Lee Michaels Lakeside

From Seafood to Sparkle: The Lakeside Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry

In Metairie, Louisiana, an architectural transformation took place that redefined the landscape of luxury retail. The Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry store, situated in front of the bustling Lakeside Mall, rose from the remnants of a former Red Lobster restaurant. This project was a unique challenge, necessitating the construction of a new standalone structure while being constrained by the existing restaurant’s slab foundation.

Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, with its origins deeply rooted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has grown from a singular vision of excellence in fine jewelry to become a hallmark of luxury and craftsmanship across several states. Over the years, the brand has expanded its presence, extending its reach beyond Louisiana to embrace a wider clientele while maintaining the family-oriented ethos that has been central to its success. 

Design and Development

The task at hand was to erase the seafood restaurant’s past and create a space that embodied the elegance and sophistication Lee Michaels is known for. The design solution was to marry the brand’s signature aesthetic with the practicalities of modern retail needs. Featuring terracotta roofs, stucco exteriors, and a domed entryway, the store was designed to stand out in Metairie’s commercial landscape. This transformation is a testament to the brand’s commitment to beauty and excellence, offering a sanctuary of luxury amidst the everyday hustle.

Challenges and Solutions

Designing a retail space for fine jewelry presents a unique set of challenges that go beyond the standard considerations of a typical retail environment. The layout and display cases are crucial in facilitating a luxurious yet accessible customer experience, allowing for intimate interactions with the jewelry under carefully controlled conditions. Each vendor has its own set of specifications that must be fully achieved when crafting out the various displays. This makes jewelry store design a particularly complex and nuanced area of retail architecture.

Since its opening, the Lakeside store has become a beacon of luxury in Metairie, drawing in customers with its elegant façade and refined interior. The transformation from a dated, corporate seafood restaurant to a modern jewelry store has contributed to the vibrancy of the Lakeside shopping district, elevating the retail experience for both locals and visitors.

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