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Visitors at last January’s Heimtextil in Frankfurt were tantalized by the presentation of Belgian wallpaper manufacturer GranDeco. At the booth, designed and built by Franken, it looked as if the actual residents of a room had just left to make way for the GranDeco team and their visitors.

Nobody is really sure what changed the paradigm of fashion, but nobody doubts that it has changed thoroughly. ‘Fashion? Great, – but please do not tell me what to wear and what not!’ Fashionista dictatorship is replaced by eclecticism: you are what you wear, you are what you read, you are what you eat… And you are what you put on your walls.

GranDeco is a world leading manufacturer of wallpapers. They operate several brands for specific target markets, two of which aim at the upmarket segments: GranDeco Boutique and GranDeco Avenue. Both ranges offer collections for the post-trend world of highly individual, expressive and demanding consumers.

GranDeco Boutique is the more exclusive range for wholesalers and specialist shops that adequately convey the luxurious yet intimate atmospheres these collections were designed for. GranDeco Avenue offers a range that caters for engaging and personal lifestyles with international collections that focus on the core values of GranDeco: expressive, creative, sensuous and inclusive. Both brands had to be presented on a 189 sqm. booth at the international tradeshow for home textiles Heimtextil, which ran from 12 to 15 January in Frankfurt, Germany. GranDeco contracted Belgium based Franken Standbouw to design and build the booth.

The first challenge the design team at Franken faced, was to explain GranDeco’s rebranding strategy. For decades, wholesalers, retailers and professional paperhangers had been using different names for the collections developed by GranDeco. Heimtextil was the unique opportunity to explain the positioning of the new Boutique and Avenue brands, their unique features and type of consumers they are aiming at. Instead of just explaining, GranDeco wanted to submerse the visitors at the booth in a number of atmospheres that would make the brand values tangible.

Rather than filling the booth with hundreds of samples of all the collections, the Franken design team split up the available floor space in eight separate modules, each one dedicated to a specific lifestyle, temperament and age range. Each module combined two floor-to-ceiling wallpaper designs on the inner walls, and was given its own lighting, floor covering and furniture to evoke a real-life interior. The outer walls of each module were covered with a translucent mesh that diffuses the light in the module into the aisles. . In order not to break the intimate mood, the old-style collection catalogues were replaced by iPads featuring the entire available range.

Almost like the Little Match Girl from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, the Heimtextil visitors were attracted by the sensuous, luxury ambiance that shone from the windows, inviting them to come in, breathe atmosphere, take a closer look at the designs, touch the velvety fabrics and absorb the classy joie-de-vivre that is expressed in many of the collections. All in all, a visit to the GranDeco booth at Heimtextil was a completely new experience for most of the visitors, triggering all of their senses and focusing on what new-school home decoration is really about: giving every single individual the tools to express himself.

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