For some, their outlet is swingin' a golf club... for others, their outlet may be a trip to DSW to stock-up on a new seasons trend, or being outdoors lounging poolside or gardening... One of my favorite outlets is touring stores, especially lifestyle home stores - to view the latest color combinations, texture mixing, and seasonal statements they've set. As inspiring as a catalog, a magazine, or the Internet may be, nothing beats seeing these looks, trends and styles pulled together in a pleasing environment. You can really only get this from walking through a brick-and-mortar store.

Crate & Barrel

Over the weekend, my husband and I ventured out to go explore a revived area near us: The Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale. In an effort to diversify and revive this otherwise aging horse race track (previously just known as Gulfstream), the developers incorporated rich landscapes and European-styled shops & restaurants. Although some of the spaces are still vacant, they've done a wonderful job utilizing super graphics, set outside of storefront, shouting out the facilities mix: Food - Fashion - Mojo, with its verbiage set in the silhouette of a horse.

Delicious restaurants

Widescreen TV's set outdoors and a grandstand area set within the courtyard for spectators & visitors

MANHATTAN FOX placed third in the second race

Beach-side lounge area along the racetrack

Three of my favorite lifestyle home stores were recently opened there so we wandered around the village to have some lunch, had drinks at a beach-side lounge along the race track, and discovered these beautiful lifestyle presentations featured at Crate & Barrel, West Elm and Pottery Barn...

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

West Elm

West Elm

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

I use to tour stores and relate the feedback of my findings to my store manager... We'd discuss how we might incorporate some of these findings into our store environment, keep our store 'on trend' with competition (in the Aventura location) and help increase sales for a division. Ironically, we ran into my old boss, Tracy Jones. Seeing all these displays and him reminded me of some of the vignettes he allowed me the freedom to create (because they were above and beyond corporate direction)...

Moroccan influences for Chris Madden line

ZEN look for Studio line

While setting presentations, many people would say, "I didn't know you had all this"... which is the purpose of creating visual statements: It lets customers know what you have and HOW to put it together to create a 'look'. I even recalled probably my first attempt at setting a cross-divisional display (way-back in '94 - so don't laught too hard), inspired at the time by Ralph Lauren's looks and merchandising...

I refinished old display furniture pieces I found around the store and I gathered all merchandise selection together to create a story, in an otherwise vacant elevator hallway.

So don't just flip through magazines or fiddle away on your computer... get out and about in and see what's new around you in your local shops for inspiration. Who knows who or what you will see... maybe this

could inspire your home to this...

styling & photo for above Mile Marker Memory 
by Lynda Quintero-Davids

What's your favorite outlet?
(ALL photos in this post by Lynda Quintero-Davids)


  1. Looks like we both visited the same stores this weekend. You are very correct in that it helps to visit the brick and mortar. I madea few comments regarding our local shops.

    For me, I realize you have a number of sale items that may be discontinued and no longer available online or catalog. Its good to just have some visual-tangible inspiration.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  2. My outlet is a true outlet (outlet store that is!) :)

  3. LOL... I almost had changed the title so it wouldn't mislead to that! We have an outlet down here in Sunrise, FL called Sawgrass... but the only luck I've ever had there is at the CRATE & BARREL outlet.

    And Mr. GH: exact-a-mundo!
    STORES have more & lower markdowns than featured on a website. Sometimes, even the same item on a site could be 19.99, but in store 9.99. They figure, while you're in there, you'll also buy that NEW seasons item, to offset their markdowns. That's why I prefer to shop at END of season and stock up for NEXT year!! (TIP: Bi-annual end of season is usually July and January for most retailers)

    :D Lynda



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