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Decorating My New Shop


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#1 Mudslayer

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:08 AM

Hi, I haven't been here long, posted a few times, and have read just about every thread here over the past few weeks. First, let me say that this is a great forum, a lot of useful tips, advice, suggestions and all the things a forum should be. That being said, I am coming here today to ask for some help in getting my new store looking great. It is very very small, (see attached diagram) but it gives me enough room to do what I have wanted to do for 3 years, and that is have a shop (I would LOVE to call it a gallery, but don't want to sound too, you know, snobby). When you look at the diagram, you will see that on one side is my working studio, and the larger side is the retail side. Right now, the only thing that is left to do as far as contractors go, is put in wiring and insulation and drywall and OSB board.

My side of the building is going to be walled in OSB board, simply because of the clay color and the fact that I can be messy at times. The countertops are going to be stained a deep caramel color. I have a concrete floor in the whole building, going to stain it for now, and then next spring going to put down the vinyl that looks like wood planks, (at least that is my desire now, but i know that I can pretty much do any type of decorating with a wood floor look) but for now the concrete is going to be stained, and I have NO idea what color I want.

My research has been a daily trip into color theory as applies to retail. What I would like advice on is really simple, but a BIGGIE. Color. Color of walls, color of vaulted ceiling, color of floor, color of display units, should they be all the same type, (wrought iron, wood, glass,) or should they be a little of each.

My pottery is 95% Standard 266, which fires to a deep chocolate, it is stoneware. The colors I use are mostly the deep jewel tones, I use a lot of Potters Choice Colors, either alone or layered, and my pieces range from yarn bowls to lamps.


The hair salon where I go is stunning. Old building, wood floors, a medium deep green color, all black fixtures, black ceiling fans. It just radiates warmth and comfort and inviting atmosphere. I love it. BUT, I got to wondering about the green walls. The green is so beautiful, it is not grass green nor is it jade, it is more like a dusty, muted, sage kinda green.

My pieces, as I said, range from deep emerald greens, to ruby, to turquoise, to sapphire, to sunset reds, blacks, chocolates, you get the idea. I don't want the colors of my pieces to blend in with the wall colors. So I thought maybe a gold, that would actually "set off" the pieces, make them 'pop".

The walls go to 8 feet, then i have a 6/12 pitch roof. The ceiling fans will be positioned on the ceiling at a slope, one on my side, one on the other side, so they will be off center, since the areas are not split down the middle. The thought of a white ceiling makes me cringe. But I don't know and have never seen vaulted ceilings in any other color. There is a wall between the 2 areas with a doorway and no door, (thinking about string curtain, or my favorite, LOVE BEADS!, to hang there. The wall stops at 8 feet, so the ceiling goes on up, and you can see it from all areas.

If you have a minute take a look at the sketch, and although it is hard to picture things like a sketch, I would greatly greatly appreciate any ideas that you can think of for decorating this space. And ideas about what to put in the wall doorway as well as ceiling color. FYI, in front of the big window I am hanging a 3 hanging mini pendant light with 3 of my globes on it, and below the window will be a display of some sort with all of my pendant globes on it. Othewise, everything else is still being figured out.

Thanks so much in advance, sorry I took so long in trying to describe it to you, but i wanted you to see it in your mind as much as you could.

Here is the diagram, and later on today if I can I will put up a picture of the actual building with a shot on the inside too, but for now the diagram will have to suffice.

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#2 Chris Campbell

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:22 AM

My idea is to ask your beauty salon who did their decor, get in touch with them to see if they are willing to do an hour or two consult. If you can't afford their fee, offer to trade pottery for their time. The worst is they will say no, the best is you will have your dream space.

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#3 JBaymore

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:10 AM

You probably already know this... but here's a few of my thoughts:

Don't discount the word "gallery" so quickly. It is a power word in sales. "Let's step into my gallery" says a VERY differnt thing to a studio guest from "Let's step into my shop." Inherent in the language you use is how YOU view the value of your work. Are you selling a standard commodity like orange juice, motor oil, or pencils? That stuff gets sold in a "shop". Fine quality objects get sold in galleries and showrooms.

You need to match the "decor" to the target market and the wares and also to the price points you intend to sell at. A disconnect here can really affect your sales.

A "stainless steel and glass" look and work on white pedestals combined with "country" style pottery will not help you. Conversely a "parlor look" with high end contemporary themed pieces also will not help. Match it up.

Forget what YOU like........ think about who you are marketing TO. What would THEY like. What would enhance your work to them? Then add in your research on color theory in archetecture and retail marketing. You may like that particular beauty salon.... but will your CUSTOMERS and potential customers? (Have you researched if people who already buy your pots go to that place?)

If you use "cheap materials" or materials that are easily associated with more inexpensive things in the space, it will affect your pricing. And example of this is using pine for shelving. Pine wood is generally associated with lower prices, more casual types of things. Use something like well finished oak, and the "status" of whatever is displayed on it is increased. Psychology is your friend ;) .

In my opinion, THE most important thing in that space you will do is the LIGHTING. Lights, lights, lights. WAY more light than you think you need. (Wire for it NOW.) Oh.... did I mention lights?

As soon as possible, I'd also soften up that concrete floor for people to stand on for long periods.

Hope something is useful.

best,

.........................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#4 Lucille Oka

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:58 PM

I see where the wheel is planned for but will you be firing a kiln in the space as well? I didn't see anything on the sketch to indicate kiln placement. Are you planning on a different location for that?
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#5 nancylee

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 06:44 PM

Hi,
I have a shop and every day, people tell me that it is the most lovely shop in town! My secret - soft colors. In this shop and my last one I have used very soft light buttery yellow in one room and a light light sage green in the other. They give a softer feel than the whites or beiges yet are light enough that they don't mess with the color on the objects. It is a,very serene palate.

Also, I would never use dark or black accessories in a shop unless I had a very hard edged, modern style. Trim in soft cream looks great, and interesting ways to display the pottery to catch the attention of the shoppers. I go to pinterest and type in shop displays. Who says you have to use a shelf to show your pottery? I use an old stepladder, a big old wooden electrical spool, and a big tree trunk about 18 to 24 inches tall. Think outside the box, be creative! Hang your mugs from tree branches you bring in and firmly stick into planters with sand in them! Surprise your shoppers and they will stay around longer to look at your goods! Just keep the colors soft, so they don't compete with your work, and have fun!!!
Nancy
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#6 Mudslayer

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:55 AM

Thank you so much for this advice! It really really made me rethink a fewthings....But let me tell Lucille the kiln is in a different locationaltogether. I use to throw near it, andsometimes the heat in the building would be too too much, and I could not doit. So the kiln is by itself in atotally different building.



John, your reply was so thought provoking. It made me realize one major flaw in MY wayof thinking, and that is basically what you said. If I, ME, THE POTTER does not think that mypieces are high quality, then how could I expect my customers to think that.

I know my pieces are beautiful, well, most are, some are,shall we say, just different. Which doesNOT lower their value, it only means that for every person there is a pot, andsome of these pots just need to find their person. Make sense?

I agree about the concrete floor being an issue. I know how my back use to feel, my legs, omg,don't even go there, after a few hours of standing and throwing... Misery....We made the decision to go with the vinyl wood plank flooring. I would take it all the way into my side, but the vinyl does not have the thickness I need for standing long periods of time so my side will have thehigh density anti fatigue mat and it will go fromone side to the other. I picked theblack because all of my work space is black, cabinets, countertop, shelves,etc.

I was reading Nancylee's advice about displays and I think that is a great idea. If I had more room I would be able to do an array of decor, but for now in this smaller space I think it needs to be cohesive, but by no means boring. I was online last night looking at etegeres, ladder shelves, wall units, things that can be used to display multiple pieces in a smaller area but still give the illusion of having space. I actually have thought about the ladder that you put shelves thru the steps, and really want to do that in the middle of my back wall, center it, and have on either side a display that softens the angular lines of the ladder, maybe one of the shelves that has the rounded sides with the different heights of shelves inside the display, they come in various sizes and can hold a lot of pots. Or I could use 3 ladders with the shelves running across the whole length of the wall with risers on some shelves, giving height to a grouping of pieces.

I still am so undecided about the color of the retail displays, the black seemed like a great idea until John said that black is more for contemporary modernistic pieces, which mine are def not. Mine are functional, some decorative, some a little of both, but none are modernistic. I love contemporary and clean lines, but in my pottery it is the exact opposite. Maybe a la natural is the thing to do, more of a style that is common in my neck of the woods. That would probably make customers feel more at home, being able to picture some of my pieces in their home. Food for thought, def.

I do have a major question tho, can't remember if I asked it before. Walls and vaulted ceilings. 8 foot walls giving way to 6/12 pitch roof. I am torn between the colors of the green and a subtle golden glow. The tops of the walls will be pictures of my pieces in a stacked random pattern as a border, (at least that is the plan), but that white ceiling has me going, nope, ain't gonna do that. What about the fade out look, going from the one color, deeper at the bottom, then about almost to border start fading it out, so the ceiling is more of a soft buttery color, (if I go with the golden glow) or a soft shade of the green. Would that look right with the pictures border? Or should there be a softer more of a stenciled type of border around the top so the transition will be more smooth?

Wiring should be done by tomorrow, and the interior walls should be insulated and drywalled by Thursday, so painting and floors and installation of cabinetry should be done by this time next week, (hopefully, keep your fingers crossed).... so i really need to make up my mind as to what I am going to do about color and displays by end of week so all of that can be bought and ready to go in.

HELP!! SO many choices, so little time!!!











#7 Denice

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:56 AM

I was a decorator for 20 years, I have decorate everything from a bar to a mortuary. I did this while I went to school and raised my family. I would go with the buttery gold, it's a good backdrop color for the glazes you are using. I found that green is one of those colors that people love or hate, a little color psychology is helpful. I once had a buisness ask me to decorate their order takers cubicle so that the workers would stay in them longer. I did my research and found out a warm peach was the right color, using the right color of light is also important, try soft, daylight and florescent, be cautious with florescent they can be warm. blue or even greenish. If you can find the room for 2 or 3 larger impressive pieces that are higher priced they will help you sell your smaller work. People will fall in love with the larger work and can't afford it or don't have the room but still want to own some of your work. The galleries I sold at at me show large, medium and small work for that reason. If you do some outdoor signage try it incorporate some bright cobalt blue in it, blue can be seen the furthest distance by most people. Good Luck Denice

#8 Idaho Potter

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:22 PM

If you are trying to sell your pottery, that should be the first and last thing people comment on when they visit your gallery. The walls, ceilings, window trim should be nothing more than a backdrop for the work you exhibit. You don't really want people to say how much they admire the walls rather than your work. Go into retail businesses in your region that sell comparable goods and see how they decorate. Don't discount the chain retailers. Cracker Barrel and Sonoma-Williams have spent a lot of money researching and targeting their customers.

I think Chris' idea about contacting the decorator for the salon is good. But, beware of decorators who sell and promote specific products, they are more concerned with sales than consulting. John is soooooo right about lights. Lots and lots so there aren't any dark corners. I'd even pick a place where you might exhibit your newest work and make sure there were some LED spots to highlight the area. If you use fluorescent lights go for full spectrum bulbs. Also keep in mind that the same people will come back time after time. Don't keep your display static, change it up--move it around. When they come in to buy mugs and have to look around to find them, they'll also be looking at more of your pottery.

I know you're excited by finally having your own outlet, but think about what John said about not downgrading your work. If you met someone new and wanted to invite them to your new building, what would you say? "Here's my card, why don't you stop by my showroom (gallery--studio--shop) and take a look at my work." Pick the noun that best suits you and your art and sell that idea to everyone. In fact, play up the studio/showroom aspect. If you are going to be the only sales person, you do realize this will cut into your production time, don't you? Take that into consideration when setting up the hours you'll be open to the public.

Frankly, Mudslayer, I wish you had posted your questions many months before your opening. Rather than hurrying through the setup process, try to slow the mental process down so you have fewer regrets. My experience in managing galleries tells me that you need to think beyond today and tomorrow. Where do you want to be--retail wise--in three years? Will you be accepting other artist's work to share space? Think about a painter who's work you admire. Would their work enhance yours? Will your color scheme allow for this type of change? Pull out your pencil and paper and start your Pro/Con lists. I think you still have many decisions to make beyond the paint colors.

Best of luck on your endeavor!

Shirley

#9 Dharsi

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:02 AM

I would urge you to consider white walls. Of course white is never "white." You can choose the tone of the white, but white none the less. You can keep extra around for touch ups and your work is what shoppers will focus on. I would also paint the wall and ceiling the same color. In a room that small, you make it look smaller by chopping it up with one color on the walls and one on the ceiling. Same with the trim. As a matter of fact, you can use opposing color trim to frame your work and draw shopper's attention to special pieces. An example of this might be a picture frame hung on a wall behind the ladder shelf you are considering, that frames a few special pieces. You might keep a couple of these frames around in different colors/textures, to switch out depending on the glaze on your "display" pots.

If you want to use a bit of color, save it for your work side of the room. I know it is hard to look at your space and not want to pretty it up with color, but when you fill it with shelving and your work there will be plenty going on. Some of us are very visually distracted and I think the best idea to highlite your work is to choose something that just disappears.

#10 Mudslayer

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:23 AM

Wow, 98 percent of Gallery/Working Studio is complete. Most of what is left is just touch up like countersinking nailheads, putting in a little caulk where trim meets in back corner, and putting up oodles of shelves on the walls. I don't want the Gallery part to be so full your eye doesnt know where to land, but I don't want there to be much wasted, nothing in it space.

I went with a color scheme that may sound a little odd and to some a little bold, and to be totally honest, I had never thought about it until I took pottery pieces that have the colors I use the most and set them up in different layouts and put a board behind and beside the pottery. Of all the colors, this one I just went, "Ohhh". You see the walls, but the way the building is laid out the windows, lights and doorway add dimension and change the color of the walls according to natural, flourescent and incandescent . The white vault ceiling leaves a crisp clean aura over everything while the wall color just comes alive. The window trim is a color called Sweet Annie,, a green that has both cool and warm properties in it, and the walls are called Golden Glow. Yep, they are a yelow/gold, that I NEVER would have tried, even just flipped by it in color swatch booklet, but when my friend suggested to just try it, everyone went at the same time, YES... My pottery color choices are sapphires, golden reds, sunset colors, greens, anything that is regal in appearance, bold, dramatic, and this wall color just makes everything POP.

I do have a question that I am having trouble deciding. There is a 8 foot wall tha separates the 2 areas, with a 7 foot doorway in it. I want to put something up, but not a door, I want people to see into my work area, and see pieces in progress, but not TOTALLY see. Was looking at some curtains that are the long fringe type new ones, they have them in about 20 colors, and all throughout the strands are crystals in whatever color complements the curtain. So with the lights shining, everything just sparkles. However, i don't know if this is the correct thing to use. Shears with a funky pattern maybe? cafe doors? but somethinghas to be put up there to separate the 2 areas. No doors, need the openess for A/C to come thru too.
Any ideas?

#11 Denice

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:57 AM

Wow, 98 percent of Gallery/Working Studio is complete. Most of what is left is just touch up like countersinking nailheads, putting in a little caulk where trim meets in back corner, and putting up oodles of shelves on the walls. I don't want the Gallery part to be so full your eye doesnt know where to land, but I don't want there to be much wasted, nothing in it space.

I went with a color scheme that may sound a little odd and to some a little bold, and to be totally honest, I had never thought about it until I took pottery pieces that have the colors I use the most and set them up in different layouts and put a board behind and beside the pottery. Of all the colors, this one I just went, "Ohhh". You see the walls, but the way the building is laid out the windows, lights and doorway add dimension and change the color of the walls according to natural, flourescent and incandescent . The white vault ceiling leaves a crisp clean aura over everything while the wall color just comes alive. The window trim is a color called Sweet Annie,, a green that has both cool and warm properties in it, and the walls are called Golden Glow. Yep, they are a yelow/gold, that I NEVER would have tried, even just flipped by it in color swatch booklet, but when my friend suggested to just try it, everyone went at the same time, YES... My pottery color choices are sapphires, golden reds, sunset colors, greens, anything that is regal in appearance, bold, dramatic, and this wall color just makes everything POP.

I do have a question that I am having trouble deciding. There is a 8 foot wall tha separates the 2 areas, with a 7 foot doorway in it. I want to put something up, but not a door, I want people to see into my work area, and see pieces in progress, but not TOTALLY see. Was looking at some curtains that are the long fringe type new ones, they have them in about 20 colors, and all throughout the strands are crystals in whatever color complements the curtain. So with the lights shining, everything just sparkles. However, i don't know if this is the correct thing to use. Shears with a funky pattern maybe? cafe doors? but somethinghas to be put up there to separate the 2 areas. No doors, need the openess for A/C to come thru too.
Any ideas?

I'm glad you found the buttery gold color a good solution, I had a couple of ideas for the opening one could be temporary while you make the other. Building a decorative block wall out of clay would give you a open but creative solution. It would be like a tall courtyard wall, you could have the design of the blocks as open or close as you want it to be the design possibilities are endless. It would take a while to make all of the blocks and install them. the temporary idea I had was old fashion hanging beaded doorway from my hippie days, it would take three of them to cover your area. Finding some that have the right pattern and colors might be difficult I haven't bought one for at least 10 years. Denice

#12 Lucille Oka

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:12 PM

How will you handle the shop dust in your gallery? Met a potter who was so angry that there was so much dust on her ware. Met another in the same area who complained about her dust and how dusting was a constant annoyance. They had no separation between the two areas.

Be sure to check with your HVAC rep and make sure the work area air flows away from the gallery.

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".




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