Categories: Custom Home Designs

Lovely Monique L’Huillier II by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects


See and discover how Hughes Umbanhowar Architects designed the Monique L'Huillier II.

The Monique L’Huillier II was built in 2004 in Edina, Minnesota

The Monique L’Huillier II was built in 2004 in Edina, Minnesota, which was two years after the first location in Beverly Hills, California. Just like the first boutique, this location is also award winning. It won the 2004 MSCA Starr Award.

At 1,800 square feet, this location is large space to showcase wedding gowns and evening dresses. The atmosphere is meant to create a feeling as the introduction the important wedding, event, or gala.

Hughes Umbanhowar Architects used both natural and artificial lighting to illuminate the retail store. Doing so created depth and space in the warm environment. Similar to the veils on display, the lighting also creates some privacy with translucent perceptions.

The Design Concept

A long wall blade runs across the entire length of the store. The purpose of the board is to create a barrier between the elegant gowns and the pipes, wires, and other mechanical and electrical equipment. The wall blade also has reflective properties, which forces your eyes to recognize the extended length of the stunning room.

There are several recessed bays along one side the perimeter of the shop. The opposite side has mirrored surfaces. Using a combination of recessed bays and mirrors, the narrow boutique appears much larger and wider than its actual size.

The color palette is white, gray, and chocolate brown. These soft colors help emphasize the gowns instead of drawing unnecessary attention and distractions to the color scheme. There is a combination of carpet, stainless steel, mahogany wood, and mirrors throughout the location. These materials all work together to create a comfortable shopping atmosphere.

Importance of Light

There is a continuous fluorescent light that directs the gown racks within the framed bays of the boutique. The architect created this contrast between the fixed structures and lighting angles that define the backdrop of each gown. These lights also form a soft light and glow on the ceiling throughout the whole length of the store.

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The boutique has vertical and horizontal recessed fixed structures to diffuse the different sources of fluorescent lighting. Light diffusion forces the shopper’s eyes to stay fixed on the dresses because the corners and perimeter areas will have a slight blur.

All of the lighting tricks help make the narrow room appear wider. They also help emphasize the gowns and dresses on display throughout the space. The architect used MR-16 light that is adjustable that creates flexibility options for the store as well.

Overall, this retail space is a beautiful shopping destination for women looking for an evening gown or wedding gown. The architectural concept and design make a narrow space feel much larger.

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects

Design by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects

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