Local Design Company Creates Look and Feel of New Pasadena Vallarta Market
In an industrial-looking area on Waverly Drive in Pasadena that’s close by to the much-beaten path to the 134 and 210 freeway entrances, a team of talented architects works to create shopping environments in retail centers from Mexico to Europe.
Deborah Leigh English, who began her career as a young girl by painting storefront windows and has now risen to become a designer of world-class retail spaces, leads her team of experienced designers and innovators whose design themes build on strong community connections.
DL English Design is now in the process of creating the look and feel of the renovation for the new Vallarta Supermarket that will replace Vons Market on North Fair Oaks Avenue at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena before the end of the year.
When Vallarta opens, customers can expect to see an upscale and modern design that is in keeping with the look and feel of a uniquely local Pasadena market, which expresses one of DLE Design’s strengths.
“One of the things that we’re known for is to take a brand, and then combine the community and the community’s values,” English says of her team’s design philosophy. “So we take the brand’s core values and the community’s core values and we make those come to life inside the store. Our stores tend to be highly local and community based.”
In Pasadena, DLE Design has performed design for Whole Foods on Arroyo Blvd. and also the look of a bar to the Whole Foods outlet in East Pasadena.
Deborah English herself has been creating enticing retail environments through design, architecture, graphics, and art for over 20 years, even before she started DLE Design. With various teams, English has completed over 1,000 retail design projects where she’s been responsible for all aspects of project development, from strategic planning and marketing, through construction and visual display.
As the founding principal of the 40-person firm, English has completed hundreds of projects for pioneering companies, including Whole Foods Markets, Irvine Company, Bristol Farms, and Soriana in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.
“We started out with specialty retail focusing on music and entertainment stores, and then we transitioned to doing different types of hospitality projects as well – restaurants, pubs, bars, taverns, small sundry shops, booth stores and cafes for hotels,” English says.
Prior to starting the firm, English was Vice President of Store Design and Construction for Wherehouse Entertainment, Inc. and Bristol Farms Markets, Inc. During her tenure at these firms, she managed all aspects of development, including store planning, design, architecture, environmental graphics and decor, in-store marketing, budget management, purchasing, and construction.
English is a vocal advocate for the merging of art and architecture. Passionate about both, she strives to manifest this creative vision in all DLE projects. She uses her influence to create a greater awareness in both her client base and the consumer community through highly original, intentional “hand-crafted spaces.”
“I started out painting windows for Christmas when I was about 12 years old,” English says. “Along with the art school, I started down a commercial design path and not only went to school but also started taking jobs that would help improve my skills.”
The company’s website now lists its capabilities as branded environments, architectural design, food service design, environmental graphic design, storefront and exterior design, up to project management and installation.
For Whole Foods Market, DLE Design has helped develop the prototype and subsequent designs for their new “365” store concept, launched in 2016 with expansion plans throughout 2017.
Smaller, lower-priced, and more technology savvy than their larger market cousins, the 365 retail spaces are designed by DLE with bright and transparent materials and bold graphics recalling contemporary art installations.
Apart from being a world-class designer, English has also lectured on Women in Design Leadership at the International Retail Design Conference, and on retail trends for the Industrial Design Society of America and at HD Expo.
English is also a member of the International Interior Design Association and the California Council for Interior Design.
To learn more about DLE Design, visit the company’s website, www.dlenglishdesign.com.