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Honolulu, Hawaii
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(917) 216-8154

An artistic collaborative of artists, designers, makers and craftsmen focused on the creation of unique experiences and conceptual environments.  Building moments to be explored and remembered through the conception and creation of custom art installations, interior design, events, set design, styling & visual merchandising.

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Filtering by Tag: IDL

Behind the Scenes: Marathon Map Wall

Nikole Nelson

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Pre-demolition. Wall on the right (with the round mirror hanging up high) is to become our Marathon Map Wall!

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Test made using embossed plaster technique.

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Cutting the enlarged template down into manageable pieces for stamping.

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Photography by Conor Doherty

Behind the Scenes: Plaster and Patinas

Nikole Nelson

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Raw space post demolition.

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Having pulled an all-nighter, the plaster textured walls are looking quite dramatic!

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Close-up of textured plaster treatment.

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Perfectly patinaed garage doors!

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Pre-demolitian. Under those terrible pressed wood slats hide some gorgeous original garage doors just waiting to be discovered and brought to aged perfection!

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In-studio tests of various patina treatments on metal.

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Left: Initial demo of old flooring reveals original hexagonal penny tiles. Right: First layer of patina on floor letters.

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And voila!!

Photography by Conor Doherty

Behind the Scenes: NB Marathon Bib Wall Treatment

Nikole Nelson

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Raw space in construction.

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Design development tests done in-studio to create texture, plaster application process, depth and tones of final treatment.

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Creating large, on-site sample of bib texture based on studio tests.

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Painting embossed sample to accentuate texture and design detail.

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Final on-site sample to be used as guide for in store execution.

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Checking scale of bibs along top of brick walls... Plastering to begin over installed diamond lathe.

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Liz and Jenny prepping the silicone casts for embossing the plaster.

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Embossed plaster in progress!

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Checking temperature of plaster - when hot you know the magic is happening!

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Embossed plaster left overnight to cure completely before painting.

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Now that the plaster is dry, we begin painting to pull out the proper tones, creating depth and drama.

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Texture begins to visibly pop with final paint application.

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Collaboration is the key to dynamic success and this gorgeous store is no exception to the rule. New Balance Creative Director and brilliant mind Mark Keegan crafted and lead a team of designers, artists and makers, each experts in their given fields, to bring his retail vision to life. In tandem with NB Senior Store Designer Kirsten Marchand, our team manifested the essence of NB Excellence. Over the next few weeks we will bring you more behind the scenes action - diving into our entire project scope. It was both an honor and a privilege to be a part of this crazy-talented team on our SECOND New Balance Experience store! The players:

Design Mastermind: Mark Keegan, NB Creative Director

Interior Guru: Kirsten Marchand, NB Senior Store Planner

Graphic Design: Linda Loiewski, LX2

Silicone Plate Production & NB Neon Sign: IDL Worldwide

Artists and Makers: Nikole Nelson Studios (aka, hot construction chicks ;)

Photography: Conor Doherty

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Behind the Scenes: Experience Store In Construction

Nikole Nelson

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Collaborating with assembly area designers IDL, painted distressed NB logo on floor.

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Raw space pre-construction.

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Assembly area floor, beginning stages of construction.

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Design development floor samples.

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Photograph by Jeff Harris

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Our muscle! We love Allstate Electric!On the roof of our studio in Red Hook for celebratory laughs and beers at sunset.

During our 3 week stay on the New Balance construction site we tackled the rear wall (seen in earlier behind the scene post), the column restoration and the floor treatment in the assembly area. At the hottest point of the summer, during a heat wave, in an unventilated space, with zero natural light, we forged side by side with skilled construction teams to achieve dynamic results. A construction site can easily be compared to a beehive - it is no joke, especially in New York City. These dudes were serious craftsman and took their trades to the extreme. The amount of energy and collaboration was invigorating and we earned our stripes successfully amongst them, hot-pink hardhat and all. There was not a day the boys didn’t assist our team in one way or another – from lifting our 20 ft scaffolding to teaching me new methods of building – it was an experience I will not soon forget.

We painted a distressed oversized NB logo in the assembly area and developed the staining process for the wood floors throughout the space. The columns were stripped down to the original metal, cleaned and finished, restoring their full beauty. This was one messy job – wet, dirty and grimy. During the finishing process, antique graffiti was discovered adding to the store's visual story, peeling back the layers of time to reveal and respect the building’s history.

After 3 long HOT weeks we returned to our studio in Red Hook on top of the world. As we watched the sunset celebrating our power (we were quite pumped up on testosterone) our minds began shifting to the next stages of greatness ahead…the production of the 13’ front art sculpture…

More behind the scenes on final stages of New Balance Experience store coming soon! 

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Behind the Scenes: New Balance Experience Store

Nikole Nelson

Photograph by Jeff Harris

Harnessing the power of the retail experience we imparted an organic, deconstructed, visual journey through the evolution of the brand at the recently opened New Balance NYC Experience Store on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.

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Raw site pre-construction.

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Nelson's early concept sketch for rear wall of store.

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Design development sample focusing on movement and texture.

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Drawing in breakaway design before brick work begins.

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Mortar application and final texturing in progress.

Photograph by Jeff Harris

This takes my love of mortar, concrete, dirt, texture and RED to a new level. Collaborating with skilled masons the back wall was built to mimic the existing brick throughout the space dating back to the 1800's. Layers where the key to authenticity - mortar was custom tinted, thickly applied and strategically scraped after drying. It was labor intensive and pretty damn crazy - my entire team is now equipped with ripped arms as a result of this process! Who needs the gym when you have the summer of New Balance brick lovin!

Inspiration took seed in a matter of seconds as I stood in the raw space, with architectural drawings by retail masters Cormark, in hand. Scanning the space meticulously I calculated the imagery of each wall - the demolition was gorgeous. Areas of the wall were ripped open revealing the inner workings of the structure. It was like a day in heaven - I love all things deconstructed. From the walls of the architecture itself the movement of the red breakaway was born. Pepper in the collaborative layers of signage by IDL, visual merchandising displays by Knock and the sickest texture mapping a girl has ever seen by KLIP and you find an experience worth craving.

More behind the scenes at the New Balance NYC Experience Store to follow in the coming week. Stay tuned!

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