I DVR’d (is that a word?) Antonio Ballatore’s new HGTV show (that aired on Sunday, August 29, 2010) and just got a chance to watch it. Antonio put his spin on a trendy retail space named Pull My Daisy in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
All I can say is “WOW!”
OK…. there is much ado from the fans of HGTV about Antonio and whether or not they like him. What the public has to realize is that you have to embrace the PROCESS and the CONCEPT even if the execution is not always to their liking. There is so much to glean from being inside the “mind of design.” I just wish the HGTV viewers would take a “chill pill”, as they say, and sit back and learn something…because there is ALWAYS something to be learned.
Here is my list of things that I loved about this re-design:
- The idea of watching a space that is NOT a residential space is refreshing. Time and time again we have seen programs, hosted by Christopher Lowell to David Bromstad, featuring design ideas from public spaces. There actually used to be a program called Public Spaces, Private Places, or something like that. It’s wonderful to draw inspiration from unexpected sources.
- Antonio uses neutrals really well in this space. The merchandise should take center stage, and the neutral backdrop helps to make this happen; but his neutrals were far from boring or non-descript. He used a good dose of strong contrast to create graphic impact.
- The space tells a story. He has infused so much of his own personality but, even more so, the image and personality of the store and it’s owner.
- The graphic mural that is visible from the street is SUPERB. From the street, he created a strong foreground, middle ground, background relationship using the graphic contrast of black, silver, white and gray. The window is the foreground…the desk creates a middle ground…and the eye carries you all the way back to the mural in the background. GENIUS visual effect.
- The only element I was not too wild about was the palm tree “buttresses”. However, while they were not my taste, I can definitely appreciate the inspiration and what he was going for by including them. I would have preferred something more abstract and geometric. The trees were just a bit too literal for me and I think their massiveness kind of took away from the merchandise.
- Using Bao Tranchi to style the store – Magnificent!
- Personal touches such as the story with Bingo, the dog, and the relationship with Antonio’s father and being able to draw on his dad’s expertise provided some heartfelt moments and was very special, indeed.
- And the most important? Antonio infused a good dose of functionality by analyzing the store’s workflow and incorporating practical elements including an automated Point-of-Sale system.
- The client’s reaction…..priceless.
Prior to the airing of this program, my personal jury was still “out” on Antonio also. Well, MY jury is “in” on this designer…and I say “case dismissed”! Antonio… you’re the real deal.
Here is the actual shop location:
Pull My Daisy
3908 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
Check out some shots below of Antonio’s finished work. So sorry for the image quality. I tried to find some actual images and was unable to….so I got creative! 🙂