Broadly, there are two schools of thought when it comes to selling children’s merchandise – commodity or lifestyle – and rarely anything in between.

This store, which opens in Athens this week, is certainly lifestyled, but not in such a manner that it becomes either cutsie or archly self-conscious.

Dubbed Life Time – the clue’s in the name – this is a store that Valerie Lloyd, managing director at London consultancy Design Ministry, which created the interior, claims takes children and their parents on a journey, rather than a simple trawl around a kidswear shop.

The 2,500 sq ft, single-floor space achieves this through a series of in-store vignettes including “pods”, a girl’s one and a boy’s one, which take the form of mid-floor square boxes with gender-specific collections in each. These are accessed via large circular holes in a single wall of each of the pods, adding to the sensation of a shop within a shop.

Large square lanterns are used to lower the height of the ceiling and this cubic use of space is copied around the perimeter, which features an accessory wall with square green plinths protruding from it.

The sense of the geometric continues with wallpaper in the form of a series of image frames. Children are encouraged to draw pictures that are placed within the frames to create an in-store art gallery.

This is the second Life Time store and it is located on Athens’ busiest shopping street. More shops are planned in Greece and international expansion is under consideration.

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