Spring brings such a profusion of flowers, so it is easy to pick & choose to create a special table setting. But for those times that you are coming up dry finding a bloom that speaks to you, also look to the produce aisle. Vegetables can offer clever alternatives to flowers. In both these cases, asparagus just seemed to go the trick for each table being set. The above needed another little something along with the white tulips for the table in town. The below being the only centerpiece on the long zinc table at the beach. Extra added bonus, you get to cook up the display at a later date. The asparagus became a lovely addition with a piece of fish last night, roasted in the oven, for dinner.
It was time. Actually, it might have gone a bit past time, but I so loved the window with the vintage black & white photos pinned to the wall, that it was a bit tough taking it down. It made me smile each time I walked past it. But yes, it was time.
It was a bit comical being up in the window as the stream of folks passed by on the sidewalk as I was pulling out hundreds of numbered push-pins that were holding the photos in place. Ahhh, what we do for beauty.
For this new window, I wanted to use the sheets from a really old dictionary we found in Asheville last year. Many of the pages were falling out, so it seemed like a good way to put them to use. Create a sort of ‘wallpaper’ with the pages.
Tons of terra cotta pots would become the base of the window. Adding the vintage pages to them, a sort of grass field was created. Windows should have a bit of fantasy to them. A bit of whimsy. When else do you get to see a hundred garden pots filled with vintage paper? Display windows can do just that. With a little singing bird pulling it all together.
Actually, make that white parrot tulips with a heavy dose of green running through them. These are just divine. My Saturday morning walk around the Market was filled, as usual, with stellar visuals–the produce and flowers a feast for the eyes. I hope I don’t bore you with another tulip post, but they make me incredibly happy, I just could not resist. What I still find to this day so amazing about tulips is the variety. This version, just keeps getting better & better as it opens. To highlight the singular beauty of each petal, I cut them quite short and put them about the house in simple clear drinking glasses. That way they could be enjoyed in each room. Natural works of art.
My Saturday stroll through the Market ended on a very happy note, as my very favorite tulip vendor also had a few buckets of hyacinth. We have had a string of super foggy damp days in Seattle, and seeing those blooms just perked me up thinking about Spring. These really are such happy flowers.
It was another partial display day yesterday with various areas getting a little re-do, along with getting the Valentine table up and running. We re-worked one overly large display of books into 2. The art/design books had been melded with all of the food/cook books.
Displays are a very organic thing and can grow over time. The stacks in the singular display just got too tall, and a bit tough visually to take all in. By separating them, it created a much stronger visual, also making it much easier for the customer to fully enjoy and peruse.
For those of you who read the blog posts with any regularity, you know this already. For those of you who are new readers, a full day of doing display work at the shop is my idea of pure bliss. There is just something about a full day of creativity, of just opening myself up to the visual world. Pure heaven for me. It is almost like I go into a trance. Some people visualize words or numbers, I visualize displays. Row after row of product, table after table of goods put together.
The shops looked a little ragged after the Holiday season. It is just the nature of the business. The goal is to make them sparkly for the new year. It is a challenge all of us take on at WK as soon as January 2nd rolls around.
Then let the layering begin. I really like having tons of variety together on a table, and trying to make sense of it all. Displaying by color is something I began doing as far back as when I had my wholesale showroom. It has become a Watson Kennedy trademark. I thinking it ends up pulling all the disparate pieces together making them a collective whole.
When I won the national Retail Excellence Award a few years ago in New York, I made comment in my acceptance speech how the hat I most like to wear as a retailer is the display hat. There is just something I feel while doing it–a freeness. Sort of like it is what I am supposed to be doing. It just makes me feel incredibly happy, creative and complete.
A lovely Sunday to you all.
These little gems are a flower I use quite a bit during the Holidays as they open quite beautifully, and seem to last forever. The common name of the flower is Star of Bethlehem, as the blooms look like little stars.
The frenzy of the retail season does not really allow for a full window change out. My idea when we put these windows together initially was that we would be able to weave in product the week after Thanksgiving and make them ‘Holiday’ windows. Yesterday was the day.
The ‘photo’ window would get loaded up with creamy, black and white goods. A single stem vase with a single bloom giving a little freshness and life to the window. I really like using plants and flowers in a window if we can–I just really like the naturalness of it.
It has been 2 solid days of non-stop display work, so by now you all know, I have been in complete heaven. While Nicole, Sarah & Mihae unpacked boxes and priced the copious amount of goods that arrived in the last few days, Heather and I took apart the old window displays and put a fresh spin on them.
I have been finding tons of old vintage photos on my buying adventures and really wanted to incorporate them into one of the windows. Now was the time. We used the black headed push pins that have numbers on them that we sell and I created a photo collage with the old photos. Kind of a photo wallpaper.
From there we start pulling things from the shop floor that has a similar vibe. The black and white photos of the horse show I found on our last trip to New York. They would be perfect in the ‘photo’ window, as well as old cameras and other vintage-y preppy stuff. The tiny white pumpkin an ode to the season.
Once done with the first window we worked our way over to the second. I am still crazy about the vintage maps we used in the previous window, so those stayed and became the wallpaper to this window setting. I really wanted this to be an earthy, natural window.
This set of vintage European amber apothecary bottles makes me weak in the knees. Seriously. They would be what I wanted the entire window based around. This collection becomes a piece of art when grouped together.
From there we just start pulling what we think works. It is a bit of a treasure hunt, but incredibly fun. I think windows should make you stop and think a bit. Be a tad clever, and make you look at each element, but have all the elements work together. A collective whole. Once done, it was then onto sprucing up the shop and weaving in all the new product that has arrived in the last few days. As I said above, pure heaven.
Summer has kicked into high gear in Seattle. Ahhhh, what a delightful sentence to type out. The windows at the First Avenue shop needed a little refreshing for all the new eyes that would be coming to town for a little July fun. With a nod to Wimbledon and many other Summertime activities, a side window was filled with vintage equipment and glove molds. Let the games begin!
Speaking of let the games begin. We could not do a window and not have a bit of London take center stage. The countdown has begun for the Olympics, and we could not be more excited! What also excites me are these incredible trunks–glorious, just glorious.
And we would be remiss if we did not include some sort of bird theme in at least one window. I love watching trends come and go. For us, birds have always played a part of the mix at Watson Kennedy. The trend may end, but our birds will never go away. TPS found that amazing barnacle encrusted branch on the beach when he was taking Bailey for a walk a few years back. It has found a permanent home in that side window, adding a natural element to any display it graces.
A relaxing Sunday to you all. TKW