In the antique business, you know sales are all about appearances and vibe. In order to sell shoppers on your products, you’ve got to make them look old but not battered, loved but not used, beautiful but not gaudy. Choosing the right lighting for boutique retail stores to accomplish these effects can be tricky, but it’s not impossible as long as you follow these steps.
Choose Your Color Carefully
Many people erroneously assume that white is a single shade, immutable no matter what, but this isn’t true. White actually comes in many hues, ranging from the warm yellow side of the spectrum to the cool blue side. Choose your lamps based on which type of white hue you’re going for. A clean, modern, upscale vintage shop can benefit from true white, while a different store going for a certain homey vibe would do better with warm yellow lamps that offer a den-like feel.
Add Sparkle to Metal and Jewelry
The right lighting can really help show off metallic objects to the best effect. If you’re selling a lot of older pieces, you probably will need to use a softer glow that mimics the light of a fireside. On the other hand, if you’re selling cut glass, crystal or costume jewelry, you might benefit from crisp, direct light that will create prismatic colors when shining through your wares.
Use Natural Daylight Sparingly
Natural daylight is a great way to add ambience to your store and highlight goods, but use it carefully. For one thing, some antique products don’t look as great in the harsh light of the noon sun – anything made of old wool or weathered wood comes to mind. For another, light can fade old prints, record covers, books and other items made of cloth or paper. Place items that won’t be damaged (such as metal and stone) in sunlit areas, and make sure that they’re suited to the brightness.
Try Concealed Lighting
Concealed lighting is a great way to add drama to a piece or an arrangement of items. Lit from behind, old-school taxidermies for animals add a hunting-lodge feel. Illuminated glass shelves are perfect for jewelry and figurines. Recessed lighting can add an overall muted glow, perfect for antique shops going for a natural or earthy vibe.
Lighting is a personal choice, having very much to do with the personality you’re looking to create in your antique shop. Keeping these tips in mind will help you send the right vibes, charming customers and increasing the chances of doing business.
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