As we approach the final DFS store opening for this year (that’s 13 in total!), we wanted to ask the team behind the design some questions about the projects they have been working year.

Meet Rebekah, Alex and George!

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info@johnevansdesign.com
je+1 Meet The Designers
je+1 Meet The Designers

As a company, we’ve been in partnership with DFS designing their stores from the very first one over 35 years ago through John Evans Interiors.

For you guys in particular at je+1 (A part of John Evans Interior Architecture & Design for Retail projects), how long have you been at je+1 and how long have you worked on our DFS projects?

Rebekah: I started working at je+1 in 2014 where I was an Assistant Designer helping develop store designs for DFS, producing Technical Drawings and also learning the visual merchandising aspect. Over the last year though, I have been much more involved in running the projects as well.

Alex: I started working at je+1 this year as an Assistant Designer. Working on our Retail projects and DFS in particular has been great.  
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I’ve been able to assist Rebekah with the store design introducing some new ideas, doing the more technical side of the design that we do in-house, 
selecting the right accessories for the Furniture Displays and also doing a lot of visual merchandising.

George: I’ve been apart of John Evans and je+1 for around 5 years. I originally started working on the more Architectural side of the work we do for our Retail clients. Aside from the store’s Interior Design, we design a lot for the ‘back of house’ & staff areas of the store. More recently I’ve been overseeing that element and now I work on the general store layouts including lighting design and the feature roomset drawings. I also work alongside the team to Manage the projects, attending regular site meeting during the length of the fit-out process to help resolve any site iss

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How do you present the scheme to the client?

Rebekah: We create a design proposal presentation which has a series of plans and visuals, alongside a 3D walkthrough. This enables the client to walk through the space and visualise the finished article at a very early stage.

je+1 Meet The Designers
je+1 Meet The Designers
je+1 Meet The Designers
je+1 Meet The Designers
je+1 Meet The Designers

Is it challenging designing all of the different room sets within DFS?

Rebekah: We work very closely with DFS and their team of buyers to position the ranges in very specific areas of the store. It’s very much like a puzzle, in the sense that all of the stores are different shapes and sizes, so trying to work out where to feature key elements is important and can be difficult at times. It is also important that there is consistency within the roomsetting sizes, and the layouts to a certain extent, this ensures there is a certain standard when going into each of the different stores.

Alex: Depending on the store layout and requirements sometimes it can be difficult but it’s always about finding a good balance between the  best customer journey and the having the furniture positioned where it will attract customers to the styles the

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Where do you get your inspiration from to design the room sets?

Rebekah: We are always looking at current trends, particularly with the latest finishes and accessories and how the room sets in store can inspire the customer. It is really important in any retail store, and as DFS are seen as the leading furniture retailer, it means visiting design shows to keep up to date with the latest trends and new materials available to set the stores aside from the competition.

Alex: We do a lot of research into trends and the best way to display all of the different furniture styles to be relevant to today’s customer. Usually from furniture and design shows, interior design magazines and a bit of Instagram!

je+1 Meet The Designers
je+1 Meet The Designers

 

 

What would you say is the most important part of the Visual Merchandising in store?

Rebekah: There are so many different elements, practices and styles that can be followed for really good VM. For DFS in particular as a Retailer focused on upholstery, the key is always to display the product in the best way to look the best it can be in store. This begins in the studio developing display designs to suit a collection of styles through different features, materials, graphics and lighting. All of these elements come together, leaving the final touches of curating the spaces with the correct accessories, artwork and lighting and working together with the DFS and store staff to ensure that everybody is happy with the end result.

 

 

 

 

Alex: For me, being able to make changes on the spot and to find creative solutions for any situation, as well as working with what you have to obtain the desired results.

George: I think it’s really important to work closely with DFS buying team to ensure all of the forward planning we do is realised in store to give the best end result to ensure the store is a success.

What is your favourite part about the visual merchandising process?

Rebekah: Seeing the end result is really rewarding! Once all the pre planning has been done and the Shopfitters have finished it can sometimes seem like a really huge task ahead. After a week in-store all working together as a team, seeing the store finished and ready to open, and looking exactly as we planned it is very great!

Alex: I love how much a space can change from beginning to end and the fact that you get to see your drawings and ideas materialized. Also the team work is a fun part of the process!

je+1 Meet The Designers

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