I Do Windows

Flower Arranging

Posted in Learn from the Pros, Props, Window Lessons by Arcadia on May 11, 2012

One of the very first skills I quickly acquired, when I joined my first big visual team was flower arranging.  Regardless of who you were or what department you oversaw, everyone and I mean everyone on our team knew how to arrange flowers!

It’s kind of like your go-to prop when you need something quick and pretty.  Stick a vase of flowers next to a purse, shoes, bustform, on a table, etc….you are good to go.  If you don’t know how to do quick and simple arrangements, pick a book and a bunch, and start practicing.  I promise you it’s a skill that will come in handy over and over again.

I have also found that my arranging skills have helped me when arranging props.  They use some of the same principles, when it comes to layering items, the pyramid (triangle) shape, how to play with height, and experimenting with various colors.  You’ll find your flower arranging skills to be transferable to other  things – which is a huge bonus.

Here’s a simple video to help get you started.

[images via Sterling Style/tumblr]

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An Easy Inspiration Wall

Posted in Inspiration, Props by Arcadia on February 2, 2012

Last week I gave out an “inspiration file” assignment.  Students are tasked with creating a scrapbook or collage of tearsheets that they find inspirational and could be turned into a display.

Creating collages is one of my most favorite things to do and I swear I could waste countless hours making them!  When I was younger I used to wall paper my bedroom with fashion tearsheets.  My father hated it because the thumbtacks left holes in the walls, and the tape pulled the paint off!  Now that I’m older with a house to care for myself – I see what he means.

This is why I like the idea below.  You can change out your photos as often as you like without ruining your walls:

(image and idea found at a pair & a spare)

Shoe Display

Posted in Inspiration, Props by Arcadia on October 17, 2011

I like how these photographs show you how to display shoes on a wall with a few lineal pieces of molding.

I would suggest you use picture rail molding, since it doesn’t sit flat to the wall. Picture rail molding is also designed to have items hung from it.  Stay away from door and window casing.

(images via Song of Style)

Read Your Book Case

Posted in Just Genius, Props by Arcadia on June 13, 2011

I spotted this cool bookcase on Honestly WTF.  It’s by the Italian duo Eva Alessandrini and Roberto Saporiti of Saporiti.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the title of this post is what the bookcase reads!  Cool huh!

Hans Van Bentem’s Penis Chandelier

Posted in Discuss This Display, Props by Arcadia on March 31, 2011

I found this photo at They Envy Us.  Now where could you display this?

Click here to see more chandeliers and to read the accompanying story.

(image via: They Envy Us)

Dollar Store Toy Wreath

Posted in Inspiration, Props by Arcadia on March 23, 2011

I’m always on the hunt for inspiring ideas.  This dollar story toy wreath brought a huge smile to my face!  One might be inclined to think this would be great for a Christmas display, I on the other hand would use any time of the year.  It’s just so damn cheerful looking:

For more info on it and the image visit Boing Boing.

Thrifting is Fun

Posted in Props by Arcadia on October 31, 2010

I’m posting an article on thrifting.  Why?  Because most of our props and objets d’art come from thrift and second-hand stores.  Especially if you freelance, it’s important to become familiar with all the purveyors of junk in your neighborhood!  I love junk stores I shop them regardless if I’m working or not.  Here are some reasons why:

  1. Thrifting is good for the environment.  This one is pretty obvious.  Recycling and re-purposing items keeps them out of the landfills.
  2. It saves you money and you are supporting local businesses, sometimes charities, and other organizations.
  3. The fun is in the bargains you find when you come across some great things.

Thrifting is not for the timid.  Bring gloves or hand sanitizer and start digging!  Dress comfortably so you can move around quickly, and bring a buggy or cart so you don’t have to carry everything.  Most of all keep an open mind when viewing things, items original intentions don’t have to be so —->doors can become tables, windows can become picture frames..

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Wall Decals

Posted in Inspiration, Props by Arcadia on August 18, 2010

Back in the olden times (the 90s) I remember using vinyl decals only as letters in my windows.  Sometimes when I needed to save money I would have to cut out all the letters myself (trust me it was hard, the material is so unforgiving).  Nowadays you can get just about anything pre-made and pre-cut!

I highly advise using decals as an effective way to add visual interest and dimension to your display, especially if you’re artistically challenged (meaning you can’t draw for beans!).  They are relatively inexpensive, if you take care of them, because they are reusable.

Here’s one source I found whose selection I like – The Surface Store

(images via: The Surface Store)

Hanging Photos

Posted in Props by Arcadia on May 4, 2010

We hang lots of stuff on walls, don’t we!  I used to get so nervous when I had to hang a picture or pictures as backdrops because I never knew if I was doing it right.  Was the spacing right?  Did the photos line up?  How about proportions in relations to the actual display?  The questions were numerous.

The only way I learned was through trial and error and reading up on it in design books.  I soon learned it’s not about the rules and more about what looks good to the eye.  The most important tool (and talent) of the Trimmer – training your “eye”.  Here’s a quick article I found in Womans’s Day magazine (April 17, 2010), that I actually thought offered easy tips to get you started:

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Make Your Own Prop

Posted in Props by Arcadia on March 7, 2010

Wood cubes, the most used props is also the easiest to make.  Once you’ve made one, you’ve made them all; it’s just a matter of changing the size to the fit your needs:  a small stand to display shoes or a large platform to display mannequins.  You don’t always have to add a bottom (helps to lighten the weight), but always make sure it’s level!

(tearsheet: Fresh Home magazine)

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