Have you thought about adding some drama and excitement to your shop? Some surprises? How about some showmanship? Well, how about creating one focal wall in your shop—preferably one visible through your windows or illuminated so that it steps out when a shopper steps in to the store? What would make that focal feature wall so unique and provide that sense of theater that is so important in stores today—I hope the picture shows what I plan to tell.
If you want to get the look in the photo and do want to have it reproduced by a cabinetmaker—and I hope you won’t—why not save some money and “go green.” How about no big carpentry bills and no big construction deals? Instead, it means snooping, scouring and shopping around in second hand stores—junk shops—basements, attics and garage sales. It means collecting several old cabinets, chests, bookcases and drawer units and maybe some cans of spray paint. Either leave the units you have assembled and stacked from floor to about seven feet—as they are in faded or scabby glory or spray them all one neutral color—or be daring and fanciful and let the rainbow be your guide. You might want to remove some of the doors or set them at open. And—voila!!—a “wall” ready and able to act as a changing display scene.
The picture is of a feature wall in an Oilily Children’s shop in Soho in NYC. Now, use your imagination and sense of the dramatic. You can present a different product story in each enclosure: a new product presentation, a color theme, a collection. Leave some of the doors ajar so that your guests will be tempted to open them for themselves and “discover” something new and unexpected. A few bookcases mixed in among the cabinets will serve for cookbook displays along with the products you carry used in the preparation of foreign cuisines. Use cloth napkins or towels to create desired colored backgrounds for your peek-a-boo presentations.
Of course, lighting your assembled feature wall should be considered. You can use overhead lighting; a light track with adjustable spots. Or you might consider LED lamps or battery-operated lamps in each cabinet. Again, use your imagination and your ingenuity.
What about the back of the unit if it is free standing? Well, since I would be concerned about my “construction” falling apart if somebody pulled on a door or handle, I would brace and bracket the individual pieces together and then cover the entire back wall with an inexpensive card board or foamcore and use it for a community pin-up board, store announcements, etc.
Don’t be afraid to “borrow” an idea when you see a good one. It will become “yours” once you adapt it for your needs with your products and your personal additions. Unless you were going for a line-by-line reproduction, you stamp the result “as yours” once you have added your intent to the project.
NOW—look at the picture again and forget the clothing you see and instead imagine dishes, cookware, coffee makers, foodstuffs, glassware—your merchandise. Looks good—doesn’t it!!!