Monday, February 23, 2015

5 Decorating Ideas From a Store Merchandiser

antiques, decor, store,
So, you may or may not know that I work at an antique place called The Antique Barn.  I started in the back room, painting and sanding, repairing and fixing furniture.  I have taught Annie Sloan Paint Workshops there and I have worked behind the counter in customer service.  

But, after having to limit my time on my feet when I developed plantar fasciitis (which is slowly getting better), I settled on my favorite roll at The Antique Barn--store fluffer or merchandiser, if you will.

I am not sure that is my official title, but I go in usually once a week at the beginning of the week after busy weekends and I redecorate and change booths.  I add in new merchandise and clean and tidy.  And I love it.  It is fun to get to play and try out new ideas (I have a very supportive boss who gives me free reign). 

Many of the ideas and things I do at the antique store can be translated into our homes:

1.) Pair the unexpected.  I love putting an old skull or antlers with a fine English antique. 
antiques, skull, decor, unexpected, Beyond The Picket Fence,
Think opposites--rustic with finer, fancier items.  Lace and rusty metal,
metal bucket, lace, antiques, how to decorate, Beyond The Picket Fence,
Silver with chippy paint primitives.
antique lace, silver, chippy paint, antiques, Beyond The Picket Fence,
2.) Repurposing items does not have to mean building and a major undertaking.  I needed a taller side table to put next to a bench.  We didn't have anything available that quite fit the bill, so I placed a single drawer on top of a barrel.  It works--it gives the height I needed and a place to set things.  Look at your things in a new way.  We bloggers love to show you projects with all kinds of steps ;), but sometimes the answer is a simple fix.  
decor, old barrel, side table, repurposed furniture, Beyond The Picket Fence,
A tractor steering wheel becomes a makeshift centerpiece when jars and objects of interest are added. Try to look at your things with fresh eyes.  What can you use in a new way?
antique, old steering wheel, repurposed, decor, centerpeice, Beyond The Picket Fence,
3.) Think outside the box, in this case the crayon box. Try new color combinations. Our color combos at the Antique Barn usually come out of necessity because items need a place and may not always be an exact fit.  These turquoise shutters on a bright green wall with a blue wall hanging, yellow window frame mirror, and red accents make me smile every time I see it.
bright colors, shutters, old window, decor, Beyond The Picket Fence,
Don't worry about what "goes together".  Use unusual color choices like this red, turquoise and PINK booth.
turquoise paint, decor ideas, red door, Beyond The Picket Fence,

red ladder, quilts, antiques, decor ideas, Beyond The Picket Fence,
4.) Crates and benches work ANYWHERE. We have a lot of crates and benches at the Barn and they are workhorses.  I forgot bench pictures, but use them as coffee tables, stacked as shelves, on a table to add height.  Crates can be used the same--as small side tables, shelf units, or to add height as I did on the smaller cabinet.
crates, benches, old wood, antique, decor,
Crates are also a great way to showcase something that you want to highlight in your decor.
Beyond The Picket Fence, crate, enamelware, antiques, Beyond The Picket Fence,
5.) Hang anything on the wall, ANYTHING. I hang chairs, books, doors and window frames on the wall.  Old light fixture bases and house numbers
old window, wall art, light fixture, decorating ideas, rustic, Beyond The Picket Fence,
or a variety of old hangers look like art when hung on a wall.  Plate hangers work on many items to secure them to the wall. Again--look for the unexpected item to hang on the wall, something that is unique and fun.
antique hangers, decorating ideas, wall art, Beyond The Picket Fence,
When you are out and about, look in your favorite stores for decorating ideas that you can utilize in your own home.  Keep your eyes open for junk and other pieces that many would would pass by.  Most importantly, PLAY--there are no right or wrong rules.  If it makes you smile and makes you happy it is RIGHT!
Linking up at Concord Cottage.


  1. Becky, some great ideas there and you have my utmost sympathy for your plantar. I've had it twice now and it's so painful and sooo slow to heal. I hope it gets better as soon as possible for you.

    1. Thanks--yes it has been a pain, literally and figuratively. The whole not wearing the shoes I want to wear because they hurt is getting old!

  2. These are great tips, I always struggle with creating displays. I'll be keeping this info! Thanks for sharing on Something To Talk About!! I'd love to have you join us again next Monday!!

    1. Great ideas! I have a very classical home, but I'm introducing new colors and taking risks. 😁 Love antiques, oldies and family treasures I've got from my late grand-parents and parents. My youngest daughter says that we live in a museum, but she loves everything that has a story to tell. Get well soon. Big Kiss from Portugal! 💖

  3. Becky, I'm fairly new to your blog and I'm Really enjoying it. I especially liked today's post. You have described my style to a tee. Give me rusty combined with lace anytime. Thanks for the great ideas.

  4. great ideas Becky! Thanks for sharing.

    Happy to hear your feet are getting better, I wish you continued (speedy) heeling


  5. I know what it is like to have chronic pain and hope it heals soon. I love all the tips and tricks you use and am happy I can say oh I did that right to a few of is always so fun to figure things out as you go when rearranging etc.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate your kind words!