional pop of cobalt blue enlivens the scheme. The choice of Fibonacci Stone’s Neues Grey for the flooring lends strength to the overall palette, and is a perfect choice for the foot traffic of a retail environment due to its innate strength. According to Mardi, “We chose the tile because it is just ridiculously beautiful and it provided the perfect balance to the other finishes in the space, which were largely in nude tones.”
“Mardi Doherty has done it again,” says Fibonacci Stones creative director Michael Karakolis. “Her signature use of sophisticated curves and the clever composition of materials is a standout in both domestic and commercial designs. We are thrilled in the way she has used Neues Grey for this stand-out project. It’s not the colour palette you would typically expect…”
Inspired by mid C19th Brutalist forms, Neues Grey is raw in its aesthetic, with large, increasingly rugged chips of marble and rock set within a neutral grey concrete base. Its robust appearance still exhibits a very high-level uniformity and consistency en masse. Available in 400×400, 600×600 & Small Format Slabs 1530x680x30mm.
As with all Fibonacci Stone designs, Neues Grey is a stocked item with no lead-time, no delays, and no reselections.
Photography by Sean Fennessyy