The key to success in running a fabulous small independent business is to try and better the service, look and feel of successful big businesses on a very small budget, as many of us know from experience! Large companies such as John Lewis or Top Shop spend thousands on eye-catching shop fronts and window displays designed to draw us in and spend our cash. For local small businesses this has to be done without the benefit of such deep pockets, therefore innovative and inexpensive ideas are the name of the game.
Sian (said the Welsh way!) at The Flower Lounge already creates fabulous flower displays frequently commented on by her clients, but wanted to add more depth to the area above eye level. As you can tell from the images above, the light, bright shop front already makes passers-by look in, but something extra was needed above the 1 metre deep display area and below the commercial style suspended ceiling. Our advice was sought and much shopping around and on-line inspiration seeking was done before a solution was found.
We needed to suspend items from the ceiling immediately in front of the window then back into the shop by about a metre as the floor displays sat on black boxes 1m deep. The suspended ceiling meant that there was little stability to the only semi-rigid tiles within the ceiling frame work so it wasn’t as easy as simply putting hooks or a hanging system directly in place. Plus the door was in the middle of the 6m wide glass shop front so any display frame built also had to be split. The displays are changed seasonally, if not more frequently, so flexibility was key, as was the ability to hang not only Christmas baubles but maybe heavier items at other times of the year – pumpkins?!
Hmmmmm. We checked out what was above the suspended ceiling tiles…
…not such fab news. There was a fair distance between the original ceiling and the suspended one, plus the original ceiling was the old lath & plaster type i.e. not very secure and I couldn’t tell where the joists were. Nor could we fix anything to the shop front as it was all steel inside the ceiling system, grrrr.
There was only one thing for it, to somehow fix to the shop’s internal walls poles rigid enough to span the 2m to the central door without bending (especially when things were hung on them!) and then somehow hang these poles from the original or suspended ceiling or frame so they were solid, safe but also looked good *scratched head a lot*
Timber was no good, at over 2m length it wasn’t rigid enough unless the diameter was too great to be practical. Curtain poles looked too bulky and it felt like a waste of resources to be buying six sets when we only needed the poles. Steel rods were a bit costly and heavy plus looked a tad industrial. After much wandering around the internet and B&Q, we *almost* plumped for 28mm copper, nice and cheap but would need to be resprayed in white…. then there they were, the perfect solution! Rigid chrome pipes which were hollow therefore nice and light, circa £15 each (we wanted six) and even had their own wall fixing brackets 🙂 Thank you B&Q!!
Add to the mix some chrome chain and timber lengths which sat above the suspended ceiling frame to spread the weight of the suspended display but could be screwed into through the ceiling tiles and whey hey, we had a solution!
The fitted poles reflected the light and allowed items to be hung then changed with ease. When looking into the shop, the gaze of passers by on foot or by road is drawn away from the suspended ceiling and onto the flowers or baubles instead. Using three poles evenly spaced on either side also gives a real feeling of depth & luxury to the displays created as visually there is now much more perspective above as well as below.
Happy client = Happy Team Moregeous 🙂