Michael said so!  He even said he’d put it in writing!  Here’s the ‘genius idea’.

 Our store is in an older strip mall so all the storefronts look pretty much the same.  The way the outside light hits the windows, there is ALWAYS a glare, so you can never really see what is displayed in the windows.  Any yet . . . . for 2+ years I have painstakingly displayed stuff in the front windows of the store!  Nothing ever sells out of the windows either. 

The other ‘issue’ with the windows and storefront is that people all too often overlook the fact that we are another store in between the ones on either side of me.

All three of us set product out in front of our stores during open hours, so I think people tend to look at ‘the stream of product’ and not realize it’s three separate stores.  Forget the fact that I have a HUGE sign above my store AND a sandwich board right in front of the door, and the writing across the tops of the windows.  All too often I would watch people go to the store on one side of me, then to the store on the other side, and skip our store.  Now, maybe our store just wasn’t their cup of tea.  But to test my theory that people didn’t realize we were another store between the other two, on slow days I would watch for customers who went to each of the other two stores, but skipped ours.  THEN, I’d prop open our door to see if that would get their attention.  And it did.  Every time!  And when they came into our store they’d exclaim they hadn’t realized this was another store here.

So, I was on a mission during the current ‘make over’ to do SOMETHING to our storefront to make it really stand out from the other two.   Firstly I decoded to stop putting product out in front of the store.  Thereby by making it look different from the two on either side. 

Since you can’t really see into the windows druing open hours, and since nothing displayed in the windows ever sells, I’m thinking, “WHY even use the windows?!?!”  But how to cover them???

I’d love to hang cafe curtains, but the windows are 6′ wide and have metal frames; so no way to hang curtains.  Then I thought maybe some sort of shutters.  But again, how would we hang the shutters.  And making 18′  of shutters would be an awfully big job.  So, my wheels started turning. . . . we have LOTS of sections of old fencing.  How could I use that in the windows???

Michael could cut them down to fit into the narrow window ledge, but how would we keep them from falling out?  (the windows shake a bit every time someone opens and closes a door on either side of us)

So, here’s my brainstorm:  Cut strips of 2×2’s; one the length of the window, and two to fit either side of the window.  By cutting them to an EXACT size, they could just be ‘wedged’ into the existing metal window frames.

The black is the existing metal window frame.  To the inside of it is the 2×2’s Michale cut and put in.  (top and sides only; not bottom)

Then he just cut the fence sections to fit inside the secondary wood window ftame.  (I had dry brush painted the fence sections white before bringing them to the store)  VOILA!!!!

 That’s how they look from the inside.  We brought some “L” brackets ‘just in case’ we needed to brace the fence to the secondary frame, but it fits so prefectly snug they weren’t even needed.  Thusly Michael declares my genius!

Here is how it looks from the outside.  The spaces under the windlws will be getting a ‘faux stone wall’ insert.  And we have two huge (ten gallon) pots to plant (something tall) to set on either side of the door.

And of course, a new storefront sign is in the wroks.

Published in: on July 2, 2007 at 6:31 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi aj, Sorry to disagree, but the fence in the window almost looks like the shop is closed. From a distance, I bet it looks like the window has been papered over.

    I like the curtain idea. Since you can’t attach anything directly to the metal framing, maybe a spring type curtain rod would support the curtains and not mess with the metal frame. As an alternative to the spring curtain rod, could you “frame” the window with 2×4’s (painted black) and hang the curtains on the wood frame?

    Ron, the Country Guy

  2. Ron,

    Appreciate your comments. The fencing can be easily removed if it proves to be a ‘negative’ to the image of the store. Still need to add the ‘stonework’ below the windows and the big planted urns on either side of the door. I think those added elements will make a big difference.

    They don’t make the spring loaded curtain rods long enough for these windows. But we ‘might be able to add rods to the 2×2 frames. But the problem there is that ANY curtain rod over 3’ long requires some sort of ‘middle support’. Usually an extra bracket mid way. But for our purpose here, midway is right in the middle of the window!

    I REALLY like having the ‘extra wall space’ that having those fence sections in the windows provides. They also make the lighting in the store much better since I’m not having to deal with glare from the windows.

    I guess only time will tell if my genius method proves to be an asset or a liability. One thing for sure, you definately notice that we are a separate space from the two neighbors!


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