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.
keep reading to find out why...

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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