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Finalist-ACS 2003 - Gemesis

Viva Las Vegas! a blend of industrial, natural, and classic styles in a desert setting.

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Gemesis, Las Vegas, NV

OWNER: Bryan and Melanie Williamson; DESIGNERS: Bryan and Melanie Williamson; PROJECT COST: $10,000 – $12,000; ADDRESS: 9420 W. Sahara Ave #104 Las Vegas, NV 89117; PHONE: (702) 240-4367; DESIGN ADVICE: “Look around at lots of different types of stores, pick things that you like, and try to incorporate them into your look — and plan to spend about double of what you are think you are going to spend!”


THEREʼS A BIG DIFFERENCE between the mountains of Denver and the desert plains of Las Vegas. But both are deeply imbued with the awesome power of nature, as Bryan and Melanie Williamson discovered when they decided to relocate back to Las Vegas in 2000.

Continental DiamondThe store into which they moved already had a lot of the design elements it retains today, but there were a lot of changes to be made, especially to what Melanie, an award-winning jewelry designer, describes as the “awful” color scheme! They wanted their store to reflect their eclectic tastes, and to echo Gemesisʼ tagline: “The Evolution of Fine Jewelry” — developing traditional themes into something new and unique. This guiding ethos of evolution and progression can be clearly seen in the design of the Williamsonʼs store, where free-flowing natural forms blend with sharp, angular features, and natural, earthy touches blend seamlessly into more edgy, industrial undertones.

The Williamsons knew immediately that to stand out in their mall location, they would need to create something that would capture the imagination — and their 22 foot-high ceiling, which perfectly evokes the wide desert sky, does just that. The ceiling is deep indigo in color, and is subtly lit by diffused light from 12 separate multi-vapor street lamps. The Williamsons found the existing kidney-shaped metal sculptures which hung from the ceiling a little harsh. So they proceeded to cover them in soft, reflective fabric, and had halogen lights built into them to give a glow, as though reflecting the bold evening light of the desert sun.

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Continental Diamond interior
Gemesisʼ display cases are designed with a homey feeling in mind, and are painted with a sphere device using an actual copper glaze. This copper is continued onto other casing areas, and onto the walls themselves, and adds warmth to the overall effect. There are also two 9-foot high wall cases, which are elevated on copper spheres, carrying on the spherical motif, which is also seen on the jewelry cases. The exterior windows feature gilded vine sculptures, and the floor is acid-stained and inlaid with tiles at the entrance, sweeping into a curve of carpeting which invites customers into the rear of the store. Thereʼs a private area for consultations which has the feel of a warm study or den, where customers can relax and enjoy the Gemesis experience.

The panel enjoy the mixed media approach taken by the Las Vegas store. Fred declares, “This store is very cool. The owners have painstakingly pored over every detail, from the acid-stained concrete floor to the kidney sculptures on the ceiling.” Debbie says that for her Gemesis is “the perfect desert chic,” adding, “The decor is trendy, sleek and sexy. I particularly like the sky theme … which allows for interesting lighting options, and offers an industrial element in the exposed ductwork.” Penny ranks the store highly too, saying: “Very dramatic, yet comfortable. Very Vegas.” Brett and RoxAnna are not quite so awed as the others, though RoxAnna does tip a nod to the “interesting ceiling treatment.”

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