Saturday, February 21, 2009

How to Make "Odds and Ends" Look Fabulous and Sell Better in Your Antiques and Collectibles Shop

This article is about how you can organize the chaos in your shop by "color" and transform odds and ends into attractive store displays which invite more customers and increase sales.

Editor of Leaves Her Desk and is out on "the hunt".
Out antiquing a few days ago, I stumbled into a old store on “Main Street” which had just been acquired by a young couple who wanted to start selling “antiques and collectibles” (from scratch). What remained in this old, dusty, unattractive store after it was re-rented was a mish mosh of left over inventory ; orphaned kitchen-wares (canisters without lids, cute salt shakers without the matching peppers, figurines, ceramics etc. Resembling a sloppy thrift store, the remaining “junk” was spread out on a few folding tables and scattered about on some flimsy shelves.
There was a cross discussion among a few visitors as to whether the “stuff” which was left over from the previous owner was worth saving or should it be boxed up and tossed or sold in the Spring at a tag sale.

Deciding on What to Box and Dump
My first inclination was to box and dump.....but then I discovered two display areas that caught my attention. One was a book case that someone had started a fairly interesting display of ceramic planters, pottery, vases all grouped together by the same color of dark green with a touch of blue. It was a very handsome display. The second promising display section was a funky painted aqua Hoosier cabinet which was packed with odds and ends but could be attractive with the right objects displayed..

The Transformation Begins
So now I reconsidered my urge to dump (mind you is not my store...I’m just imagining the possibilities). I studied the situation and took another look at the giant table that displayed the “junk”. I started picking up all the yellow and pink items on this table and showed the young store owner how these “collectibles” might look in the aqua Hoosier. She caught on to what I was suggesting and took a bunch of pink plastic flowers and added them to one of the glass canisters that was missing a lid.

Within a few minutes the young store owner was on her way to transforming chaos into organization. By grouping odds and ends together by color, displays start to make sense. Bowls and casseroles without matching lids can be turned upside down and used as a “pedestal” to showcase smaller objects. “Better junk “ can be intermingled with the bric-a-brac if there is an organizing principle.

Additional Tips About How To Use Color as an Organizer
1. Organizing by Color , Pattern, Materials: When you have a mix of unrelated objects, you can group them together by color pattern or materials or all three. i.e. all the blue polka dots and plaids grouped together; all the red jewelry together; all the wood boxes together.

2. Re-Purpose objects: Use canisters with missing lids for flowers (show your customers with example).Keep your color theme consistent.

3 Use interesting color combinations Display objects with interesting color combinations (yellow and pink objects in an aqua Hoosier).Other attractive combinations are red and yellow; black and red; pink and green; lime green and brown; red, white and blue; black and white; blue and orange.

4.Create palettes: Use a vintage tablecloth or piece of material to set your “palette". Follow the colors in that textile. Be careful, sometimes this idea is too overpowering and you need to experiment with color combinations. A white and green tablecloth with a touch of peach might look fabulous with orange objects.

5. Add excitement. Some displays look great with all the same size and color and some displays call for mixing up smalls with larger items or adding a splash of red or a surprise.. The question to ask your self is whether the display is static? boring? What does it need?

6 Keep Changing.. Once displays are organized by color it is easy to add new objects to the section. On the other hand every now and then change your color combinations and move around the objects.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

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Dianne is a member of:
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1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of using a tablecloth or piece of fabric to "set" your palette. Great post. Thanks for some great ideas!