Branding or Boutique Design

Boutique Design Is An Aesthetic That Everyone Is Copying

As a former faculty member of the New York School of Interior Design Cuoco Black has had the opportunity to study the impact that the Boutique Design aesthetic has had in the realm of commercial interior design. Black believes those enterprises which employ Boutique Design and other trends in their interiors ultimately…

•Undermine their marketing position

•Compromise their differentiation strategies

•Reduce their customer/client/member base

•Erode their profits

“What is Boutique Design?”

As an exercise the problem is illustrated in the images below.


All screen captures from the internet each are beautiful testaments to the designer’s skills. Ask this question however, when you first saw the images could you readily say…

•What was being marketed in each space?

•What does the design of each of these spaces represent…what do the spaces convey?

•Is there some emotion, queue or signature that telegraphs the client’s brand?

•As an independent entrepreneur, would an interior design aesthetic such as these serve your marketing position?

…if commercial spaces copy the same design style the resulting impact is a predictable pedestrian experience. When customers see the same design style in restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores and so on….an enterprise looses the opportunity to telegraph their uniqueness to this customer…instead of standing out from the competition they swim in a sea sameness competing against price, product and service.

“Enterprises embracing interior design trends undermine their marketing platform and their ability to establish a unique corporate signature”
-Cuoco Black

The images above, in no particular order are…a hotel lobby, a fitness center and a restaurant…