When shopping for that unusual item to brighten up your home it can be very frustrating to be consistently confronted with the ‘same old, same old’. Nothing you see tends to leap out to you as having that certain Je ne sais quoi that says… “Buy me I am perfect for your home and lifestyle!” Quite often when we shop we do not know exactly what we are looking for but are eager and hoping for inspirational ideas to enthuse and encourage us to buy.

All too many stores tend to concentrate on offering the traditional, the drab, the mundane and the inexpensive. Often because they are considered to be the safe items which customers are expected to be comfortable with and therefore more likely to purchase and then return for further purchases in the future. Objects which are very thoughtfully conceived, carefully made, which offer beauty and appealing aspects of design do not come cheap. Neither are they generally massed produced, an aspect which will add to the appeal of being different from the run-of-the-mill accessories. For many people design is a passion, it is not a question of “can I afford it?”, but rather “I’ve just got to have it!” A wine rack is a wine rack! But the wine rack which has been constructed with creative and imaginative flair will bring something extra to your living space and bring comments from your friends and visitors to your home. 

Looking on-line can lead to more diversity of choice and an ability to seek further afield, even in different countries. However, when in search of the unusual and unique items to adorn your home living space and to be enjoyed by yourself, family and guests another dimension is required – other than just an image on a screen. We shop with our eyes… yes, but we also shop with our other senses. A two dimensional catalogue, or web page, image cannot possibly convey the whole nature of an object. Whereas to touch, feel and even smell a beautiful flower or a delicately formed piece of crystal glass can bring the true nature of the piece to the complete understanding and appreciation of our perceptive senses as a whole.

A shop laid out with its wares displayed thoughtfully, as they would sit in a home environment, will bring joy and understanding as to how they might fit into our own homes. Beautiful porcelain, china and sparkling crystal glassware laid out on a fully set dining table – a change to the usual “stack and rack” approach. Displaying the very unusual, distinctively different and eye catching items for sale is the trick to attracting potential customers. The ‘WOW’ factor will always attract comment and probably be conveyed to others throughout the community by word of mouth, possibly the most important form of advertising.

Shopping for home accessories should be an enjoyable experience of discovery, enlightenment, entertainment and ultimately satisfaction.

Bob Norwell is author for Quay West Living a family run store located in the harbour town of Falmouth in Cornwall (England). The store offers a wide range of stunning and unusual diningware, tableware, items of glass, porcelain and contemporary giftware and provides a very personal Wedding Gift List service.