Five creative ways to fit out your store on a budget

17 Jul 2016

Fitting out your store doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. In fact at Appear Here some of the most effective, creative pop-ups we’ve seen have been done on a shoestring. After all, there’s nothing like a miniscule budget to encourage a bit of resourcefulness…

Here are five cool ideas from some of the brands we’ve worked with to get you going.

Partner up

La Gent wanted to recreate their online lifestyle store in a physical space. They wanted the space to feel as though you had just entered someone’s house. So to avoid expensive hire fees, they partnered with the furniture designers, Pinch. It was the perfect collaboration – Wallpaper Magazine even highlighted it as one of their top design pop-ups of 2016.

La Gent X Pinch

Partnering with upcoming artists is another way to keep the cost of decoration down. When Simon Suphandagli launched EJDER 24 Hour Club, he invited young artists in to paint the walls of the store. Design Butler created a mural on the launch night - providing entertainment for revellers at the same time as decorating their store.

Design Butler

Get creative and upcycle

Jewellery brand John + Pearl regularly launch pop-ups, so need a design format that’s affordable. Founder Julie McCauley says upcycling helped them get creative on a low budget: “An example from my shop is a set of old wooden speakers that I transformed into light boxes with a vinyl of our logo,” says McCauley.

John and Pearl

“If on a budget, you can buy offcuts of acrylic then ask for them to be cut down in most good suppliers. Try Hamar Acrylic in Bethnal Green. To light it, you can buy inexpensive lighting on Amazon, the kind used for kitchen counters. Vinyl is cheap and impressive, the total cost is less than £25 for an amazing custom light box!”

Pinterest is also a great place to look. Some inspired ideas include turning chair legs into display hangers, using concrete blocks as display cases, repainting old tables and chairs, and putting ladders to use as shelving. All simple, all effective.

Reuse storage materials

Paris-based online art gallery Balibart set up shop in Old Street station through Appear Here and used the tubes from their posters to create the fit out. For instance, the cylinders make great table legs or when bunched together, they can even be used as shelving or stands.


Let your product do the talking

Sometimes less is more. If you have beautiful products then you may want to make them the focus of your shop fit out, leaving out any other noise. Anna Walker is a great example of this - her leather totes are real statement pieces, so she made them the centrepiece of her store.

Anna Walker London

Plan your space in advance

Planning ahead also gives you time to think of creative ideas and come up with affordable ways to execute them. Julie, from John + Pearl, advised, “ask for a scale floor plan and either use a photo editing app or even sketch on a print out to plan the layout of your shop.”


“People love a customised experience but don't always enter a shop if you are sitting right by the door,” she continues. “Consider a relaxed looking workspace that you feel comfortable in. You will be spending a lot of time there so if you are relaxed and happy then your customers will be! I like to avoid sitting behind a desk. I love bringing a bench to sit at, removing a formal barrier between you and your customers. It immediately creates a less formal environment.”

Related Articles:

Setting up shop on a start-up budget

10 thrifty design tips