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Window Dresser Extraordinaire

The latest news and trends from the world of visual merchandising.

Shopping Centres Re-imagined in a World Post-COVID-19

The evolution of retail is evident.

Currently the pandemic of COVID-19 is impacting our lives and changing them for the foreseeable future. Our time in isolation has allowed us to reflect on the future of retail and how we will respond to change within shopping centres during this current climate. We are starting to picture what our retail spaces will soon look like post COVID-19 and the evolution of consumer behaviour. Get ready to adapt, flourish and get creative!

As we consider our consumer behaviour moving forward, it’s important to consider what difference the brick and mortar stores will have to set them apart. Months without stepping foot in a shopping precinct, many are considering their dollar; the difference between making essential purchases and buying items that are a luxury. Not only has it driven an increase in online shopping, but the pandemic has decreased spontaneous purchases we are prone to indulging in as we stroll around a centre. Shopping centres hereafter will be a place required to deliver not just retail outlets, but a place of experience, connection and community.

Centres are becoming curated places of community zones; inspiring visitors to stay, play, relax and recharge. With disruption in the ‘brick-and-mortar’ world as brands start to have a primarily online presence, it’s important to not compete with this generational shift, but embrace the new way of shopping. Centres are now required to be an experience centre, to draw people in and give them an encounter they won’t have through their screen.

Just walk into your local shopping centre and take in the digital screens advertising new retailers, innovative food court designed to encourage a dining experience rather than a quick bite, and kids play areas with an interactive and educational purpose.

Play Town @ Castle Town, Townsville

Vacant tenancies will unfortunately be inevitable with the aftermath of COVID-19. But let’s look at this with the glass half full! Vacant tenancies provide the perfect space for centres to engage with their customers through interactive and inclusive play spaces. Places that will end up being seen with hashtags on everyone’s online feed. With the key word “grammable” at the heart of every brief, it’s important to add life, colour and interest into each space. New ideas, new concepts and innovative visual delights.

Tree Top Play @ Robina Town Centre

Centres are now required to be an experience centre, to draw people in and give them an encounter they won’t have through their screen.

Visual communication is a universal language and re-purposing a vacant tenancy will express to an audience a positive message about the popularity and health of the centre. When a positive message is sent to the brain, it puts the brain into a relaxed state (1). When tenancies are for lease, someone is prompted to think, why did they leave? Is business not good here? Should I be investing my money here? Where are other people shopping, if not here? Instead, fill that vacant space with colour and life encouraging a positive message to the consumer. In turn, people will reflect that the area is alive with activity and purpose and enter into the relaxed state.

Minipilly @ Indooroopilly Shopping Centre

Re-imagine urban life by promoting and creating a welcoming environment through the re-design of a vacant tenancy that will increase dwell time. With lush green turf underfoot and tepee tents creating hideaway areas amongst frilly palm trees, what’s not to love about an urban jungle designed for kids play. Add some play panels, timber furniture and artificial greenery and the tenancy will transform into a space for both little people and parents to enjoy. As mum and dad run out of holiday activities, why not venture back to the local shopping centre to soak up free activities from ball pits to ride-on cars.

Alternatively, targeting a teenage and young adult audience might be the right move for your centre. Tenancies have the ability to include even those who don’t want to venture from their iPhones. With the blank canvas of a vacant tenancy, create an Instagram wall with neon signs, velvet furniture and contemporary finishes. Provide spaces for study and gathering with friends through a well designed space. Creating an engaging and comfortable environment through light, space and material can trigger happiness and psychological wellbeing (2).

As COVID-19 impacts our lives now and into the future, we can respond with authenticity and honesty by working with the change rather than against it. Through the power of visual communication, shopping centres will transform into places of experience and connection and we can’t wait to see it happen.


1. https://99designs.com.au/blog/tips/psychology-design/

2. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/design/how-architecture-uses-space-light-and-material-to-affect-your-mood-american-institute-architects-a6985986.html


Design to express, not to impress

John Tanedo

Welcome to the future, 2020 has arrived! Our constant pinning has paid off as we come to you with our favourite trends for 2020. Let’s enhance our creativity through the Biophilic Design trend, stroll into the romance of 1920’s Paris and daydream into a terrazzo sunset setting. We have sourced our favourite looks and inspiration for the new decade and completely transformed our showroom into a blissful prop paradise ready for a new year of adventures and new beginnings.

70’s Daydream

Think Miami Vice meets terrazzo, bright sunset hues and Matisse-like shapes. The versatility of velvet has exploded throughout the trends this year and we are loving it. Create lounge settings of luxe sofa’s and ottomans splashed with crystals, mirrors and a soft sheep skin rug to sip your tequila sunrise and relax upon. With funky coffee tables of mosaic pattern, copper wiring and 70’s art, we have ourselves a little daydream.

Further this trend with foliage elements and bring the sunshine inside with ceramic planters and gorgeous banana leaves. Placed in blush coloured glass wear to capture sparkles of light and reflection, mix in dried flowers and to add uniqueness and textural diversity.

It’s new baby:

History Repeating Itself

It’s the year 2020 and drawing inspiration from the iconic roaring 20’s, we’re envisioning a new jazz age; a decade of change and prosperity. Will history repeat itself? The theme of The Great Gatsby has been seen and repeated for many years but 2020 will see Parisian romance twist this trend into our day-to-day lives. The American and European amalgamation sees gold glitz and silk textures float into interiors, delicate pearl bags casting thoughts of Coco Chanel and coupes of champagne balanced on velvet arm chairs. Our modern millennial culture disrupts this mood by adding to the cast, chunky sneakers with your pearl bag, Scandinavian details adding to the velvet décor and gold monstera leaves disrupting lavish ostrich feather arrangements. As the flapper dress represented the death of the 1920’s corset, silk midi dresses in 2020 characterize the modern feminist.

To create the ultimate new 20’s look, ignite your passion for texture with velvet furniture and silk fabrics. Add a Parisian influence with sculptures and the American dream through foliage arrangements of orchids, ostrich feathers and monstera leaves. Incorporate art deco metallic tables next to pearl chandeliers. Keep it modern with a casual approach to styling; glass trinket boxes, cat-eye sunglasses and of course a bar cart for all your champagne evenings, because champagne will never go out of style. 

Party like it’s 2020:

Biophilic Design

What is biophilic design you ask? The practice of incorporating nature and natural elements into the built environment. Who doesn’t love the crackling of a fire, sitting by a window with rays of sunshine pouring in or having a bouquet of fresh flowers nearby? Biophilia is the science behind implementing the natural environment into our often sterile, industrial and urban environments.

Infuse your senses with woody scents of bamboo and wicker whilst the soles of your feet ground themselves on the different textures of patterned rugs and rustic floorboards. Feeding a happier and calmer mind, the freshness of monstera leaves and succulents fill the air, trickling into the biophilic trend of 2020.

Bring positivity and tranquillity into your space by immersing the outdoors with the indoors and the indoors with the outdoors. Adding a touch of live foliage and utilising neutral and light colours, envision the eco-lover inside of you relaxing into a Zen state of mind. Reuse pre-loved materials, add those ethical and natural elements and walk into a surrounding of serenity.

Props that will be the ying to your yang:

Classic Blue

Blue… The colour of the year. Classic Blue to be precise. A colour that aids concentration, creates calmness and peace, and is simple, elegant and timeless.

Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

With turbulence in our current economic and political climate, the Pantone experts turned to Classic Blue this year to instil a sense of tranquillity throughout the design industry. With design influencing areas from architecture and interior, to fashion and technology, art and film, this colour will create guidance for those lacking direction and inspire an honest approach to expanding our thinking and consciousness.

Boundless Blue:


Simillar to the 1920’s trend, the romantisism trend features the reinterpretation of centuries past in a modern context. Think European cities and alfresco cafes, old book shops, and museums filled with paintings and love stories. An Instagram feed where every photo is taken in that soft glow of the afternoon light and textures of chic fluffy cardigans and juxtaposed against silk slips. The boudoir dressing room is the ultimate backdrop for this regal yet simplistic trend.

Encapsulating Romanticism perfectly is the smoothness of blush silk, sculpture-white fabric and speckles of gold on marble, with a focus on statement pieces and minimalism. The mixture of velvet and sheer add the touch of luxury along with modern touches of gold geometry and mirrors for a spacious illusion.

With European-It-Girls on the rise setting trends of fashion, creative and expressive lifestyle, we can’t help but fall in love with these effortless, female-led trends. We are bringing classic-chic back with avant-garde femininity and we are in looove.

Accessoires que nous aimons:

Iced Lilac

We’ve seen millennial pink take the stage and now it’s time for the hottest pastel of the season; lilac. With visions of sweet violet toned bouquets, this trend has blossomed into our wardrobes with hues seeping from plum to lavender. The diluted purple is perfect to contrast against other pastel tones, creating dreams of a candy coloured wardrobe. Evolving from the 2018 colour of the year; Ultra Violet, this aesthetic is a dream result from the Pantone vivid purple and the millennial pink trend melding together.

Pair with gold details for a polished look to avoid the pre-teen eye shadow pot memories we all have. Opposite yellow on the colour wheel, this tone works well when paired with warm tones of ochre and terracotta. Alternatively, subtle blue-grey neutrals work beautifully with the floral shade and even experiment with pops of copper for a serene scene.        

See the trends in action in our showroom at

The Prop House – 306 Vulture Street, Woolloongabba 4102. 

For more information about visual merchandising, contact VM+ at (07) 3217 4500 or email vm@vmplus.com.au

Chat to our prop stylist today at props@theprophouse.com.au

Written by Rosie Schulz and Lia Pritchard

International Christmas Windows 2019

“That’s what Christmas memories are made from. They’re not planned; they’re not scheduled. Nobody puts them in their blackberry. They just happen.”

Deck The Halls (2006)

It’s time to indulge. Grab that cup of tea and 10th slice of Christmas cake as we head to London, Paris, New York and even Melbourne to uncover the whimsical, quintessential, luxurious and celebrated windows bringing in Christmas 2019.

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

The deco dome of Galeries Lafayette has been swarmed by dazzling bees this Christmas as it transformed into a beehive. Dripping their vibrant flowers of every variety over the pine tree, the iconic tree became barely visible under the glittering lights.

Always extravagant, the main window was a medley of animated bees, busily buzzing around incandescent blooms and creating a spectacular Christmas table setting.


Harrods, London

Is it a menagerie or is it Harrods? Both! Animals found in frosty environments such as the brown bear (bearing gifts) and snow leopard (escaping with Elie Saab) to a zebra and mountain goat travelling heavy these holidays with gift boxes strategically mounted on their backs traveled throughout the Harrods windows. Each luxury brand featured in the windows reflected the animal in focus with the framing of the window magically surrounding the scene with twinkling green foliage.

In creating the concept, the store’s Creative Visual Director, Alex Wells-Greco took inspiration from the “fantasy worlds dreamt up by childrens’ writers such as Philip Pullman, particularly the use of animals as figures of magic and escapism.” 


Tiffany & Co, New York

Tiffany & Co this year draws eyes right into their window with a clever miniature carousel story. Ready for the twinkling eyes of both children and adults, the jewellery in their Fifth Avenue flagship store has been presented for the merry season on a tiny city-scape of Central Park. With your attention captured by the life size carousel protruding from the window, as you gaze into the windows, another world comes alive.

Myer, Melbourne

The infamous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, have made an appearence this Christmas in the Melbourne and Brisbane Myer windows. May Gibb’s gorgeous Australian gumnut baby characters look like they have walked right off the pages of one of her iconic books.

With 800 hand-cut gumleaves, the characters adventure through Christmas scenes with a quintessential Australian influence. Myer said, “Scenes include the Gumnut Babies playing in an Australiana-themed Myer Beauty Department, and even exploring a bush fairy inspired Giftorium.”


Tis the season…

Macy’s Holiday window with a puppy nose enjoying all the scratched
Louis Vuitton, New York a splash of colour to brighten every grey snow day.
“An Out Of This World Holiday” at space age inspired Bloomingdale’s NY.
Saks Fifth Avenue at 611 5th Ave, dripping in Frozen journey of colour, characters and twinkling lights… lots of lights!
The iridescent and textural Tree of Liberty at Liberty London

For more Christmas inspiration, props and decorations, visit our sister website: www.christmasdecorationsbrisbane.com.au

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For Brisbane’s best event styling, theming and prop hire

For everything Christmas

CALL 07 3217 4500 OR

Corner Vulture and Leopard Streets
306 Vulture Street
Qld 4102
(Entry off Leopard Street)

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday
9am - 04.30pm