An Interview with Barbara Brass; Window Displays

Barbara is our resident window display guru, her keen eye for design and detail has resulted in our window outside the University Waterstones looking better than ever. In the office we are often baffled by the things Barbara can come up with, so we thought we would interview her to find out more…

So Barbara, what process do you go through when designing a window display?
Firstly, it is key to determine what the window is promoting. Ffor example at the minute I am working on an Easter window display, I decided to focus and promote spring in the garden as the direct theme of the window. I then look for inspiration from the internet, social media such as pinterest, current trends in magazines and even films. From this I generate a mental or physical mood board, or simply print off a key image to work around and make notes. Sometimes I choose a prop and work around that bringing in other props to complement it.

How do you know how many props to put into the window?
I am quite a spatial person, I can see a space and will know straight away if something will fit or not, or how many of an item I will need.

What is the biggest obstacle you face when decorating our window?
Probably it would have to be manoeuvring items into the window, the opening around the back is pretty small , so I really have to think about how to get props in.

What are your key merchandising tips?
Just make sure you use the space well, fill it effectively. If you are using a smaller item use a few of them to make it look bigger. Utilise lighting effectively to have the biggest impact, lighting is very crucial. Also try to have a colour scheme; it just looks better with coordination.

When did you realise you were so creative?
When I was little; I was always doing crafty things, I used to make furniture for my dolls house. I once made a bright pink little sofa and covered it with sticky tape, so it looked like a PVC sofa!

If you could fill any window in the UK, which window would you fill and why?
It would have to be the Anthropologie window in Edinburgh.

If you could decorate our Waterstones window under any theme, what would it be?
I’d probably go for a spooky library, under a Harry Potter theme. Lots of books, dust, interesting lighting etc.

What is your favourite window display you have done so far?
It would have to be the Winter Graduation window.

If you could put one thing in your window, what would it be and why?
I would put a camera in, so I could see the reactions of the passers-by. It would be interesting to see how the windows are received.

Well thank you very much Barbara.

So, as we can see the creativity seems to be innate; there is no hope for the rest of us then! Barbara produces some really lovely windows, be sure to pop by and have a look when you get a chance. See below a wonderful selection of Window Displays Barbara has produced.


Posted On 03/03/2016
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