Concepts for Success: October 2011

Diane Chiasson
September 20, 2011
Written by Diane Chiasson
Feeling drab? Here are eight great ways to spruce up your space without breaking the bank

Is your bakery looking a bit old and stale? Are you thinking about making some interior design changes, but afraid you can’t afford it? There are several ways you can update and refresh your operation without having to hire a professional designer or do a complete renovation. Sometimes, just a few simple ideas can help turn your place into something new.

Freshen up with paint
Nothing brightens or freshens up a room better than a new coat of paint. Painting is the easiest and most inexpensive way to make an instant change to the interior design of your operation. It’s also a good excuse for you to clean and freshen up the walls. Choose a colour that works well with your brand, but is still trendy and modern. Don’t just stick to the walls. Repaint your chairs, counters, tables – anything that is looking a bit old, dirty or faded.

Hang wallpaper
If you want wood walls in your bakery, but can’t afford it, why not hang wallpaper that looks like wood? The variety of wallpaper available today makes it possible for you to achieve practically any look you want for a fraction of the price. Consider using wallpaper with different textures to add to the visual depth of your operation.

Use mirrors
Mirrors are a great way to create extra light, space and accents. Framed mirrors can create mock windows as well. Place mirrors around your bakery counter to multiply the images of your fresh breads, cookies, cakes and pastries, and make things appear more plentiful.

Paint the floors
If you need new flooring, but can’t afford hardwood, consider removing your existing flooring (whether it’s carpet, laminate or tile) to expose the concrete, then painting it. You can be creative with the colours, patterns and designs. You can even paint your brand logo on the floor. Alternatively, you can find lots of inexpensive laminate tiles that look like hardwood but cost a lot less.

Get new fabric
Instead of buying new chairs and banquettes, consider reupholstering your existing furniture. Look for fabrics that are durable and easy to clean. Fabric stores often have blowout sales on last year’s styles. If you want your bakery to be more eclectic, consider using fabric from the scrap bin. Many designer fabric stores have remnants that you can buy to use on your chairs, lampshades, or anything else that needs a little sprucing up. If you have dining chairs with only the seats upholstered, you can even do the job yourself – just pop the seat out, stretch the new fabric over the seat and staple it into place.

Look for second-hand options
Scour garage sales and flea markets, restaurant auctions, or websites like eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji to find stuff for cheap. Buying second-hand products is essential to interior designing on a budget. Look for detail pieces and think outside the box. For example, you could use an old iron gate as a storage rack for pots or an old ladder (with a fresh coat of paint) as a stand.

Be creative with props
Dress up your bakery by picking up glass vases at the dollar store, and filling the jars with stones, marbles, rocks or sand, and a candle. You can also create visual merchandising displays by using items found in your own kitchen such as glass jars, tins, boxes, old baking equipment and utensils.

Work with artists on consignment
There are a lot of starving artists out there today who would love the opportunity to display their artwork to the public. Work on consignment with the artist whereby you agree to hang the artwork in your bakery, and if you sell a piece, you get to keep a percentage of the sales. This is a win-win situation: you get original artwork to improve the interior design of your space while the artist gets the opportunity to gain some exposure.

A little creativity will go a long way in helping your bakery put its best face forward.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.
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