A Closer Look...

Let's take a closer look into that stage setup, shall we?
Today, I'm focusing on the right side - the Contemporary 'New West' look.

As you can see from the shot above, the style here is masculine, streamlined, and solid.
Wood & metal provide the structure - the chair, black wood cabinets, and coatrack are the fixtures. The screen and metal cactus provide depth, with that round wood tabletop in the back bringing enough light to contrast with the black fixtures - and its wood tones coordinate with the table in front. I could have used fabric, sure, but the effect would not have been as crisp and appropriate.

Another benefit of addding that tabletop is that it introduces a large circular form - and that ties together the other circular forms in the display. The screen has rounded shapes on it, the Buffalo Bill Cody bowl in front is round, as are the metal serving bowl & platter. Repeating shapes is as important as repeating colors. In this display, the square shapes and the round shapes accomplish the goals of looking contemporary, and of keeping things simple & solid. (Masculinity just seems to go hand in hand with 'simple' and 'solid', does it not? Sorry, guys!)

You'll notice that beneath the metal bowl, there are some stacked books. Actually, these are boxes that look like books, and they provide an excellent way to use the concept of 'lifts, levels and elevations' thankyouverymuch Christopher Lowell. (BTW, What ever happened to Christopher Lowell? He was a riot!) By using items like this (books, bricks, wood planks, flowerpots, etc.) to raise some of the products up above the main surface, we create interest. That bowl sitting on the table wouldn't be nearly as interesting.

This is the simple idea that apparently started the 'firestorm' at EaglesNest!
Crosses are a hot item in decor right now, as the whole Southwestern/Western look seems to be everywhere. (Thank Mary Emmerling for introducing this design aesthetic to the masses). You'll see them in accessories, fabrics, art and jewelry. I am always asked how to display jewelry, and ideas like this are easy for everyone. This cross could be an urn, a statue, a hunk of wood or a large rock. Using home decor accessories to display jewelry adds interest to both pieces - plus it helps shoppers see that the item is more than just a pretty thing, it's functional! Notice that the necklace I displayed in this setup is simple, contemporary, and coordinates with the metal bowls. (It's mine, but there were many similar - LARGER - ones at the show).

Now, I purposefully designed this display setup to reflect a 'New West' aesthetic style. I was speaking to an audience of buyers & shop owners in the Rocky Mountain region, and they could relate to this. If I had been speaking in San Francisco or Seattle, I could have built a very similar display - and just by leaving out the rusty metal cactus, the Buffalo Bill bowl, and the crosses, I would have a very contemporary art moderne style display. It would work in Bacchus' museum gallery store or in the Columbia Winery retail shop. Lesson: A few large props and/or products can add a 'theme' to a display just as a dash of cayenne adds spice to food: It only takes a little bit!

If I were to put this display on a retail sales floor, I'd add more glassware (a few large wine decanters, maybe), a stack of those metal chargers beneath the one standing up, and a stack of books on the chair. Then, right next to this whole setup, maybe on the left side where the coatrack is, I'd place a black metal shelf unit to hold more product. I'd fill it to the brim with crisp clean rows of glass, metal bowls & chargers, some of those crosses and boxes that look like books, some real books on wine or Western Art, a big glass bowl full of battery-op tealights, and perhaps a few nice black leather pillows. This enables customers to shop the shelf unit instead of tearing into the display itself.

Thank you, again, to all of the wonderful exhibitors who allowed me to use their products in my seminars. Especially Far West Furniture, who provided double the amount when another vendor backed out. Love you guys!!!!

Resources for products used in this display:
(#0000 denotes permanent showroom in the Denver Merchandise Mart; http://www.denvermart.com/ )

Black Wood Cabinets - Far West Furniture http://www.farwestfurniture.com/
Wood Table w/ Turquoise Inlay - Desert Diggs #1560
Black Metal Screen - VIP Imports #2181
Black Metal Coatrack - EaglesNest #1239
Set of 3 'Book' boxes - EaglesNest #1239
Battery Op 'Smart' Tealight Candles (programmable) - Doug Thorson Sales #1229
Rusty Metal Cactus - LoneStar Group #1568
Buffalo Bill Cody mache' Bowl - Kellogg #1367
Metal Bowl & Charger - Universal Ironworks / Necessities #2416


  1. Beautiful pics and a very striking display!

  2. Anonymous1:01 PM

    It is sooooooo important to have contact information from each vendor you borrow from; I think the furniture company you could not locate might be American West, not America West?

  3. Yes, I know. And Yes, it was 'America West' Furniture on all of their marketing materials that were in their temporary booth. I have an email pending to the Denvermart, asking for correct contact info.

    If you know how to contact them, I wish you would have left a link.... and your name. Thanks for the 'tip' though.