From Stable to Guitar Heaven

From Stable to Guitar Heaven

Moving from our small ‘appointment only’ showroom up three flights of stairs in Ponsonby, to our airy open door style location in Victoria Park Market we had one focus, the customer experience. How could we make people feel open and relaxed to the point where they can simply be with an instrument and connect with it. 

One of the places that people feel most relaxed is in a good bar. When you’re sitting at a good bar and sipping on a well made drink the conversation can flow, creative ideas can spark and you feel at ease. With some experience in sitting in good bars, the team at Studio 1 Vintage Guitars set out to marry the age-old couple of guitar and bar with the intent of creating an open, inviting atmosphere with great acoustics. If you’ve ever walked into a guitar store you’ll agree that they are usually dark places with a whiff of intoxicating anxiety, ‘what will I play that will impress the staff’ you may have asked yourself. 

With this as the template to avoid we went all in to achieve our goal. The high ‘barn style’ ceiling and exposed brick walls of Shop 15 Victoria Park Market (once upon a time a horse stable) made for the perfect vintage backdrop to work with and when we brought in Janice Kumar-Ward at JKW Interior Architecture and Design to realise our vision, we knew we were onto a winner. 

Starting with a fresh lick of paint on the ceiling we then proceeded to lay cork flooring, a soft and subtle visual foundation to build upon. Janice was across everything from the ground up, from the colour and texture palette to the lighting design. From the bold, twin bars that feature highly figured Tasmanian Blackwood veneer to the retro stools in bone white and vibrant orange leather tops. The latter two items complement each other perfectly and act as the conduit to the guitar range and the ensuing conversation. Instead of choosing a fine wine or whiskey from the shelf, it’s a vintage guitar - and we encourage our customers to try as many as they can. 

To break the room up slightly and control the acoustics, some long velvet drapes were hung which also give the space dramatics usually reserved for a David Lynch film. The drapes frame our lounge space (another relaxing zone to try your new guitar) that also doubles as our film set for our online guitar demos.

Once the experts had finished and the showroom was looking beautiful, all there was left to do was to securely mount hangers for 70 odd guitars and assorted accessories and hey presto, the guitarist dream showroom. 

The design and fit out was a highly rewarding experience and the S1 crew still come to work everyday and feel privileged to be in such an inspiring environment. Furthermore, we are sure that when you visit and try our range of vintage and new guitars, you will feel inspired too. 

Take a quick tour with store manager, Ed below.