Gap On The Wall

A couple of weeks ago we were at the Gap and I spotted this on the wall.

It’s a bicycle from Public Bikes that was disassembled and shot for this in-store display (thereby they’re not for sale). I thought they were pretty darn good looking. I’m more of a bike admirer than an actual bike rider (apologies to my cycling enthusiast father), so I feel like a bit of a poser saying this, but… I really want those posters to hang in our house. Not sure where, but somewhere. Here’s a better shot of one of the panels from the Public Bikes blog.

I talked with the manager at my local Gap and they “made a note” to call me when they’re done using them for display. This was promising because I expected to hear “sorry, we’re not allowed to give those away” (which I’ve heard at other stores when I’ve asked, like Target). But it wasn’t totally confidence inspiring either – because it sounded a bit like a “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” So I also decided to randomly tweet about wanting them once the store is done with them, and a Gap manager elsewhere heard my plea and is going to try to snag me a set once they’re bumped for holiday decor. Oh the power of Twitter. Who knows if it’ll actually work out, but I gave it the ol’ college try.

Is there any store display out there that you’ve been admiring (or thinking about recreating/DIYing)? Perhaps something at Anthropologie? Have any of you used actual store decor in your home? If so, how’d you go about getting it? Was tweeting involved? Or just regular old fashioned in-person asking? We always hear about folks who just get a call weeks or months later when the store is done with something (like friends of mine who got movie posters from Blockbuster when they were finished displaying them as new releases). Fingers crossed…


  1. kathy from ct says

    From GAP, an Annie Liebowitz HUGE poster of John Mayer, wrapped around the frame. Feels like canvas.
    Be persistent. They may gift you just to get rid of you.

  2. says

    I like this too, actually. Not that I have any affinity for bikes, it’s just a cool photo. To me, this is a garage/basement art item. LOL I am interested in finding out where this will end up! And also, I am going to start inquiring about said posters in stores. I never thought of that!

  3. Nicole says

    I work with a girl who got a huge display tree from Bath and Body Works – it’s a cherry blossom tree. She just asked and then said, “Take it” – it’s amazing!

  4. says

    Recreating/DIYing? How about everything in Anthropologie! Does anyone know if all of their decor items are centrally made and then shipped to each store, or if there’s some kind of in-store designer who takes all that on?

    As for movie posters, theaters! I worked at a small, six-screen theater and a lot of posters and displays ended up in the trash just because there were so many. I probably wouldn’t decorate with them now, but I had a killer dorm room thanks to those.

    • Jessica says

      My bff is a designer for the Nashville Anthro….I’m pretty sure she does the displays for just that one store, although they do collaborate across country to keep a similar “theme”.

    • says

      Anthro does try to stick to a “theme” nationwide but many of the pieces are actually thrifted or are antiques. And they are ALL for sale. They’ll sell you just about any piece off the sales floor (not cheap though) or you can take a look at their website which is where they’ll post mass-produced items or things they won’t use or are done using in their stores.

    • Cindy says

      Hi Alissa, each store has a display artist who makes all the displays for the store (: Hope that helps!

    • Jen says

      A few years back they had a beautiful display of flowers made from plastic bottles (in honor of earth week). We were nearing the end of our green themed year with our young girl scout troop and thought they’d be an awesome project to recreate as a display for the school. The store’s design artist volunteered her time to meet with the girls and teach them how to make them. We collected old bottles, washed them, cut them, spray painted them and wired them to a repurposed old screen along with an old school jump rope used to spell the school name in cursive. It looked awesome and is still displayed in the school lunchroom. Hhmmm… I may have to remake some of those flowers for my daughters bedroom. It was a great craft and Anthro’s artist was so nice to donate her time and talent!

  5. N says

    In my office I have a FT advertizing poster reflecting an island with all the tallest building in the word erected on it (you can see it here i got fascinated by it the first time i saw it on the train and once i saw it displayed in one of the convinient shops in grand central i walked up to an employee there and ask if i can buy it. he told me to wait until they change posters and come back for it which i did and he gave me two posters. people at work loved it too and i shared one.. hehe… i think of it as recycling.. why wouldnt gap give it to you.. they will..

    • Katie Rose says

      Neat image! Although it looks more like it is the most recognizable buildings in the world. I couldn’t make out the Sears (Willis) Tower on it – tallest building in the US. As a Chicagoan, it’s a bit disappointing. Awesome nonetheless though!

  6. Kim says

    ok, so this isn’t the same but it’s kinda funny. When I was in my 20s (now 40s), a very dear friend of mine LOVED to try to steal signs from bars we were at – not paper ones either – like metal and such – and would hang them in her room. I know – not very nice – but it was funny to see her get the sign off the wall and either subtly hide it while walking out or kinda run/walk out of the bar – heehee. Ah, the silly things we do when young and drunk!

    • Ashley says

      Haha, Meg! I had the same cool-at-the-time, obnoxious poster in my dorm room too from our retail days.

      A family friend is the retail merchandising manager for a major national department store and I get great things from her — display racks, glass shelves, chairs to reupholster, tons of holiday display decor and my favorite — an upside down faux Christmas tree! Most of the time, you just have to ask the merchandising managers :0)

  7. says

    I used to work at a movie theater and people were always asking for posters, the best way to go about it so ask the manager and even follow up with a phone call!

  8. Cailin says

    I’ve worked in retail for over 8 years and snagged some pretty nice display material. My favorite is a 8 foot tall vinyl black and white poster of central park ice rink. Its been in my closet for 4 years. I don’t have any idea what to do with it.

  9. McKenzie says

    I used to work at Abercrombie and Fitch while in college. I got a b/w display (think thick, foamboard) of gorgeous men running on the beach – larger than life!) that was about 12′ by 8′ – which my roommates and I installed against one wall of our living room. We were the envy of all our girlfriends, and few of our guy friends too!

  10. Ashley says

    *Nerd Alert* The only piece of post-store decor I’ve ever had was a six-and-a-half-foot tall cardboard standup of Anakin Skywalker from Attack of the Clones (which has a little tiny Frito-Lay logo at the very bottom). That thing stayed up in my room from 2002 or whenever the movie came out until I moved out in 2008! My aunt spotted it at her grocery store, along with one of Jango Fett, and managed to get them for my brother and me. My mom was nowhere near as psyched as we were! I think they’re still in her house somewhere, lol.

    • Pam the Goatherd says

      I also have a bunch of Star Wars life-sized cardboard figures that I asked for from our local grocery store. They were used before the second set of movies came out to promote the movies. The store owner thought I was nuts to want them and was happy to give them to me when the promo was over. Then he discovered how popular the movies were and when the next batch of figures came out he told me there was NO WAY he was going to give them to me. They are now stored in my garage awaiting the day when my Star Wars nerd kids get their own place that is big enough to have such large decorations. We have a neighbor kid (he’s in his 20s now, but I’m in my 50s so to me he’s a kid!) who calls me every now and then to see if I will finally break down and sell them to him for his collection.

    • says

      No way! I totally see the resemblance! We’ve also seen prints of other things deconstructed (like typewriters and computers) on sites like 20×200. Love them all!


  11. says

    It wasn’t exactly a decorator piece, but I once snagged one of those large metal rolling racks that stores use to display hanging clothes. The store was getting ready to wheel a perfectly good one out to the dumpster (because the “district manager was paying a visit and they didn’t have room to store it”) and I immediately volunteered to take it off their hands. I use it as a drying rack at home, or when we’re preparing for a long vacation, I start hanging our “to pack” clothing on it. Great find that looks good (has that metal industrial look to it) and is SUPER functional! All for $0 and a little bit of eavesdropping!

  12. says

    There are two huge canvases (representing Papua New Guinea and Tanzania) at the Starbucks in the next town over that I have been coveting for years. My travel bug wants them and my discerning design eye loves the color and composition of both of them. Of course, the fact that they’ve been up for years just might mean they’ll be up for years to come. Starbucks-es in rural Kansas don’t get face-lifts very often. Sigh.

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