12 Tips From 1992: How Jewelers Can Add Bling to Their Diamond Rooms

I had never heard of a “diamond room” until I cracked open the October 2010 issue of JCK

However, back in the February 1992 issue of JCK, Jerry Fornell—then-president of Chicago Design Group, a jewelry store design firm—made a strong case that retailers should have a separate selling space for their diamond merchandise.

Here are the guidelines Fornell gave jewelers in order to create an “effective, aesthetically pleasing diamond room”:

  • A diamond room should create a private and comfortable area in which to close your most important sales. The room should be devoted to a single purpose, and not have to double as a workroom or storage area. It can, however, be used for appraisal and employee or customer education.
  • Locate the room near your finest quality merchandise.
  • Visually, the room should appear open. Separating it from the rest of the store with translucent panels, smoked glass, or vertical blinds provides a nice balance of openness and privacy.
  • The room should hold at least two customers and a salesperson.
  • Ambience counts: A diamond room should be inviting, clutter-free, and simple in form and furnishings.
  • The room should be decorated in soft, subtle colors. Décor should be tasteful, but not overly elaborate.
  • Use quality carpet or perhaps a small area rug over highly polished hardwood floors.
  • High-end fabrics can cover walls and customer chairs; leather is another option for the latter.
  • If the store has laminated display cases, consider using marble.
  • General lighting should be soft, with proper direct lighting above merchandise presentation areas. A table lamp or task light can supplement overhead lighting. Wall scones or torch lights are other good indirect lighting choices.
  • Keep phones and computer equipment out of sight.
  • Producing this room need not strain either your space or financial resources. To create and furnish a 10 foot x 12 foot room typically adds about $25 per square foot to the regular $150–$200 per square foot cost for your store design and construction.
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