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Create Beautiful Settings

December 19, 2011

Sunset Patio in Scottsdale, ArizonaSunset Patio in Scottsdale, Arizona
There is diversity between specialty retail stores across this country that offer a range of casual living products as well as high quality service to their customers. This difference is displayed in the store's product selection, color palette, merchandising mix, and retail artistry.



A very important step that you can engage in, as a specialty retailer is to differentiate your store from your near-by competitors and big box rivals. Distinguish your store by conveying your key principles, your company's culture, and communicate a captivating story.


Sunset Patio in Scottsdale, 
ArizonaSunset Patio in Scottsdale, Arizona
One method to accomplish this is through branding and another technique is through visual merchandising. It is of the utmost importance that you accentuate the luxuriousness and romance of the merchandise that you offer.



This parallel concept has relevance to everybody designing an outdoor living space. First you begin by setting the ambience for a gathering, whether it is just family and friends or a lavish party. In the same way that you set a table to celebrate Christmas and Easter or prepare for a Memorial Day extravaganza, you need to devise a strategy, execute the plan and develop the story which will include, color, touch, form and artisanship.



California HomeCalifornia Home
Now is the most favorable time for casual furniture retailers to set in motion this strategy. During this juncture when you are changing your floor layout from holiday to spring, just as everyone is imagining warm weather, spring flowers and balmy ocean breezes, you want to create a multitude of settings that can be accomplished with preparation and planning, utilizing vignettes to impart the story that you want to tell.



Southern Patio & Spa, 
Atlanta, GASouthern Patio & Spa, Atlanta, GA
The key element to any vignette is the story, once conceived you add the elements that will furnish the desired effect. The elements are the details that enhance the plot. One key feature is the fabric. Choose a color that strengthens the story line as you contemplate texture and coordinates.


Accompany the fabric selection with a stylish outdoor area rug. Draw attention to a seating scene with attractive outdoor throw pillows and an outdoor throw blanket. Add a coffee table book relating to outdoor cooking, entertaining or faraway places.



Sunset Patio Scottsdale, AZSunset Patio Scottsdale, AZ
Creative displays often utilize the visual effects of height, layering, and cross merchandising which will contribute to the success of your store as you create retail expressions.



January is the perfect month to create a fire pit or fireplace vignette in your store. Envision a cold winter day, followed by great conversation and a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa while relaxing in rocking club chairs around a fire pit or fireplace. 


 OW Lee ClassicoOW Lee ClassicoInto The Garden Dallas, Texas
Into The Garden Dallas, Texas


OW Lee FirepitOW Lee Firepit
Setting the scene with warm tone fabrics such as deep oranges and browns, soft cozy throw blankets in coordinating colors, an outdoor area rug to add more warmth, mugs of steaming hot cocoa and some jazz music playing in the background. The aroma of hot cocoa in your store will draw your customers into this special space.



In another location in your store consider setting up a pergola with a large dining set. Customers can dream about the grape arbors and wineries of Napa Valley and Europe.


Pergola Morristown, NJPergola Morristown, NJ
Set comfortable and carefree seating along a large dining table set. There is something incredibly relaxing and enjoyable in spending time entertaining al fresco style under a pergola. By adding decorative accents, the outdoor space is transformed into a memory or dream of foreign landscapes and exotic retreats. It's incredible what a few touches such as decorative lanterns, bright napkins, placemats, dinnerware and comfortable throw pillows can create.



 Under the Pergola, NJUnder the Pergola, NJ Into The Garden Dallas, TXInto The Garden Dallas, TX

Hauser’s Patio & Rattan San Diego, CAHauser’s Patio & Rattan San Diego, CA
Reflect your diversity in the store's blend of products from wall décor, permanent botanicals, decorative candles, sculptures, decorative pillows, and tabletop accessories. As you appeal to the customer's senses, you will create an emotional attachment to your store, vignette or outdoor living space, which will encourage them to stay longer and return over and over again.



Let's create beautiful settings together, where design, function and quality come together. These are my outside views.