Bare to Beautiful


This is the space we were assigned for our Retreat Collection at the new antique mall. Nothing to write home about, except that it has the original dark wood floors and west-facing windows with FABulous light in the afternoon. But the proportions of the windows (not to mention the ugly air conditioner in one of them) and the visible conduit & fuse box made for a boring and utilitarian space.

So, we got to work setting the stage...the awning you see in the photo above was made out of old fence sections. It adds dimension, sort of hides the window while still letting light in, and provides a place to hang things. I would have preferred a steeper angle on the awning, to hide the windows more, but one does not complain about such things when one's husband and business partner works hard to get it designed, made, and installed in less than a day. No, one does not.

Next we added more fencing along the wall, to hide the conduit. An old door on hinges sits at an angle in order to hide the fuse box - but it will swing open to allow access to said fuse box if necessary. (Say, a catastrophic power outage occurs....) You see one of two large mirrors on the end wall - this wall faces the front of the store, so the mirrors reflect the light coming in the front windows & doors. More light is good! The illusion of windows is good!

I hung simple canvas (read: painters' dropcloths, about $10 each from Lowes) as 'curtains' to cover the four electrical outlets - which were strangely located 4' high on the walls. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have all those plugs for lamps, it's just really strange placement. So , the 'bones' of our space are now in. None of these items are for sale, -they are the 'set' that will hold the main characters in our stories.

Then the furniture was loaded in and placed.

Add the lamps, some mini lights for sparkle, and all of the small details to make it feel like home. A formerly utilitarian space becomes welcoming and inviting...a true retreat!

I really think Kimberly gave us this spot because she knew we could make it look good - you know what they say about limitations causing creativity to kick into overdrive, right? It did! I already have plans for our fall display, when I will cover the awning with more canvas to give it a whole new look.

The store's new location is definitely a plus for everyone - business has been booming for the past six days it's been open. One third of our products have sold in that time, and everyone else is selling just as much. Sometimes, a total change is exactly what's needed to boost business - even if it's scary and a lot of hard work. A redesign of the space, a change of wall color, or a move to a new location can all pump up the volume!

2 comments:

  1. Absolutely beautiful! I am in awe of how you can take the most mundane space and make it glorious. One question, though. Are you concerned about those hot bulbs laying on the wooden floor?

    Polly

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  2. I just love it! It's gorgeous. I love that you show the before and after, it shows how any space can be made beautiful.

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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK