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Secrets for Success

September 21, 2008

For the third time, the OW Lee showroom has won the CFR Merchandising Presentation Award given to showrooms under 5000 square feet. It is unlike most showrooms this year because you will find a plethora of colorful vignettes throughout the display area. Mixing and matching, blending and mingling using texture, patterns, stripes and solid fabrics is the key to success. Adding accessories such as rugs, lamps, platters, candles, flowers, plants, vases, trays, throw blankets, dishes, glassware, table runners, drapes, tabletop books, and throw pillows all energize a setting.

  • Central Theme

Each setting must have a central theme or a few artistic compositions intertwined. Use the design of the furniture as a starting point, once you determine which style is predominant you can pick a color palette that works best. This is where you can allow your creative juices to flow, by choosing fabrics that unify the space, blend well together and illustrate the theme.

  • Focal Point

Another way to create a beautiful vignette is by first choosing a focal point. It can be a fabric, a piece of art, an intricate rug, an antique piece of furniture or a colorful pattern. Once the selection is determined, then you can plan your setting around this item. If it is a piece of art such as a painting or photo, select the colors and style from this central piece, then choose fabrics that coordinate with texture and patterns and finish with the appropriate accessories.

  • Color Palette

Lastly, you can choose to select a color palette to be the main focus of the vignette or the entire showroom for that matter. A unique yet commonly used scheme is to utilize one color as the focal point of the entire floor space. This can be done creatively, with many different fabrics within the same color group or simply for a special effect using the same color fabric to make a strong statement.

Whichever method you choose, you will find that adding the final touches is a necessity to complete the effect. Take time, shop around or look in your storage room for little gems that will help you to accessorize a deep seating area, a fire pit arrangement, a dining table or lounge chairs by a water feature.

The attention to detail and the consistent ability to follow through with the theme will be evident to everyone who stops in your showroom or walks into your store to see your creations. It might not be an ideal theme or color palette for everyone, but if the setting is done well than your customers will be able to translate that creativity into something that works well for them.

The concluding step that is critical in creating a successful showroom is to walk through the floor space to make sure the flow of the colors and styles meld nicely as you move from one vignette to the next setting. This is the same design technique utilized in interior homes, offices and contract spaces. A definitive theme is identified, a color palette chosen one that blends throughout the entire space.

If you have any questions on how to design your showroom floor or store vignettes write a comment or email me at

These are my Outside Views…Marcia Blake