Friday, February 28, 2014

SPRING Booth Transition - Part 3

After completing the steps in Part 1, your booth should be clean and clear of old and tired inventory.  After the steps in Part 2, you have unpacked new things and sorted items into groups that make sense for your displays.  Finally, it's time to put your booth back together!

Once again, I've sprinkled in some fun spring display inspiration photos to get you in the mood for a big spring booth transition!


Your booth is fairly cleaned out.  This is a good time to see if you can give your booth a whole new look by moving some of the large things around.  When you bring in a bedroom chest and put it in your booth, it doesn't need to stay in the exact same place until it sells.  If it hasn't sold within a month, you might move it to a different part of your booth.  Let it be viewed from a different angle with a different set of accessories.  For whatever reason, sometimes just moving things around will bring on a wave of sales.   Anytime you transition your booth, it's a great opportunity to shake things up!

WHY is this step after SORTING?  
Since you are transitioning for spring, as you rearrange, you need to know which pieces will be best to use in your key display areas.  If you have a black desk and white dresser in your booth, you may assume the lighter colored white dresser would be better than a dark desk in a key spot.    However, after sorting through what you have, you may notice a grouping with desk items in black, white, and yellow that is starting to look pretty nice.  Then, you may spot a few other yellow items to add and before you know it, that vignette may say SPRING better than any of your other groupings.    It's hard to know what you'll be able to create til you have grouped and sorted.  And just like you put your best foot forward, you make sure your best displays are in the most visible areas in your booth.  See this post on The MONEY WALL for more about this.


Having items in groups will make this easy.  If you have a desk in your booth and you have a pile for desk items, then that's an easy match.  Other placements won't be quite as easy.  Luckily, your booth is not a house.  You don't have to decorate a booth in a way that is entirely logical.  Everything on a desk does NOT have to be desk related.  You'll be stacking a bit.  You might end up putting a chair or stool on top of the desk.  That certainly isn't like anything someone would do in their home. :-D

Vintage Bunnies Collection

Edit as you go.  If you found 15 items that would look good on a desk, you probably don't want to use them all.  You will likely make more money selling the desk that all the small items on it.  Put just enough accessories on the desk to make THE DESK  look great.  Leave enough empty space on and around the desk so that the desk can still be seen and each item on it will look good.

Never pass by a rickety bike with good vintage lines.
Simply spray paint it, add a basket and market it as a garden bike!

This is a good time to mention a pet peeve of mine - clutter in booths trying to sell furniture.  I often see booths with their furniture covered and pretty much hidden by an overwhelming pile of smalls.  If a table is covered, then it should be no surprise to the vendor that the table takes a long time to sell.

I'll illustrate this using myself as a customer.  I  go into a store looking specifically for tables.  I see a table in a cluttered booth.  It looks interesting, but I have doubts.  Is the table top marred?  Is it wobbly or rickety?  Is it warped?  Does it look pretty under all that stuff?  The only way to tell is to get all the stuff off.  That means asking the sales person to completely clean off the table.  If it turns out the table isn't all that great or if I decide that I need to think a little while longer, I'll feel embarrassed about making them go to so much trouble.  Never mind.  I'll just keep looking.  It probably wasn't all that great anyway, otherwise they wouldn't have covered it like that.


The lesson of my story - Set up your booth with a clear vision of what you MOST want to sell.  If you want to sell the furniture, then make sure your displays makes the furniture look great.  If you are a vendor whose main income is from smalls and the furniture is there mostly for displaying those smalls, then feel free to cover as much of the furniture as you like.  I suspect the vendor in the above photo makes more from selling smalls than furniture.  Her turquoise table may be priced to sell, but it may be priced a little high in hopes that it won't sell fast.  It's there to help the smalls look more appealing.

There are many vendors who do just fine selling smaller items.  You'll notice that some of the inspiration photos here are more about selling smalls than furniture.   The key is knowing which is your specialty.  If you are split down the middle and get sales equally from furniture and smalls, then make sure you don't cover the furniture.

This was actually a Christmas display, but with a few minor changes, it would be great for spring!

What to do with the items you didn't use in key displays -
After you set up your vignettes, you probably ended up with things from each of your sorted piles that ended up not being used.  Put your leftovers in less noticeable spots in your booth.  If you have plenty of small items, hopefully you have a shelf or two in your booth for the extras.  Things can still sell from those less visible areas, but they probably won't be your prettiest displays.  A shelf for extras should NOT be on your money wall!  As you put your extra things on the shelf, try to keep them in groups if possible.  As accessories sell from your key vignettes, you'll be able to easily find other accessories from the leftovers to fill in the holes.


This is the last post in this series about booth transitions, however, I have a couple of posts coming up that will focus on some finishing touches.  I can't wait to share them - they are perfect for spring!!!  Stay tuned!  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SPRING Booth Transition - Part 2

After completing the steps in Part 1, your booth should be clean and clear of old and tired inventory.  Now it's time to figure out how to work in your new spring things in creative combinations with what you already have.  You may be tempted to put each new thing into any available spot.  When you are very short on time, that will have to do, but for a good booth transition, it's not the best idea.

The items already in your booth have not sold.  If they are nice and priced fine, yet they've been in your booth for a month or more, maybe they need to be displayed differently.  As I said before, these steps can pay off in a wave of sales.

Are you ready?  In case you still aren't motivated, I've sprinkled in some fun spring display inspiration photos.  That ought to get you in the mood!

Unpack the new items you brought to add to your booth.  Don't start shoving things in.  You need everything out where you can see it.  Yep.  All of it.  You're going to make a mess.  Get over it.

I hope you brought plenty of spring goodies!


Your mall probably has carts you can use for this step, but if not, you may want to bring a card table (or 2) from home.  You could also use a folding shelf/bakers rack.  (Tip: Those are good to keep tucked in your booth in case something big sells and you need a fast spot to put the smalls that were on it.)   No cart, card table or shelf?  You can also make do with the floor and the boxes you brought things in.  Think of all the bending and squatting as your gym workout for the day.


Look over the items you unpacked and the items in your booth.  Look for ways to group them WITH  items already in your booth.  Begin making piles.


The first priority when sorting is to look for possible groups of smalls to go with furniture in your booth.  If you have a desk, look for all of the possible items that would look good on a desk.  There are different ways to sort.  Try not to group the same way all the time.   Get creative.  Have fun.  If you put a group together and don't like it, it's very easy to switch.

  •  You may notice a common use.  Perhaps you have a number of kitchen items (or desk items or vanity items or...).  Look at the big pieces you have in your booth.  Do you have a desk?  Then look at all your smalls and see if there are things that would work there.
  • You may notice a common theme.  Perhaps you have a number of items that are beachy (or travel related or upcoming holiday items, or....).
  • You may notice you have a collection.  Oh my goodness.  I didn't realize I had so many flower frogs.  What to do?  Make a statement by putting them all together.  
  • You may notice you have a number of things in the same color family.  They may be spring colors.  They may be a fresh, unexpected color that you realize you have a lot of.  Put those together.  See more about color grouping here.
  • You may notice you have a number of items that are made of the same material (metal or wood or fabric or...)  
It's likely that you will create a group sorted by more than one trait.  For instance, you may create a grouping for your desk that consists not only of a few desk accessories, but also a good bit of green and wood items.

Uploaded Straight to this Pinterest Board

There are many ways to group.    Sometimes the grouping isn't even logical - it's just a group of things that look nice together.  Sometimes a grouping will put things together that seem an unlikely mix.  I LOVE the grouping in the inspiration photo below.  It's rather genius, if you ask me, but then I've always had a soft spot for colorful, bohemian looks.  Look at that globe.  Few people would think to put it in the same group with the colorful floral tin that is right beside it in this photo.  Yet when you put all of the items together, it works beautifully.  The lesson here?  As you sort, keep an open mind, forget hard and fast "rules", and don't be afraid to play around.


If this post inspired you to create a fun display grouping, I'd love for you to post it on the VSO Facebook page!  It doesn't have to be perfect.  We are all friends here!


Stay tuned - the next post will be ... SPRING Booth Transition - Part 3

There will be plenty of inspiration photos there, too! :-D

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SPRING Booth Transition - Part 1

People are tired of winter.  They are ready for Spring.  A new season is a perfect opportunity to make big changes in your booth.  Is your booth ready for spring?  If not, it should be!

A booth transition is a bit more involved than just sprucing up or bringing in a few new items. A transition is an over-haul!  After a transition, anyone who comes to the store regularly will KNOW you've been there.  Even things that have been in your booth for ages will seem different.

A full-out transition takes some time!    If you don't have enough time allotted, you may not have time to go about it thoughtfully. There are times when you have to make changes fast and skip steps.   The steps in this post may not help you with every booth change you make, but hopefully, you'll find time to go thru ALL these steps a couple of times a year.

Pick low-traffic days to work because, while you are busy in your booth, customers will be reluctant to come into your booth.  As you work, to keep from losing too many sales opportunities, be prepared to either leave your booth when a customer comes close -OR- to engage the customer in a friendly conversation.  If you have the gift of gab, working in your booth could even get you some bonus sales.

You can spread these steps out over several days or you can go all out and plan to get it done in one day.

The first thing to do is purge and clean.    If you want to transition your booth over more than one day, these steps are perfect to do on the first day.  In fact, you can do these two steps anytime whether you are transitioning or not.

Purging and cleaning
are not exactly exciting,
you may be surprised
at how much better your booth 
looks after they are done.

Look around your booth and see what needs to go.  You'll need boxes and labels and markers.  As you pack up, think about how you can make it easy on yourself to find everything when it's time to bring these things back in next year.  Group everything you pack and label the boxes -  WINTER, VALENTINES, BLACK, whatever....

Remove all the old holiday items.  If you still have things for Valentine's Day still in your booth, pack them away.  They've got to go!  (Hopefully all other holiday things are long gone, but you may be amazed to find a few overlooked items.)    As you pack, think about why the items didn't sell.  It will help you make better buying and/pricing/displaying decisions in the future.

Also pack up anything that feels dark and wintry.  Are there snowflakes in your booth?  Please!  Get them out.  I don't care if there's still 4 feet of snow outside.  Folks are tired of it.  Our minds are moving into Spring mode.  Your booth needs to give them what they are yearning for.

Take another good look around your booth.  What do you have in your booth that has been there waaay too long?  Why hasn't it sold?  Is it marked too high? If so, mark it down.  Has it not been displayed well? If so, plan to display it differently as soon a s possible. Does it need a makeover?  If so, take it home to re-do.  Was it a mistake purchase?  If so, either mark it way down or call it a day and get it out of your booth.

A mall may have someone to clean the aisles and bathrooms, but they generally don't touch anything in booths.  Keeping your booth clean is up to YOU.

When is the last time your booth was vacuumed or dusted?  If it's been a while, then get busy.  You know what needs to be done.  Make sure that anything you use for cleaning has a mild scent.  You don't want to blow a sensitive customer out of your booth with strong fumes.

As you clean, think about how a shopper feels when purchasing something used.  If your booth looks dirty, then, what I call the "ick-factor" kicks in.  Just thinking about it makes me make the icky face look. Ponder this -  Do you really think someone would buy a pillow from a booth that looks nasty?

The next post in this series is ... SPRING Booth Transition - Part 2
It's a bit more FUN than this post.  :-D

Friday, February 21, 2014

Visiting Some Lovely Local Stores

I am lucky to live in an area where there is an abundance of nice vintage stores and malls.  Many are a feast for the eyes with displays and vignettes that are creative and wonderful.    This week, I feasted a bit - in the towns of Senoia and Woodbury (Georgia).  I even swooned at few times. My response to a great display is something like an art lover would have beholding a masterpiece in a museum.  Am I crazy or what?

The ladies in charge at each of the stores where I wanted to take photos were just wonderful.   I should have taken more photos, but I kept getting distracted each time I found something that I wanted to bring home.  Even so, I took enough photos that I decided to create a new album on the Vintage Show Off Facebook page.    It's called Local Talent.  I look forward to adding more to this album each time I visit stores in the area!

Below is a quick look at some of what you'll see in that album - in the order I visited.  

As always, I am focusing on photos I feel will inspire.
To truly appreciate these vignettes 
and the details that make them special, 
you need to see larger photos.
See the link at the bottom of this post to get to the Facebook albums.

Also, while in Woodbury, I had lunch at this sweet cafe.  Delish!

Head on over to the 
and click on Local Talent to see the great photos!  
You'll be inspired.  

Please show your appreciation
 to these creative, hard-working ladies 
by clicking LIKE often!

Be sure to read the description for each photo.  
That's where I'll include links to the 
Facebook page of each store in case you want to see more.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tips for a Narrow Booth - Break Up the Long Walls

When you have a long, narrow booth, the booth can feel like a bowling alley.  Bowling alley booths still get customers in, but they may breeze through pretty quickly or they may just glance from the aisle, believing they can see everything without entering the booth.  There are things you can do to make the booth feel wider, break up the long walls, and create more interest.  You can get customers in your booth and keep them there longer by using a few tricks.

This post came about when Megan asked for suggestions for the bookshelves in her booth.  You can read the post with tips for her bookshelves HERE.  You can read the post where I talked about what to do on her short, back wall HERE.  This is the 3rd and last post in this series. It focuses on the long walls and wraps up with a few ideas specifically for Megan.   A photo of Megan's booth is at the bottom of this post.

To widen a narrow booth and take the emphasis off the length, create several display groupings (vignettes) on the long wall.   Try not to create one long display on either of the long walls - that adds to the bowling alley feel.

Long pieces of furniture, such as a sofa or long table, are better on the short wall, if they will fit.  Placing long furniture on the long wall will make the booth seem longer, which means, hello, bowling alley.

If possible, try putting some of your furniture slightly away from the wall on an angle, rather than aligning it all with the wall.  Instead of a long straight walkway, the path will zig-zag a bit, urging customers to slow down and look this way and that.

The photo below shows a long walkway with furniture in groupings n a diagonal.  If all the pieces were arranged side by side in two long parallel rows, the result wouldn't be near as interesting. The groupings placed diagonally truly invites one to stop at each display and browse.  I'd LOVE to browse in this store!


This example doesn't angle all that much, but with the different furniture depths, it still creates a slight zigzag path which reduces the bowling alley effect.  If a booth or walkway through a booth is very narrow, sometimes you just can't angle so much.

This is a nice angled grouping.  It would nice as one of the vignettes on a long wall.  An arrangement like this would be pretty and welcoming towards the front of a booth.

On the short wall, the emphasis was on creating displays with horizontal lines.  For the long walls, you want just the opposite - lots of vertical lines.  If groupings and items on the long walls emphasize vertical lines and height, the booth will feel wider.  Not everything needs to be vertical - we don't want a line of tall soldiers side by side.  But each grouping needs to have some tall elements or height.

Look for items that are tall and skinny or that are displayed vertically.  This grouping feels very vertical!
Link points to blog no longer in service.

Ladders are a bit versatile.  You can emphasize the horizontal (if the rungs are prominent) or the vertical when the rungs are put to use like in the example below.
Dress forms are also quite versatile.  The one below reads tall and thin and would be great on a long wall. If you put a wide tiered petticoat or tutu on her, she would have enough horizontal lines to work nicely on the short wall.
Don't have anything tall?  Create your own tall display by stacking!  This would be a wonderful display to put towards to front of a narrow booth - over to the side, angled just a bit to welcome customers.  This isn't a booth photo, but I get my inspiration from all over!

A mantel has a very strong horizontal line at the top, but with a bit of work, it can be arranged in a vignette to read as vertical. The one in the photo below uses a door to help with that.  Also, a mantel is not very deep, so it will help keep the booth open. 

Mirrors on a long wall can give the illusion the booth is wider than it is.  A large mirror or a grouping of smaller mirrors can add a big impact. Be careful about what the mirror will be reflecting.  It's best to reflect something very pretty.  If a mirror reflects a cluttery (or less attractive) part of your booth, then rethink the location.  

There are several options for floor treatments that are helpful in a long narrow booth.   A rug with horizontal stripes or a horizontal weave would be nice.  A round rug would also work nicely.  The  round shape would help make the room less rectangular and break up the abundance of straight lines.

One or two area rugs placed on a diagonal would be great.  If you only have one area rug, using it near the center of the booth will bring the focus into the center of the booth and de-emphasize the length.

This rug in the photo below is at an angle.  A rug at an angle is more interesting and inviting than the typical parallel to the walls placement.  The angled door in the corner and the round table are also nice in this booth.


Here's a look at Megan's booth -

I have a few suggestions for Megan using mostly what she has.

Megan's 3 bookcases are functional but used all in a row on the long wall emphasizes the length of the booth.  She needs those bookshelves, but maybe she could just use two of  them on left and create a welcoming vignette at a slight angle in the front.  Doing that will help the booth feel more open.

One possible opening vignette (to go where the first bookcase is now) could involve her typewriter.  It could be set on top of something - a chair, a small desk or table, crates...   A piece of paper could be rolled thru with enough sticking out to have a message.  The message does NOT need to be created using the typewriter.  I recommend printing out something from a computer in nice big letters.

The third bookcase could be moved to the right side and worked in as it's own vignette.

At least one of the bookcases could have one shelf removed, around eye level) to create a taller display area.  This idea was described in the first post.

Megan's bookshelves are already backed with a neutral paper or fabric.  She could keep that backing or reback them for a bit more zing - whatever Megan feels will capture the style she wants for her booth.  This was also described in the first post

Megan has mirror on back wall.  It's not so big that it's crucial, but generally speaking, mirrors will be better on the long walls.

The map might make a nice focal point on the short wall - hung as high as possible.  It's bright and cheery and wide. It would beckon customers into the booth.  The globes should be in the back as well.  Hopefully soon, Megan will bring in a kitchen table or to sell.  That would look good under the map and the globes could sit on top. The suitcases could be worked into the vignette, which, by the way, now has a TRAVEL THEME.  One suitcase could be open on top and something travel-ish could be displayed inside.

 A trunk or coffee table would work under the map as well.  

Until Megan comes across a table or trunk, she might be able to use a folding table or wood over two small sawhorses.  If the temporary table doesn't look so nice, it could be covered with burlap or a short tablecloth or draped with maps.  A temporary table does not have to look tacky!

As Megan gets more furniture for her booth, a few angled vignettes on the long wall where the map is would get customers to zig zag a bit through the booth and they would browse a bit more.  Since the booth is very narrow, Megan can't angle too much.  The walkway needs to feel open and comfortable.  A confining or cluttered walkway feels uncomfortable and sometimes hazardous and that will keep many customers out of a booth.

Whew!  That's all the tips I can think of for now.

By the way, even though I had many tips for Megan, I do not want to give the impression that I think her booth is wrong.  The look of a booth is in a constant state of change.  Vendors don't always have time to create the perfect look.  I know very well that sometimes vendors are doing good just to drop something off and work it in.  Also, when a vendor is first getting started in a booth (or has just sold a bunch of inventory) creating a good look can be tricky.  Added to that, sometimes what seems great during the planning stage, turns out less than great in reality.   I threw out LOTS of tips.  Megan can browse through them and try out any that seem right for her.  She may not want to move those bookcases.  That's fine - really!  Maybe she'll remove a shelf from them here and there for a few interesting vignettes.  I hope some of my ideas will work her her - and for anyone else who  has a narrow booth!

If you have more suggestions for Megan (or anyone with a long narrow booth), feel free to leave a comment!  If you have photos of a narrow booth that has been done well (or your narrow booth that you transformed using any of my tips) - feel free to post them over on the Vintage Show Off Facebook page!  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tips for a Narrow Booth - Make the Narrow Wall Look Wider

Megan has a long, narrow booth and asked in particular for help making her bookshelves more interesting.  In this post, I addressed her main request by giving her lots of ideas for bookshelves.  While looking at her photo, I had a hard time focusing on bookshelf tips because I kept thinking of other things she could do with her booth - mostly ideas for working with a narrow booth.

Megan's booth is long and narrow. Many vendors have narrow booths.  The main challenge for a narrow booth is to make sure it doesn't feel like a cave or bowling alley or too linear.  The tricks for arranging a narrow booth are very similar to tricks for decorating a narrow room in a house.  There are too many tricks (and examples) for just one post, so in this post I'll address the short walls.  The long walls will be the topic for the next post.  Stay tuned!

Megan's Booth


The short, narrow wall in back should be irresistable to make sure that customers come ALL THE WAY into the booth.  Also - the vignette should have mostly horizontal lines to give the illusion that the wall (and the booth) is wider than it really is.  

A hutch would be perfect on that wall as long as it's not a tall skinny one.  Look at all the horizontal lines on the hutch below, thanks mainly to the shelves.
Don't have a hutch?  Use a table or cabinet with a smaller shelf or shelves on top. Notice in the example below, a cabinet door is open and there's a small shelf tucked inside at an angle, creating even more horizontal lines.

The short wall would also look good with a bit of roundness. Sometimes a booth can look overly linear without some circular shapes here and there.  The example below has that, plus horizontal lines.  There is no shelf on the table.  Instead, there's a shelf on the wall.  There are many shelves that work great on a pegboard wall.


Items on the short wall should make a wonderful statement. Take the time to create an eye-catching VIGNETTE. There needs to be plenty of desirable (popular) items, as well, so that customers will be drawn into your booth for a better look.

Here's another example of a pleasing vignette with plenty of horizontal lines for a short back wall -

SIGNS are good at drawing the eye to the back (or anywhere else you want to draw attention).  Two of the photos above have nice signs.  The space in the photo below is fairly narrow, but the Garden Love sign beckons you in.

COLOR can be used to draw the eye as well.  You can do that with colorful items, perhaps in a color grouping.  Plants can be used to add color.  If you have a booth that is mostly whites and neutrals, plants add color without taking away from the look.  I love the geranium on the hutch in the second photo.  The hutch is beautiful, but the geranium display makes it even better.

The short wall can be painted a bright, cheery color (different from the long side walls) if the mall allows you to PAINT.  The booth shown below (which I've shown in a previous post) is not a narrow booth, but it is a great example of using a fun color on an accent wall without crossing over into the tacky zone.  This idea could go wrong, but remember - it's only paint and it's only one short wall.  If you don't like it, change it, but don't decide til after everything is in place.  Give it a week or so to see if it grows on you.  You might be very surprised!

Another trick for a narrow booth is to lead the eye diagonally.  I plan to talk about that more in the next post, but for the short wall, it could be nice to add a bit of angle to the vignette.  It's another trick to make the booth seem less linear.

Lighting can make a room feel lighter.  The last thing you want is for your narrow booth to be dark.    Additionally lighting can bring focus to particular objects or vignettes, instead of the narrow booth size.

On the back wall, it could be helpful to use small can lights that sit on the floor (aka up-lights).  They shine up and bring light (and a feeling of space) to the corners.  Make sure they don't shine into the eyes of someone standing in the booth!  Aim more against the wall.

Lights shining from above on that back wall are nice as well.  A chandelier could be used or something  creative, like the lighted branches in the photo below.

Stay tuned for the next post about narrow booths, which will focus on the long walls.

Did you like this post?  If so, I hope you'll comment, pin, or share!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Megan's Booth - Part I - Bookshelves

Megan posted a photo of her booth on Facebook, along with the following note:

Hello again! We are barely one week in to our antique booth adventure here in Wisconsin! Four sales in our first week.  This is the current setup of our booth. I am hoping you (and the community) can give us some suggestions to make the bookcase display look more interesting/better organized. The owner of the antique mall has been generous enough to let us use the bookcases for free, so they're staying, but I'd like to make them more interesting. Thank you!

Here's a photo of her booth -

First off, shelves are wonderful in a booth with lots of small items.  A customer can easily see everything at a glance (as long as the shelves are not overloaded).

The bookcases are not Megan's so painting them is out.  Painting bookcases is not always necessary (or best) anyway. It just depends on the shelves and the booth.  I have seen perfectly lovely unpainted wood bookcase displays, like the ones below from The Farmhouse Studio.  Everything this vendor has on those shelves shows up very well.


The Farmhouse Studio booth is wider than Megan's booth.  That means customers can view the entire shelf from further away.  Since Megan's booth is more narrow, it is important to make sure the shelves are spaced further apart at the bottom, otherwise customers will have to stoop down to see the items on those lower shelves.  Most customers wouldn't bother doing that.

Megan doesn't use much floor space on the map wall.  That allows customers plenty of room to step back and see the entire shelf display.  If Megan ever puts a table or chairs or other pieces of furniture on the map wall, then the spacing of the shelves will need to be even further apart, meaning she'll need to remove one or two of the adjustable shelves.

When displaying on shelves, grocery store wisdom can be applied.  Since people tend to buy items that are displayed at eye level, grocery stores put the items they most want to sell on the eye level shelves.  In an antique mall, most customers browse through the store.  They don't work too hard or search through every nook and cranny.  The shelves at eye level may be the things that get the most notice.

Color grouping on shelves is an option.  If a customer has a room decorated with turquoise accessories, if they come across a turquoise display, they will likely take a closer look at it.  Grouping collections of similar items together is another great way to organize shelves.

It's helpful to move things around often.  If you have something good that should have sold, but hasn't, try moving it.  I'm always amazed that each time a booth is rearranged, it seems a number of items sell - often things that have been in the booth for ages.  When you move things about, it feels like you've brought in new merchandise.

Want to add a punch of color and/or texture to shelves without paint?  There's an easy trick to make the shelf back more special.  Cut a piece of cardboard to exactly the size you need, cover it with fabric (a scrapbook paper), and push it to the back of the shelf.  Change the fabric or paper whenever you are ready for a new look.  If you cut the cardboard to fit pretty close, it will easily stay in place without tape. There's a good tutorial on this method, here.

Megan has maps and globes in her booth.  She could back some or all of her shelves with maps?

Burlap usually looks nice as a backing.  If a booth has the merchandise to carry it off, there are other quirky options.  A sparkly/sequined fabric or a cowhide look could work in some booths.  The sky's the limit.

You can also attach the fabric wallpaper style using fabric starch.  Here's a good tutorial on that method.

Be mindful when choosing the backing.  Just because a backing is pretty, doesn't mean it will help your sales.  Remember, the point of the backing would be to bring attention to the things on the shelf and to show them to their best. If the background is too busy, customers may not notice what you have for sale.

 If a booth is a bit dark, a lighter backing would be helpful.  Megan's booth is loaded with wood tones - from the shelves and the pegboard walls.  A nice backing would bring in another element.

Another idea for bringing in a bit of light on the shelves - add a lamp.  The shelves would need to be rearranged and possibly one removed to create a larger space around eye level.   A larger space also leaves room to display taller things like framed paintings.

I have a few more ideas for this booth, so there will be a Part 2 soon.  If you have other suggestions for Megan's shelves, feel free to leave a comment!

One more thing - I almost missed this second photo from Megan.  Her shelves are already backed with wallpaper and she's open to switching it out.