Showcasing with Distinction and Class

Jewelry store casework ‘shines’ in the commercial/institutional furniture category.

By Lisa Whitcomb

Commercial/Institutional Furniture

Name: Grand International Designers Group;
Skokie, IL
Year Established: 1997
No. of Employees: 8
Shop Size: 8,000 sq ft
Specialty: Custom-made furniture and interior design.

Brookside bird’s-eye veneer is used throughout the store on all showcases. Tempered glass is used to cover the cases. To maintain the visual congruency, the carpet also has a flowing pattern.
The cylinders between each case serve as display tables for a variety of purposes throughout the store. Each cylinder has been covered with aluminum metal laminate from Chemetal.

Ultimately, the environment in a jewelry store is one that should radiate the same lavishness as the jewels it houses. Customers want to feel prestigious and pampered when they select fine jewelry. Co-owner and designer Greg Prozument of Grand International Designers Group successfully achieved such an atmosphere with jewelry store casework that won top honors in the commercial/institutional furniture category in the 2002 Design Portfolio Awards competition.

In addition to designing and fabricating the jewelry store furniture, Prozument and co-owner Andy Gerchengorin also designed the layout of the entire store from the flowing curved walls to the electricity. “The subtle design, the pleasant chromatic combinations and the practicality and high technology evoke pleasant sensations,� Prozument says. The furniture design also has a practical side, with sliding shelves in the showcases to allow the staff easy access to the merchandise, he adds.

Artistic details in this award-winning jewelry store casework project include decorative light boxes with semi-circular glass shelves and a painted faux-finish, which was applied to the walls.

“The [furniture] was designed to accommodate a particular room with a curved wall,� says Prozument. Each sculpted jewelry showcase, which features pre-stained Brookside bird’s-eye wood veneer, is outfitted with a sliding shelf, interior light and a circle-cut glass top. Prozument says he likes using the pre-stained veneer material because of its good quality.

The curved pattern of the room and casework follows through to the columns in between each display case. “The higher-level cylindrically-shaped metal tables between the showcases made it possible to fit them around the curved wall,� he says. Each plywood cylinder is covered in aluminum metal laminate from Chemetal.

The freestanding showcases create a wave-like pattern on the floor, which maximizes floor space for the customers. Because of space constrictions in the 2,000-square-foot jewelry store, Prozument says the shop built an additional two showcases with glass shelves into the walls and five smaller-sized showcases, which are set atop of metal cylinders and placed near the display window. These additional display cases have enhanced the store’s product displaying possibilities.

To give the jewelry store an overall prestigious look, the Grand International Designers Group also incorporated the following artistic details: decorative light boxes with semi-circular glass shelves, black mirrors, white leather, a black laminate countertop and a painted faux-finish, which was applied to the walls.

Prozument, who came to the United States from Russia, has been designing furniture for more than 30 years. He says he has had more than 95 exhibitions of his furniture world-wide. “It is my job,� he says, laughing. “It’s my life.�

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