Understanding what you sell, not just the product but all the emotions that people experience when buying and using them, is a vital part of succeeding in business. The design of retail environments plays an essential role in determining this.

FREAKS freearchitects, despite the name, know how to do this very well. They recently designed the interior for Helicosm, a cosmetics shop in Paris. The business model for this shop is different in that customers make their own cosmetics with the help of tutors in the shop. Upon entering the shop, it feels like you have just been plunged into the deep blue ocean in the South Pacific. The walls, floor and ceiling are all finished in a cool mint. The only break in this is the wooden corridor running down the length of the shop. The corridor frames an image of a mountain and lake spanning the entire back wall. It is as if the corridor is a passage into a prisine natural wonderland. The corridor also holds shelf displays and hides services and storage. The use of the corridor in such a long and thin shop works well in dividing it into usable sections. The front of the shop is taken up by its cosmetics “kitchen.” This is where the customers mix up their personal cosmetic recipes. The workbench is a simple angular block that melds into the floor.

The clean mint color and unembellished design helps visitors enter an appropriate frame of mind to best appreciate the beauty experience; and naturally draws focus to the product.