I think I see Mary in that water mark; she’s saying don’t buy.

I recently walked into a few shops along the Mamaroneck end of Mamaroneck Avenue and 4 out of the 6 stores I strolled into left me riddled with a single question about their floor presentation. Well more the opposite of their floor presentation;

Why do businesses, retail in particular, have beautiful interiors but still use cheap paneled ceilings?

If I were to play a free association game and these upward eyesores were given I’m positive I’d immediately blurt out one of two things, hidden water damage or snow (for those of you who’ve been lucky enough never to have to move one of these bad boys they almost always molt as if you were ripping up papier-mâché).

I am not concerning myself with thrift shops and nickel and dime bodegas that could care less what their ceiling tiles look like; what I’m talking about are boutiques and shops with brilliant and professionally designed aesthetics that continue to use these panels.

I feel the thought may have been that the ceiling was a place where cheap was easy and better because it’s not as immediate to the eye. I can tell these proprietors that that is true, at first. I have been to a shop multiple times and even considered myself a regular without noting the ceiling, until of course I do. The thing is I always eventually do, and once I have the store’s atmosphere takes a step down and even becomes tainted in my mind.

I don’t mean to say this with a vain implication but a ceiling is a constant presentation of your brand and your business; it’s not a dusty floor or a light bulb that just went. Also it implies that the owner was willing to give you this atmosphere, only as far as the eye could stretch. It adds a sense of deceptiveness, something anyone selling anything should avoid at any cost. Don’t become a car salesman in your customers mind.

The stores I’m talking about are where people buy their styles for home and wear, you want them to feel as if they’re headed to a fountain of youth that also knows their name and how they like their coffee.

As for the companies that are not retail based, these same concerns should exist. People judge, and clients are people. You do not want to be the business that hides the spot from a dripping pipe with a hibiscus. It presumes the questions, ‘what else are they hiding?’ Every HR guru preaches that environment is everything. Wii game systems and punching bags are being put into lounge/break areas and cubicles are being hashed, revised and evolved.

Options for cheap yet eye responsive ceilings? They exist, and companies like USG have interesting and even artistic answers to the concerns of your bookkeeper.



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