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In Valencia, an Artful Children’s Boutique by Clap Encourages Creativity

The store’s tall, arched apertures opened up last year like an excited child’s eyes. Behind its white-tile facade is the bright and welcoming interior of Little Stories, a children’s boutique in Valencia, Spain, designed by Clap as equal parts retail environment and playground.

In visioning sessions, store owners Josan Peris and Tony Sanchez expressed their desire for families to be irresistibly drawn to their curated selection of sneakers, backpacks, and caps. Clap then extracted essential traits of successful children’s stores, such as simplicity and adaptability of design. From there, the firm built everything visible—except for the items for sale. “Every detail is designed to encourage play but, at the same time, highlight the merchandise,” Clap co-founder Àngela Montagud says.

Display shelves magnetically attach to a lacquered steel plate screwed to reinforced plasterboard. Photography by Daniel Rueda.

Passersby young and old may feel a pull starting with the black doodle graphics and mysterious protruding yellow tube emblazoning the exterior, aptly located in the city’s artsy Russafa district. Inside the store’s tidy 750 square feet, pops of primary colors cavort with cylindrical pendant fixtures and arced mirrors against pale-gray concrete flooring painted with swoops and starbursts. Easily moveable product displays enable the merchandising to stay fresh. The shoe wall, for example, employs magnets, so that not only the product but also the shelves can be rearranged in a snap.

But all this child’s play is actually rooted in art history. Clap’s inspiration for the shop’s design comes from graphic artists such as Timothy Goodman and Shantell Martin. Hand-drawn murals and supercharged bursts of color are impactful no matter your age.

Custom stools stand on flooring of self-leveling concrete coated with zero-emission polyurethane. Photography by Daniel Rueda.

Project Resources: Cerámicas Vilar Álbaro: Tile. Ion Creaciones: Custom Stool Cushions. MJVMarí: Custom Mirrors. Cortinarte: Custom Curtains. Sika: Paint. Luz Negra: Track Lighting. Matraz: Architect of Record. Taller de Piñero: Woodwork.

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