Display Tip: Making A Bed

This is not a bed.

Let me explain it this way:
There's a famous Rene' Magritte painting of a pipe,
with the words "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." - 'This is Not a Pipe.' on the painting.
You might argue, yes, it IS a pipe.

Monsieur Magritte himself said of his work
"The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! 
And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? 
So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!"

Magritte painted The Treachery of Images (the actual name of this piece)
in 1928/29 when he was 30 years old. 
It is currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 
The painting is merely an image of a pipe... and so the description, "this is not a pipe."

Learn more about Rene' Magritte's painting on Wiki

Sometimes, things are not what they seem.

So I shall appropriate Monsieur Magritte's way of thinking for this post...
where I shall share 'a treachery of display' tip
that I've found many people creating displays don't know about!
The bed in this window display is not, in fact, a bed. 
It is an IMAGE of a bed.

The head board and footboard are a 'real' headboard and footboard.
The duvet and pillows are 'real'.
But the 'mattress' covered by the duvet is not a mattress.
It is a TABLE. A solid wood rectangular dining table, to be exact.

Bed linens look best ON a bed.
Beds are difficult in stores because they take up so much room -
on the sales floor in displays, in windows, and in storage when not in use.
Use a dining table to make a bed!

Zip-tie the headboard to one short end, the footboard to the other,
(you will need to hold them up off the ground, 
as a table sits higher than a mattress, and will hide much of the headboard detail)
 then dress the table as you would a bed.

If you need a 'dust skirt' to hide the legs beneath a comforter, 
place a long tablecloth or fabric over the whole table - then add comforter and pillows.

The bed in THIS window display is not a bed, either.

It is a coffee table, topped with a crib mattress.
The mattress sits sideways, approximating the width of a twin bed.
The full-size comforter was folded in half lengthwise, then placed over the mattress - 
it covered all of the mattress and table.

A screen made from cabinet doors is standing in as a headboard,
and has a painting hung from it to form a 'backdrop' for this display.
Small white nightstands sit on both sides of the 'bed', completing the trickery.

When people look at these window displays, they see a bed.
That's what display is all about... make customers see what you want them to see!

Why use tables?
* Every retail store, no matter what you sell, has tables.
*You can buy cheap plastic folding tables at Costco.
*Tables move much more easily than mattresses and box springs do.
*Tables are sturdy and allow you to stand on them while hanging a chandelier overhead.
*Tables are hollow underneath and offer space to store backstock or out-of-use props.
*Tables sit higher than beds - and therefore dissuade customers from 
taking a seat, lying down, or jumping on the bed display.


Now, if you need a bed display for a booth at a vintage show or a flea market,
here's another tip:
Don't use inflatable beds. 
They sag in the heat on concrete, often go completely flat by the end of the day, 
and if customers sit on them, they collapse. And take your display down with them.

Instead, get some wardrobe boxes 
from your local U-Haul or Ryder truck rental company.
These are very sturdy boxes, and if you lay them on their sides, 
their size is PERFECT to use as a display bed!
 These boxes will break down for transport, then re-assemble on site for the next show.

Use two side by side, placed with one box's long side against the headboard, as a short full size.
Add one or two more boxes to lengthen the 'bed'.
Use two side by side, with the two box TOPS against the headboard, as a youth/twin size.

Make sure that you use something to stabilize headboards,
both in retail stores and in booths.
Place a heavy piece of furniture behind them (dresser, nightstands, bookcase, etc.)
or tie them to the fake bed with zipties, rope, duct tape, etc.).

My final tip for displays like this?
Put signage on on the fake bed that says
'This is not a bed. Don't sit on it. Trust us.'

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Brand Impact: Daisy*Shoppe

I discovered a charming little shop this weekend,
and it perfectly illustrates the concept of 'surround your customers with your brand':
Meet Daisy Shoppe!
 From the store logo on bags, signage, and even tee shirts
to the color palette threaded like ribbon through the store space,
this place is one of the best at telling their own story:
They are happy, and fun, and sweet, and pretty, and sparkly, and PINK.
(and black and white and gray and ivory and a few other pastels)
...and they can help YOU be happy, fun, sweet, pretty, sparkly, and pink, too!

The entry display is currently themed for Valentine's Day,
featuring large and small products from tableware to underwear
that would be a perfect gift for a girl you love... 
all in one very visible spot to make shopping easy.
 the centerpiece of the display is a vintage plastic typewriter painted soft pink,
with a graphic image that - once again - tells the story.

 Merchandise displays are clean, crisp, layered, inviting, and colorful:
They cross-merchandise product according to color and theme,
racks are filled in groups of color which all makes shopping for your faves easy.

The overall effect of this space is pleasing to the eye and the spirit...
the store was busy and yet everyone was calm, enjoying the environment, 
browsing, and filling their arms with items to purchase.
The cashwrap is simply a fab piece of furniture cabinetry, 
painted hot pink so as to be impossible to miss no matter where you are in the store.
Behind it, a gallery wall of art and quotes shares the philosophy and style
of a store that is unabashedly feminine.
Merchandise is tucked into side shelves and on the counter,
making impulse buys nearly impossible to resist.

The window displays are what initially caught my eye...
Simple paper hearts hang from lace ribbons. Mannequins in pink, white, and red apparel.
Nothing gimmicky, nothing expensive - but they caught my attention and made me go in!

I applaud the owner & staff of these three stores 
for the excellence in presentation they have achieved!
These are all very simple 'do-able' ideas that any store can use to improve their visual impact.
It doesn't matter what you sell or what your brand is, or what color palette you use...
just know what story you want to tell your customers  
and tell it well through every choice you make.

Though the staff was very kind in letting me take a few pics,
I was trying not to annoy them by snapping a ton of photos.
There are a few resources online so that you can see MORE
of what I find to be perfect branding, visual impact, and retail store appeal.

Visit Daisy*Shoppe online
and hear a little about their history and philosophy.
View more photos of displays inside Daisy*Shoppe stores:
parenting OC magazine
(scroll down to see the 2015 retail awards 'best boutique for mom' winner)
cute & yummy blog
images on google

...and after you look at all that, ask yourself
'How can I make MY store look that pulled together?'
If you can't answer that, send me an email. I can help you!

On Display: Take Me Away!

vintage rustic style in retail displays
I traveled to Texas twice last summer, and was pleasantly surprised to find
some EXCELLENT examples of retail display technique in the AIRPORT!
yes, you read that right...
next to the endless Starbucks line and the bar and the news stand,
there was an airport shop that absolutely nailed using a regional focus as a theme...
regional style in retail displays gift shop
Aptly named, amAZing (see what they did there?)
offers up the standard tourist-driven souvenir airport merchandise
in a fresh, fun, engaging and visually exciting new way...

Click 'Read More' for loads of pictures and details on WHY this works!

On Display: Regional Style

 My current article in the Winter Issue of Gift Shop Magazine
is titled 'Let California Inspire Your Retail Displays'
and focuses on how to bring a regional influence into your store...
even if you're not in California.

That photo above is an example of this principle in action.
Taking elements of the outdoors found in National Parks,
this shop has created a display that immediately translates that theme.

The large canoe hanging overhead is your first clue :)
and then you take in the rustic woodsy-ness of the ceiling and shelving.
The green tone of the legs on the nested tables plays into the forest, as well.
Stepping closer, you can see the elements that bring more regional flavor:
a small faux pine tree, packaged seedling sequoia trees for sale
(those are the tan cylinders in the rear left-side cabinet),
keychains with national park logos (in the front left-side cabinet)
and small blue cans that hold poppy seeds... the California State flower.
Apparel products include a fun felt 'ranger hat' and tee shirts (both short and long sleeved)
and sweatshirts - all with Smokey the Bear and California logos.

This is enough to flesh out the theme... but there's more to this display.
Click 'Read More' to find out what it is and WHY it works!

Valentine's Day Color Story

Here's a simple way to get a 'Valentine's Day' vibe in a retail store display
without actually having any holiday-specific product IN it...
build a color story, 
then punctuate it with a few cheap heart props!

Click 'Read More' for the step-by-step tips on building a color story...