Elegant Display Inspirations

Creating displays of antique products is both challenging and rewarding. Working with one of a kind items, beautiful examples of handcrafted art, pedigreed furnishings and found objects with a history is an exercise in the art of composition. It is also an opportunity to create vignettes that tell a story like no other. You just can't get this look with mass-manufactured product!

I've spoken with shopowners about this subject, and heard how often they find themselves stuck for ideas when it comes to displays involving antiques, found objects, and even recycled/consignment furnishings & home decor. Truly, it's not easy, but it's never boring! You may never know what items you'll be showcasing until the day you work the display - but then again, you'll never see your display or product replicated in another store, either.

Retailers who succeed in incorporating antiques, thrifted, salvaged, and otherwise 'saved' furnishings have started trendy new decor movements. Ever hear of Deb Dusenberry of the Curious Sofa? Mary Carol Garrity of Nell Hills? Carol Bolton Hicks of Homestead? You should have! These well-known and very successful independent retailers sell many lines of products that are mass-manufactured, but they incorporate them into stores loaded with antiques, handmade artisan wares, and roadside finds. Their reknowned boutiques are leading the way in this new wave of retail style. Shows like the Farm Chicks and Round Top allow smaller retailers to sell in mini-store settings for a weekend or week-long show. And you can find ideas at all of them to infuse your shop displays with a new, fresh, revitalized style!

A local antique consignment store recently relocated to a new building, and the installation of displays has elevated the already beautiful merchandise. Even though much of the product was moved from the old building to the new one, the repositioning and new combinations have refreshed the look entirely.

That's the best tip I can offer about this kind of merchandise - change displays up frequently. Recombine, restyle, rethink the merchandise and put a new spin on it: Black furniture can look very traditional and American, or it can look quite French. It can also combine with bright color and look artful and contemporary. By switching accessories and accent pieces, you can build a whole new 'room' and look in your windows or on your sales floor. And, it needn't take buying all new product to do so.

These displays from Faded Elegance Antique Boutique are simply stunning, and I am certain you'll be inspired...
Black & gold metals, stone urns, mirrors, and mosses & nests evoke French garden style.
Whitewashed furniture & wicker, clear glass, and seashells take us to a relaxing seashore... California? Oregon? Texas? England? Wales? This shop display would work in any coastal locale.
Gold metals and chinoiserie impart a traditional look with Oriental flavor. A simple switch of the gold metal accessories to silver ones would make this display tell a completely different story.
Kimberly, owner of Faded Elegance Antiques, in Snohomish, Washington, and her trusty assistant, Mari - just moments before opening the door to the new store on First Street. Darling Mari and her daughter Chelsea worked with Kimberly to create the elegant displays shown above. (Beautiful job, ladies!) Faded Elegance Antiques can be found at 1116 First Street, Snohomish, Washington.

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