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hoodleehoo 11-02-2012 10:56 AM

interior design question
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I manage a gold buying location that's very small. I don't want it to look like a pawn shop, I'd rather it look more like a jeweler or something a bit more classy. Anyway, I have to do it out of my own pocket so I can't afford much. Attached is the picture of the front of the store. As you can see, it's ugly. It's all glass and I hate the blinds. It lights up the entire inside and I need to lessen that.

I'm thinking that I want to paint the top of the windows black (giving the illusion that the top of the windows is actually on the same level as the top of the door. Then put sheer curtains on the windows down to the ground and maybe some dark brown curtains with a valance on the sides pulled back to look more fancy. This raises several questions:

1. Should the sheer curtains be connected at the top and bottom of the windows to prevent blowing around when the door is open?

2. Should the sheer curtains be separated and confined to each individual window, or spread across the separation between the two windows making it look like one big window? If so, how?

3. How do I put the valance across the separation between the windows (which sticks out a couple of inches)?

Thank you so much! I'm desperate for help!!!

beenthere 11-02-2012 06:32 PM

Moved to interior decorating forum.

user1007 11-02-2012 06:49 PM

Interesting challenge. Are you sure your major issues are with the windows? Never be too quick to close off natural light in any interior design scheme. If I were you and the glaring light is an issue. Diffuse it with some nice, custom, honeycomb blinds. Do not block it.

Don't take offense and I mean my comments as constructive criticism. I do understand you have a limited budget so phase changes. Your reception area strikes me as cold as ice. Cold gray carpeting (just an area rug over it would make a huge difference) and four sterile chairs.

Just for fun, I would find a local company or franchise that could output you some nice simple vinyl signage. I would think about maybe tiny gold nuggets to go in the middle of your window panels with your company name, if small underneath. Maybe you would not even need the name.

I cannot imagine a tougher business than yours to be in. I mean come on brother, the ultimate retail price of what you buy and sell is published daily. I was on the highend of the dental industry back when just about anything artificial in your mouth was gold, paladium or silver. I worked for a division of an alloy company and saw what selling and buying precious metals did to people. We had nice technology dentists needed to have with our gold part of the equation so we lived well. I was in PR when gold hit its still lifetime and ridiculous high. Funeral directors were salvaging rusty cans full of dental crowns.

Right now if I were to come to your place of business to deal in gold, and a few grand worth were in my pocket, I think would feel more comfortable sitting on a small cushioned sofa and in a comfortable chair than those "temporary get out of town quick" things I see in your photo. I don't like the look that you would keep me waiting long enough to sit with 3-4 others unrelated and perhaps with different motives wanting to sell you gold.

Friends of mine now own one of the largest databases for precious gems in the World. In dealing with them as a client I got to visit lots of people dealing in precious stuff with value, just behind what I could not see. All designed their lobbies with less is more looks. There were no overly obvious barriers or security presence although I suspect if anybody triggered an alarm swat teams would drop from the ceiling tiles.

You know more about what you need to feel comfortable and safe on the other side of the counter but warm up your waiting area. Make it feel more like people should be recycling or buying gold through you. Do you want customers honestly selling Grandma's heirlooms or junkies twitching to get out of your waiting area in minutes? You can design for one percentile and satisfy the other to a point but it will never work the other way around.

I would never cross your space all the way from the entry to whatever that reception desk is holding in terms of publications. Tall reception desks like I see do inspire any degree of warmth or comfort in me. Again, maybe it is part of your security scheme but as mentioned. And your magazines or publications should be the high end ones about your trade and not US or flick chick titles.

Right now, if your receptionist asks me to have a seat, I would have to deal with your reception area again. Unless I really needed the money I would probably just leave and find your competitor. Like I mentioned, I would know the intrinsic value of my gold walking through your door. If I did not or thought there was extra value in how it was shaped into say jewelry. I would really want to feel comfortable waiting to see you and gain your value added expertise.

hoodleehoo 11-03-2012 10:38 AM

Thanks for your response. We are definitely an honest company (even though being honest hurts us financially), and we are located near a very rough part of town. I have to deal through bullet proof glass because we were robbed at gunpoint a couple of years ago.

I now manage the store, but any changes come out of my own pocket and I just don't have that much. I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on this!

I'd like to warm it up with light coming from lamps and maybe some DIY accent lighting on some framed art. The carpet actually has a brown color to it that just looks like gray because of the chairs. I'm thinking about going an african type theme with dark browns, beiges, with orange, yellow, and gold accents. I don't know what to do with the chairs, though. they have some brown in them, but are a mess of color that just looks awful. Can't afford to replace them.

In order to warm it up via table lamps and accent lights I have to drastically reduce the horrid brightness from the sun which makes the place look like a DMV. I'm thinking maybe just some brown sheer curtains?

hoodleehoo 11-03-2012 10:42 AM

BTW, in case you are interested, the retail price is actually the spot price. That price only means that 99.99% fine gold weighing an ounce that comes from a respected dealer is currently sold for that amount. No person off the street can get that price. (If you were wanting to buy fine gold, would you buy it from someone you didn't know instead of a respected, validated, dealer if the price was the same?) Plus, nothing made with gold is fine gold. It's mixed with other metals. What businesses like ours do is take jewelry, find out if it's real (probably half of it is actually fake or a different purity than what is marked) through a lot of different tests, pay cash for it. Then we take it to have it melted and refined into gold that is bought by the respected dealers who then sell it at that retail price. Each link in the chain takes a small percentage. :)

ddawg16 11-03-2012 11:05 AM

Well....if your area is going the direction it is in will soon have to operate as a pawn other words, track every single purchace with the sellers info.....

A majority of stollen gold jewelry gets sold in places like yours. I would be willing to bet that half of your buys involve stollen gold.

hoodleehoo 11-03-2012 12:44 PM


Originally Posted by ddawg16 (Post 1043816)
Well....if your area is going the direction it is in will soon have to operate as a pawn other words, track every single purchace with the sellers info.....

A majority of stollen gold jewelry gets sold in places like yours. I would be willing to bet that half of your buys involve stollen gold.

We have to do that anyway. State and federal law (patriot act). All jewelers and dealers of precious stones and metals have to.

KristaLoreck 11-07-2012 02:24 PM

Goog blog with some painting tips-- particularily one about how to do a detailed accent wall.

Decorate 2 Sell 12-31-2012 07:00 AM

Curb appeal
Hi - I am knew to this website & it is chock full of info.
I work with small retail businesses - helping them with curb appeal.
When you consider your windows - think in layers.

Here are some suggestions (jmho):
1. Try not to "black out" the room with dark colors.
It sounds like the room is bright - and buyers love light & bright.

2. This is a retail function - think upscale & get inspired.
Nordstroms & other big department stores have large glass windows for window shopping.
They use window panels aka panel curtains all the time - flat fabric panels that are not traditional gathered curtains.

Ikea has some great ones

The panels soften any harsh sunlight & buffer any "outside activity."
However, they are welcoming & inviting.

3. Drapes (floor to ceiling) in an off-white that are stationary & hung at the corner.

Note: Sounds like your business is all about service - make the buyer feel safe & comfortable with neutral colors.

Let us know how it goes.

Wishing you great success with your business!


Blindscanada 01-16-2013 06:08 PM

What to do in the shop windows
If you are on a budget which I understand you are I would recommend using Cellular Shades. I would consider having them motorized so you can open them when the light changes during the day and into the evening. to that end I would say to use Lutron Serena Blinds.

If you need any help please let us know.


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