As published in Furniture World Magazine
Martin Roberts Design, LLC, announced that Dwellings, founded by Luis Carrillo and Gael Alluard, just completed an extensive redesign and expansion.
Dwellings is Barbados’ most complete retailer of contemporary home furnishings and housewares. Since it’s opening in December 2006, the store has been attracting the attention of many international customers providing a one stop shopping experience for new villa owners and high-end local customers by offering all the essential items for the home. Originally, the store was approximately 6,500 square feet carrying kitchen, tabletop, bed & bath and home furnishing products.
Martin Roberts, President of Martin Roberts Design LLC, who designed the original store, was recently commissioned to design a second floor extension for the store located at Millhouse2 in Canewood, St. Michael, Barbados. With over 15,000 sq ft under lease, Dwellings recently held a grand reopening celebration to show off their newly improved store design and layout and have found that their sales have dramatically increased. Luis Carrillo notes “Our ongoing relationship with Martin Roberts Design has allowed us to continue to expand the business sensibly and profitably, where we have realized a year to year sales increase of over 10% despite the international recession. Martin brings us the right strategic insight with a design sensibility that is totally appropriate for our retailing environment”.
Dwellings now boasts an expanded kitchen department and bed and bath section with an extensive line of mattresses. They have also introduced a Design Studio for custom orders and stock designer lines like the Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams collection. With their expansion into bed and bath and the addition of interior design services for condominiums and high-end homeowners in Barbados they needed to convert more warehouse space into an additional showroom.
In Barbados it is common that warehouses are on the second floor because there are few basements as they are based on a coral island, which is not suitable for this. This scenario makes for more efficient retailing on the ground floor and for inexpensive warehousing on the second floor. A large hole was cut in the warehouse floor above to create an atrium effect and the use of a vertical mural on the staircase to welcome customers to the second floor. Martin Roberts Design LLC also created a unique Bed & Bath showroom on the second floor as well as a design resource studio (see photo 3). Martin Roberts Design LLC has provided consulting services to help the growth of the company as well as display and design fixtures in addition to visual merchandising and support. The Dwellings staff set up new displays every quarter to help keep the store fresh and updated.