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Window Dresser Extraordinaire

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

Christmas Trends 2019

Kitsch; adjective. Noun.

art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

Neon Nostalgia is the phrase we are using this Christmas to capture the main trends we will be seeing throughout the merry season. With the lead up to 2020, neon lights have been retrieved from the 50’s and here for another chance to illuminate celebrations throughout the world with luminescent logos. We also ditch the Hygge trend this year and embrace our Australian lineage. Texture and colour are in focus and from the kitsch to the koala, we’re here to show you all the fun and fantastic trends this Christmas.


Silent Night, Neon Lights

Santa’s throne covered in fairy lights, naughty and nice lists in blazing text, juxtaposed palm trees with baubles and Christmas trees made entirely of lights. There is nothing subtle or silent about this trend. Bring in the year 2020 with radiating trails of light. Inspired by the neon jungle trend, this Christmas, blend tropical greenery with shiny baubles for a euphoric festive occasion. Energy will be buzzing with hyper-saturated colours juxtaposed on raw brick backdrops. This trend will be a mix of unexpected characters next to the bold tones found in the iconic neon glow. When you think you’ve reached your illumination maximum… add a few more.


A Very Vintage Christmas

A very favourite trend here in the office; a very vintage Christmas is inspired by the retro tones of the 50’s and the nostalgia of delicate ornaments and colours only found in vintage stores. The revival of vintage Christmas includes delicate glass baubles and kitsch bubblegum wreaths. Drape lengths of pearls around your wreaths and deck your mantel piece with antique ornaments. We’re here for the revival of tinsel. Hear us out… let the cellophane material hint into your aesthetic by using small pieces throughout your living area (inside a clear bauble or wrapped around the crockery).  We want to see ornaments that make you nostalgic for your childhood and kitsch decorations that should have been donated but now reminisce a bygone era.


In the Spirit

Let’s party like Gatsby this Christmas. Inspired by the decadence of the 1920’s, the burgundy trend sees the glitz and glam of the 20’s re-imagined with luxurious velvet ribbon, sparkling baubles and plush feathers. From mahogany to raspberry, this colour trend is all about the depth of tone. Compliment these tones with copper or put a modern spin on it with accents of buttery gold and slate. Charcoal inflections will herald warmth and visions of nights by the fire. This trend is all about texture, with the velvet trend only picking up pace and bedazzling Christmas this year. Drape burgundy over seating arrangements, use in place-mats and be sure to wear the colour yourself this merry season. Guests will be drawn to you with the red hue capturing the spirit of Christmas. Go further with accessories of gold and glittering statement shoes. After all, “A Little party never killed nobody” …


Stay Golden

When you think of gold, images of grandeur and glamour come to mind. We’ll take gold this Christmas in anyway there is to offer; glittering stars on top of the tree, 2mH reindeer’s standing proud, gift boxes wrapped in shiny paper and tables twinkling with cheeky gold bells hinting to Santa’s close arrival. The best part about using gold as your focal colour this season is that you can match it with almost anything. Navy blue, check. Pink, check. Black or white, check. Olive green, check. Gold works as a metallic neutral tone, so it is perfect to be used throughout your home to highlight your table decor or dress your tree tip to toe in the honey shades of the sunset.


Deck the sheds with bits of wattle

As the last few years have seen the Danish Hygge trend “a quality of coziness that makes a person feel content”, transform to Swedish concept of lagom “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right”, to the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi, “finding beauty within the imperfections of life”. We’re taking 2019/20 as our year to show what ‘down under’ has to contribute. From the country to the coast we celebrate our lineage under blue skies, crashing waves and the minty pine aroma of our giant gum trees.

We’re all about foraging for eucalyptus and celebrating Australia’s rustic environment. Natural timber decorations will be found throughout the home, on both the tree and table. Transform your outdoor setting with simple branches decorated in twinkling lights and vases filled with raw cotton stems, proteas and wattle. Add these elements to your gift wrapping by enveloping your presents in olive coloured ribbon with twigs and leaves sprouting out of brown paper secured with twine. We encourage you to rummage in the undergrowth for natural treasures. Complete the look with twinkling stars, glass baubles and earth toned embellishments.



The direct french translation for black, noir is our seductive and stylish trend this year that captures the old Hollywood genre. Focusing on colour (or lack there of), it’s all in the detail with this Christmas trend. Mix textures timbers for the best result of the noir trend. Let us paint the picture for you; James Stewart’s face appears on your screen “A Wonderful Life” is playing. Decorations on the tree are a mixture of black, gold and white with a ribbon replacing the movement of tinsel as it swirls around the branches. The tree is illuminated with warm twinkling lights and their glow is cast onto gifts scattered underneath wrapped in geometric white and black wrapping. Tall thin candles are a matte black dripping wax onto the white table cloth. The flaw reminiscent of film noir heroes and the dramatic low-lighting, structuring a murder mystery. Less Gothic, more tuxedo.

Get ready for Christmas by visiting our showroom at The Prop House

– 306 Vulture Street, Woolloongabba 4102. 

or SHOP ONLINE now at www.christmasdecorationsbrisbane.com.au.

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

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Spring Styling


“Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s Party” – Robin Williams


Market Fresh

Spring is just around the corner! When the weather warms up it’s a wonderful time to head to the markets for some Saturday morning sunshine and coffee. With a constant swell of small businesses joining the marketers on the weekend, the styling of your stall is something that can bring in crowds and repeat buyers or deter them to the next seller. No matter what your product is, there are always ways to best present your items. You want your produce such as lemons or flowers to look full, but some product it is best if you limit the amount on show. Vintage or handmade items such as earrings or bespoke clothing, appear more limited and unique if only a few are on show as people are more prone to be drawn to one off items. Use props such as bunting, market carts, flowers, vases and linen as a chic foundation to support your product. With an aesthetic backdrop, your product can pop and sell itself easier.

Our ‘go to’ prop: Market carts – available in various colours

Simple Spring

As the days start to become longer, its the perfect time of year to refresh your styling. Without the inspiration of full peony blooms and bright seasonal flowers yet in season, this source of inspiration draws from the end of winter foliage of branches and grasses. Use feature vases and baskets to present your items in simplistic styling. Layer with heights such as books and depth with prints and different sized vessels. The trick with styling in the beginning of Spring is to think minimalism and not too cluttered. Tones of olive and sage green mixed with powder blue create an organic aesthetic. Add pops of latte and rust hues to your styling for subtle contrasts as the weather begins to warm. Olive trees and pallet furniture are simple ways to start a Spring styling backdrop.

Our ‘go to’ prop: Olive tree and pallet furniture

Dinner Party Delights

Open the doors, let the warm breeze float in and style a dinner party for your friends and family. Here at The Prop House, we take pride and joy in creating magical experiences from intimate cocktail parties to extravagant galas. We’re loving this muted palette of dusty rose pinks, fossil grey and natural birch. This styling technique is all about keeping it simple with your feature elements creating the main attraction through texture. Think chiffon fabrics with a ‘thrown around’ vibe, jute and woven surfaces, delicate foliage and intricate settings. With your stunning Spring styling, a mix of gourmet cheeses and a hint of rose, what’s not to love about the changing seasons!

Our ‘go to’ prop: Rattan lanterns, various glassware, lanterns and birdcages


For all your visual merchandising enquiries, contact one of our stylists on (07) 3555 8660 or email vm@vmplus.com.au

For event styling, phone (07) 3217 4500 or email styling@theprophouse.com.au

and for prop hire, phone (07) 3217 4500 or email props@theprophouse.com.au

Don’t forget to check our our social media for more inspiration! INSTAGRAM @vmplus and PINTEREST @theprophouse

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5 Tips for Retail Success

The world of retail is big and crowded. How does one stand out from the rest, develop lasting relationships with customers, sell their product and create a beautiful space all at the same time? From a creative perspective, we’ve put together our five top tips for retail success.


1. Create an experience in your shopping centre through memorable activations.

Design interactions

Allow visitors to play with and experience a product. From pop-up activations and champagne bars, to school holiday workshops and personal styling sessions, there are many ways to interact with your customers to create an engaging space with a point of difference.

Energize your precinct

Engage and evoke emotions and creating relationships. School holiday activations and workshops invite families to extend their stay in the centre as well as create repeat trips to your shopping precinct. Design a late night shopping experience with a glamorous pop-up bar for friends to catch up at, or lay down some vibrant green artificial turf for a secret garden themed space with pallet furniture and tepee tents. With zones brought to life, customers will be inclined to increase their dwell time. Unexpected areas such as workshop pop-ups with greenery and colour strike interest and evoke emotion of wanting to be included in the activation.

Disrupt, adapt, react and innovate. (WGSN)

Activate stagnant zones by encouraging involvement and inviting interaction with customers. Encourage retailers to become involved in activating a space by instructing a demo therefore leading to sales. Inspire people to photograph and share your space onto social media for advertising and publicity. Add some signage with a hashtag and watch it spread throughout social media.


2. Imaginative windows and themed displays


Innovative window displays are more memorable and the customer is more likely to return to the store due to unforgettable visuals. Create a dynamic display by adding backdrops and layering merchandise. Remember the space doesn’t need to be lived in, so if you are using a table, layer up items and angle them in ways that aren’t meant to be used (such as glasses stacked and tipped over). Drawers of dressers can be opened with items spilling out and cushions stacked for a layered effect. The balance of the display can be achieved through symmetry (or asymmetry) and colour. For example, light colors appear lighter in weight than dark colors or bright colors visually weigh more than neutral colors in the same areas. Balance is not achieved through an actual physical weighing process, but through visual judgment on the part of the observer.

Theme or Story

Draw customers into your store through vivid window displays that relate to your product through a unique theme or balanced display. Use props to intensify and boost your selling item, design and tell a story in the window to connect to customers. A starting point could be a season such as Autumn or Christmas. A theme will carry your ideas, either subtly with snowflakes, or create an Autumn-scape with leaves and crates. Tuck your product among your seasonally inspired props and wait for the customers to be drawn into your display.


Utilize lighting and keep it clean and fresh with no clutter but focus on the main elements you want to sell. Spotlighting can be very effective for one off pieces of merchandise at a higher price point. Ensure your window is well lit to show off detail in your items.


Keep your signage to a minimum with one key message, so people passing at speed can read your message in one glance without needing to stop and read. Too many signs can confuse a customer. You want to have one clear message indicating new stock, a sale or seasonal trends for example. Your signage might lead back into the theme or story you are telling the consumer.




3. Sell your brand – not your product


No matter how amazing your product is that you are selling, it is your brand that establishes a memory and creates a returning customer. With personalization, your company will sell the product through company values and morals. Meet your customer’s needs more effectively and efficiently. Make interactions faster and easier and increase customer satisfaction and the likelihood of repeat visits. Stores that require details on a purchase can custom create a profile for their customers to tailor purchases to their interests and guide shoppers to the best future purchases

Product promotion

Advertise through your store through events, window displays and through social media. Create intensives and loyalty programs. Maintain a theme and colour – design is your first immediate form of communication. Create a maintainable look for your store, whether it’s colour or minimalism , your store should be recognizable as your individual brand when a customer walks in.



4. Change with the seasons


Trends and fashion change every few weeks, and new jumpers and coats come arrive in store long before we feel the temperature change. It is important for your store to reflect the change of seasons through displays and visual merchandising.

Brand Identity

Trends come and go, but your brand identity must remain. How do you stay true to your brand and current trends? Ensure your product is moving with the seasons, even before it is cold out, start people thinking about the cooler weather with window displays filled with coats and boots. People love changing their wardrobe and get in early with displays of the next season. Cosmetic brand? Think about how the weather impacts skin and market your hydrating products. Outdoor supplier? Instead of marketing swimwear and surfboards, focus your market onto land sports such as cycling and rock climbing.

Visual merchandising

Tweak daily, weekly and do a complete overhaul each month as stock starts to change. By changing your merchandising everyday and every week, people who walk past your store often will notice your attention to detail, the value you hold on making sure your products aren’t stagnant but you are aware of evolving to capture new eyes with various products.



5. Customers, Customers, Customers

Memorable customer service (the good kind).

With each visit to your retailer, you want your customers to leave feeling rejuvenated and valued. Take on board feedback and be willing to insert it into your company. Without change and growth is how companies become sterile. You need to work with your market, not against them. Think about up marketing to your customers in a caring way, to ensure you have their best interests at heart and you want them to leave the store knowing you have explored all options for them, even if they did not purchase, they will be more willing to try again next time.

Target market

Be aware of your market and who exactly you’re aiming to target. Is it teenagers, young professionals or families your product is for? Identify clearly who you are marketing to and tailor your marketing to them specifically. If your message is clear, your brand will have credibility by not hiding behind something it’s not.

Get social

Balance frequency and reach. Tap into your audience with a curated social media feed that reflects your product. This might also include inspirational images; with Instagram you have the freedom to include unrelated images as along as they match your colour scheme, message, brand identity and target audience. Don’t overwhelm your audience with constant feed, focus into your insights that are available and read when your audience is on your platform. Schedule your posts to match these times, be original and be creative. “If your brand is confident in who they are and what they stand for, your followers will have that same confidence and commitment to you.”


Planograms are “A schematic drawing or plan for displaying merchandise in a store so as to maximize sales.” Impact purchase behavior layout planning and product placement to increase sales, spontaneous purchases and focus on high traffic areas. As soon as your customer walks into your store, dictate their movements through a well planned store layout. If you want your customers to make it to the register, manipulate the store layout and the product to get them there.


Talk to us today to find out how we can integrate these ideas into your shopping precinct with our expertise!

Call us on (07) 3217 4500 or email vm@vmplus.com.au



Interested in learning about visual merchandising? Contact one of our stylists today at vm@vmplus.com.au or call (07) 3217 4500 to talk about our VM Training.

We offer opportunities for corporate or individual training.

Learn more about our visual merchandising training course here. Still need convincing? Read our blog on Why you should study VM.

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