Small changes make big differences in business makeovers

SMALL CHANGES , BIG IMPACT: Eric Whitfield, architect from WIER+BOERNER of Jackson, was one of the guest speakers at Picayune Main Street, Inc.’s general membership meeting held on Thursday night.  Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

SMALL CHANGES , BIG IMPACT: Eric Whitfield, architect from WIER+BOERNER of Jackson, was one of the guest speakers at Picayune Main Street, Inc.’s general membership meeting held on Thursday night.
Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Eric Whitfield, an architect from WIER+BOERNER of Jackson, was one of the guest speakers at Picayune Main Street, Inc.’s general membership meeting held Thursday night.

Picayune Main Street Manager Reba Beebe and Whitfield described his presentation as an introduction to community design. Whitfield said the ideas shared during his slideshow represented projects that Picayune could accomplish easily and with little effort.

He said there are three strategies that can be utilized in façade redesign and area development. He said Picayune fits the historic profile.

“In similar communities that the company has implemented redesign strategies for historic types of buildings, we tried to restore it to the original appearance the best we could,” Whitfield said. “If it was a historic building with non-historic use we would approach it with a historical look but repurposed it for modern needs—such as an old gas station that we turned into a café.”

He said the goal is to make buildings look consistent in their overall aesthetic qualities and then shared some thoughts to help business owners reach that goal.

Color is important—so, his company uses a lot of Earth and muted tones. If in fact brick is involved, his company would leave it as it was.

He said Lexington is an example of architectural items to mimic.

“We chose the more historical types of awnings that fit windows and did not place them across the entire width of building,” Whitfield said.

He suggested business owners look around for pictures that inspire their business community.

Signage is important as well. He said an effective graphic design and employing a branding makes a difference in drawing in consumers. Sign colors can compliment the business’ exterior colors.

Whitfield suggested using doors and windows with wood trim or visible character because they are inviting.

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