If I could just travel around and prop and style rooms, parties, trade show booths, storefront windows, and retail displays, I would be the happiest person I know!
I am completely taken by good styling. I am easily sidetracked by retail displays and constantly inspired by collections of pieces that are thoughtfully arranged and given personality through unique and quirky props.
Window shopping is one of the most inspiring things I can do. Ornaments carefully hung from branches are far more interesting than laying on tables, baby blankets draped over antique ladders are more inviting to the touch than simply folded, and mittens hung from a DIY clothesline with wooden pegs is playful and graphic.
In my opinion, the most effective displays use the 70/30 rule of design: No more than 30% of the display should be props. But, more importantly, the props should be carefully chosen. I always select props that support the message or theme of my display. For example, if you are selling kitchen utensils, display them in vintage bowls or crocks, along with empty egg cartons and recipe cards. If you selling a line of children’s wear with a transportation theme, cover the table with maps and include small suitcases and antique airplanes or cars. Use skis, lift passes and gloves to entice adventure-seekers.
Tip: If the item that I am selling is modern, I always pair it with vintage, weathered, or rustic pieces.
Props also can be used to add variety in height, texture and color to your display, which will draw attention to the products. Give yourself permission to try different arrangements of the products and props. Think outside the box in terms of what you use for your displays. Re-purpose old doors, ladders, wagons, umbrellas, vintage suitcases, antique toys or driftwood – they all make wonderful stand ins for display pieces!
Tip: Always display things in odd numbers.
But, the most important factor in creating memorable displays – HAVE FUN.