By The Book

'working with what you've got' is a big theme in the way I create visuals...
it's not only cost-effective to make use of materials you have on hand already,
but it also forces you to be creative instead of just throwing money at something.
The amazing woman who handles 'the book areas' at the Laura's House resale stores
asked me and my decorating compatriot Debby to come up with a decorative treatment
for a blank wall area at one of the stores.

Well, it's not hard to think of what might be plentiful, on hand, 
not to mention completely appropriate in that area, is it?!

BOOKS!
NOW BEFORE YOU SCREAM AT ME.....
I am a book lover. I love them so much that I won't throw them away,
even if they are water-damaged, torn, coverless, mildewed, or otherwise ruined.
I just can't do it. That paper is too valuable! 
So when books are damaged beyond the point of re-selling them, 
I USE the pages in other ways.... like this:
Several pieces of posterboard form the base of this wall art,
because I didn't want to apply the paper right to the drywall.
The posterboard was covered with pages torn from damaged books  - 
yellowed pages with type, and pages with beautiful black and white illustrations -
and then nailed to the wall with tiny headed nails.

Then some other books - 
ones with seriously damaged covers, which makes them un-sellable in these stores -
were meticulously folded into origami-like artful sculptures by Miss Debby.
She's an ACE at this!
Those book sculptures were nailed to the wall, right through the pages and the posterboard.
This keeps them on the wall - even though people have rudely attempted to remove them.
It all perfectly highlights the sign indicating that this is 'The Book Nook'.

Keep going to see MORE ideas using paper!



Above the Book Nook, more book pages were used to create visual impact:
 This time, colorful pages from several children's books form a mobile.
A BOOK mobile. (see what I did there?!)
These beautiful illustrations were in books that had broken spines
and there are a few crayon marks on the pages, so they were un-sellable.

Hanging back-to-back, suspended from a round mesh piece by colorful yarn,
and with a trac light aimed right into the center of them,
they dance with movement in the breeze from a nearby fan.
They attract attention - every bit as effective as placing a sign here.

...and in one other area of the store,
more pages from damaged children's books are used:
 Colorfully illustrated pages form a banner,
which hangs against the wall of the Children's Clothing section.
It combines with a pennant banner made from scrapbook papers
and a brightly-colored paper chain
( made with paper I bought CHEAP at the Disney Cast Member store!)
On the wall, the damaged book covers center 'flowers' made from more scrapbook pennants.

I've recently seen displays in other stores
that were created using books...
click 'read more' for more inspiring ideas!


At nearby Roger's Gardens, the visible parts of a wall behind bookcases is covered
with many open books.

Also at Roger's Gardens, a fancicul archway is created by gluing & wiring book spines together,
held in place between two posts and the ceiling.
The books are angled, flipped, and turned caty-wumpus to create more interest. 

In a stunningly creative presentation,
books form the 'canvas' for an artist's delicate pen drawings and paintings.
 I regret to say that I FORGOT to re-name these images when I downloaded them,
and now can not for the life of me remember WHERE I saw them or WHO the artist is.
I feel awful about that... I really do want to credit them,
so if you know who did this work, please let me know!
( I did find similar artwork by artist Ekaterina Panikanova on creativebloq)

I hope all of these examples inspire you to think beyond 
materials that might be damaged, to see the possibilities of creative interpretation.

and, before I go, I simply have to add one famous 'book' line...
'Book 'em, Dan-O!' ;)

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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