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Window Dresser Extraordinaire

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

Engaging Customers with a Book Swap

Ever since the rise of online shopping, competition amongst shopping centres has never been fiercer in the battle to both get customers in store and provide them with the right engagement to form an emotional connection to their local. One Brisbane retailer decided to convert an unloved vacant tenancy into a space that would engage with the local community, provide entertainment and create a feeling of  ownership in shoppers.

It was our pleasure to provide styling for the Book Swap – a place for people to donate their preloved books, provide a quiet spot to read, relax and obtain a new book to read at no expense. We chose a palette of bright blues, greens and crisp whites with pops of extra colour that tie back to the centre’s branding provided by oversized alphabet installations in the windows.

Shelves for the book exchange, large trestle tables for adults to sit and a cosy tipi nook for children to relax and read a book were all a part of the design brief. The space was softened with greenery and cosy timber look cushions for a sense of fun! Activations such as this Book Swap are proving hugely successful with shoppers, as they provide more engagement than a traditional static window display.

To find out how we can help you with your own activation contact us at info@vmplus.com.au


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End of Financial Year Flashback

What a year we have had so far. We thought we’d take a look back at some of our favourite moments before we begin our preparations for Christmas – yes that time of year is just around the corner for us already! We’ve packed a lot into the last six months, working with our favourite clients old and new. At last count we hired over 1,350 props to over 330 clients, dressed 650 mannequins and put more than 25,000 baubles onto Christmas trees around the Great South East. Our showroom at Leopard and Vulture Street got a golden facelift with a new facade and illuminated signage.

The Prop House

Throughout the past six months our clients have taken our imagination to the Middle East, visiting the races and even into their own homes, giving us the opportunity to display how versatile our styling can be.

Our most vibrant event was definitely a ball with an Arabian Night theme which was a truly rich and decadent event. This theme was about creating a grand and extravagant evening, feeling as though you were in the Middle Eastern desert. We used Aladdin for inspiration, thinking magic carpet, desert, feathers and rich colours.

The launch of a new development in Brisbane saw the Prop House Style a marquee at Raymond Park on a stunningly sunny day. The Moroccan inspired interiors of the development translated into the luncheon setting with patterned lanterns, natural finishes and pops of colour through florals & greenery. The guests enjoyed a delicious meal whilst overlooking the city views from amongst the trees.

Creating a party atmosphere at a stunning home on the banks of the Brisbane River was not a hard task for our team at The Prop House. Elegant in white and sparkling light, the outdoor area was transformed into a glowing party scene with our marquee letters, wonderful lights and illuminated bars. Classic furniture and candle light set the tone and the pool was the main feature of the evening with an installation of hundreds of white balloons overflowing on the surface.


The team have created some truly amazing visual merchandising projects over the past six months, but special mention must go to ‘Minipilly’ the kids play space we created for our client. Referencing local icons such as the Brisbane River and Mt Coot-tha, we were able to help our client turn a vacant tenancy into fully functioning (not to mention beautiful) space that continues to drive visitors to the centre.

We loved the variety of projects that we got to work on as well, with other memorable moments including creating a giant rooster lantern for Chinese New Year, an enchanting Easter themed activation complete with giant tree, as well as pushing the boundaries of everyday VM by creating displays that harness the power of online and social media marketing.

We’ve also run a number of our popular VM Training Courses inspiring students with the tips, tricks and secrets of visual merchandising magic. Our students produced some pretty spectacular window displays at the end of each course and we are looking forward to hosting our first ever Advanced Visual Merchandising Course in July (watch this space).

Giving Back

The Prop House team are passionate about giving back to the community.  As mentioned above, this year we have sponsored over 25 charities including Starlight Children’s Foundation, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Foodbank, Hear & Say Foundation and Breast Cancer Awareness. The value of our sponsorship exceeds $70,000, not to mention the hours and planning involved in each charity event or donation.

In March our leading lady Jano Dawes joined the “10 Leaping Ladies” who leaped from Kangaroo Point cliffs all in the name of charity. Through all their courage and support, the ladies exceeded their $10,000 goal, raised for White Cloud Foundation, who support women at risk of perinatal depression.

Our team get a great sense out of satisfaction in contributing towards such great causes and we are looking forward to carrying on next year with helping others.

Social Calendar

Even though we work pretty hard – there’s always room for a little bit of fun. As a team we took time to bond and have a laugh with a trip to Escape Hunt – cracking the clues to find the ‘Bomb at Government House’ before it was too late!

We’ve also hosted a number of fabulous events in our showroom over the past six months. The Association of Executive Assistants who were treated to a fabulous treasure hunt using our props – they enjoyed it so much they did it twice!

The Brains Trust #2 was also a massive success, bringing together female leaders and captains of industry to discuss important topics surrounding Brisbane’s event industry and women in business today – all with a glass of bubbly in hand!

We had an amazing time representing VM+ at the Business South Bank Networking Event – our luscious stand was the talk of the night! With a theme of ‘Grow Your Business’ we created a floral fantasy to inspire guests whilst the event theming was supplied by The Prop House.

The Prop House and VM+ would like to thank our clients, suppliers, friends and the Brisbane community for all their continued support. We can’t wait to see what the rest of 2017 will have in store as we bring your event, visual merchandising and Christmas ideas to life!

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The One Trend You Need To Know About This Year

“Bilbo left his place and went and stood on a chair under the illuminated tree. The light of the lanterns fell on his beaming face… They could all see him standing, waving one hand in the air, the other was in his trouser-pocket.”

The Party Tree was held in high regard by the characters of JRR Tolkein’s famous Lord of the Rings trilogy, and with good reason. Throughout time, trees have symbolized many things to different people such as beauty, family, stability, wisdom and growth. They contain many positive associations and often form a backdrop to significant moments in childhood and our later lives.

Following the environmentally conscious movement and examining how our products are sourced, made and produced – people are seeking a way to bring the outdoors in. This attempt to reconnect with nature has been seen in the trend for indoor plants, botanically inspired fashion and homewares designs and of course the Pantone Colour of the Year 2017, Greenery.

Our top tip for staying ahead of the rest this Spring Summer season is to think green. Harness the beauty of the great outdoors with your own nature-inspired visual merchandising seasonal campaign or launch. Why not create a beautiful garden party for gourmet presentations in your food precinct with long trestle tables and share plates styled under a beautiful life-sized tree.

Better yet, take this look from day to night for up late VIP shopping events and launch parties with fun festoon lighting or a glamorous chandelier and draped fabric and invite your guests to the party of a lifetime.

Take a leaf out of Christian Dior’s Spring Couture 2017 catwalk and create a Midsummer nights dream complete with soft grass underfoot and a beautiful wishing tree decorated with flowers, ribbons and lights overhead, framing a runway for your Spring/Summer fashion launch. However you style it, an oversized tree is sure to create atmosphere and add serious impact to make any occasion truly memorable!

Contact us today about our stunning 5 metre high banyan tree and how to use it to create a memorable event, display or activation – email info@vmplus.com.au to find out more!

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