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…
Erin @ One Project at a Time says
I’ve always wanted to take some of the background paper from Target displays to use to line the back of my cabinets, or frame. It would be a ton cheaper than wall paper, and much easier than painting. Alas, the Hubs is way too embarrassed if I ask a manager for that stuff. (So I just have to wait until he’s not shopping with me!)
if the Target store is done with the backer paper, they should gladly give it to you Erin! Don’t be embarassed, just ask for the signing specialist.
I love Anthropologie displays – they’re almost like works of art!
Ashley @ LML says
My thoughts exactly!
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
I like that poster, too! I’m not a bike rider but Joe commutes on his bike every day. If the GAP store falls through on getting you the poster, maybe you can get it from Public since they posted one of the images on their blog?
The Gap gave me a TON of their store posters in the late 90s (I think) when I asked… it was a collection of huge flip-flop posters and I used them throughout high school and college for room decor. So maybe they’ll call you back!
Morgan @ Endorphaholic says
I remember those posters! I wanted to do that in my room, but was a little too young to think to ask :)
Did you try contacting Public Bikes directly? They may sell a digital copy that you can have printed for a small donation.
I craved art work recently and just posted about it here.
It’s all about “Ask (nicely) and you shall receive!”
I tried emailing Public bikes and they said they don’t sell this print (and I asked very nicely) and that it was produced by GAP and GAP owns the rights, I’m not sure I’ll have luck with the GAP but we’ll see. Just thought I’d update to save time for those looking for this print.
Y’all are killing me! More kitchen please!! I know, I know: it’s easier said than done, but I’m so excited about what you are doing. I especially can’t wait to see what it looks like with the wall knocked out.
Us too. Waiting to get the wall officially scheduled with the contractor, but it should be done within a month or so- hopefully started in a few more weeks.
Holy smokes does that mean we won’t get a kitchen update for a week? If that’s the case please tell us…I’m on the edge of my seat!!! :) It’s going to be great by the way!!!
Oh no, we’ve got some other stuff that needs to get done before then – so we’ll have some updates next week. Just no wall opening yet.
I agree! edge of my seat here. you gotta at least tell us what that random wire about the fridge was all about!
That was just the wire to the fridge! It came out of the wall and went back in and was grounded- so weird. We had it rerouted behind the wall and it’ll now power the microwave. More details as soon as we have enough to actually write a post (an entire post about a fridge wire seemed weird- haha).
So does this mean you’ll put the microwave on the old refridgerator wall now?
BTW thanks for sharing the info on the wire. Really was curious about that one.
It’s on the to-do list!
(another) Kara says
I feel like I need a live webcam of your kitchen. Is that too much to ask?
Nah- that sounds reasonable.
Regan @ RenovatingRothenbergers says
Neat! I hope the poster finds its way to you!
Melanie @ Mailbox Journey says
Wow, I never even thought about doing this. Awesome idea!
Christine at Casa-de-Christine says
They are definitely interesting posters. Hope the manager comes through for you! Where would you hang them?
I have some shadow boxes and frames that my sister-in-law kept when she worked at the GAP. I have plans to revamp them and use them for art throughout the house.
Not quite sure where they would go. Maybe the office? Maybe the living room? Maybe the playroom? Who knows.
Robin @ our semi organic life says
I’ve definitely heard about friends who’ve been employees and gotten to take home store displays from retail places (for free). Would be cool as basement or garage art!
My friend used to work at Talbots and has a clock from one their displays.
OK, so this is totally embarrassing, but when I was a teenager I requested (and received) a totally MASSIVE titanic poster. The thing was huge and hung on my wall for years. I think it’s probably still in my mum’s attic anyway… ha
I somehow acquired a massive Brokeback Mountain movie poster lol…why that movie, I don’t know, it’s not the one I would have picked! I still don’t know what to do with it but it’s in the back of the closet somewhere….cant throw it away!
Speaking of the ‘ol college try, my roommates and I did have a GIANT life size poster of a shirt-less Abercrombie and Fitch model hanging above our dining table. One of roommates worked there part time and did exactly what you suggested; she asked the manager if she could take the display home after they were finished. It never hurts to ask! We enjoyed that eye-candy for two straight years. Talk about a large piece of artwork that really made a statement!
We sure did love that guy; the A&F babe, not the store manager =)
Ha! Our entire house senior year was filled with half-naked A&F models (sadly, just the posters!). A roommate worked there and the store would have a lottery for the posters among the employees. She apparently had an in!
Haha- that’s so funny to picture.
My good friend also worked at A&F in college and got so many leftover displays (they were all heavy canvas displays!) that she gave me enough to decorate all four walls of my common room as well as her room and common room! They were the talk of the dorm, haha! Her manager just gave them to employees who asked!
Pat McRee says
I have shelving from special displays of bugkiller that I’ve used in my attic for 37 years! (I know, not the same!)
But the reason I’m writing is to say thanks for the “huge-bike-photo” idea. My husband was a serious bike-rider for years. He got hit by a car (ended up on the windshield) and had one too many near-misses so he gave up the riding. The bike is still here. Because of this post, I’m going to take it to a photographer and order a posyer-sized image for him. Thanks, John!!
Wow, so glad your husband is okay – that sounds like a scary accident! But glad you’ve got an idea to help him still enjoy bikes now!
Heather W says
I used to work at Limited Too several years ago and one day the Manager said we needed to throw some old Christmas deco away and was anyone interested. I had just started so I wasn’t familiar with it but asked what it looked like. She said oh they are some Christmas trees in buckets and some garland so, I said sure I will take the garland and a tree. Ok the garland was thick, lovely and I still use it on my stairs and fireplace (10 yrs later) and the tree ended up being like 5ft tall and in a big galvanized bucket with fake snow in and is super cute in my son’s room. I couldn’t believe it. It never hurts to ask because alot of times it ends up getting pitched which is really sad.
hah. my friend worked at hallmark cards (or some such card place) and they were getting rid of old stock. She was supposed to throw it away, but she thought that was a complete waste, so she backed in her dad’s truck and took it home. Our apartment complex was very grateful: lots and lots of sets of blank cards, gift bags, and so forth. And they would have all gone in the garbage…
When I was younger, my mom asked Target for their hanging cardboard Halloween decorations (ghosts, bats, jack-o-lanterns) and they gave them to her! We had about 6 of these huge hanging decorations from our high-beamed ceilings every year! It totally made my childhood. Fingers crossed Gap will come through for you!
Amy B says
Yes! I really Like the bat silhouette that they have at Target and I’ve been wanting to ask them for it. I might get up the courage.
I work at a movie theater and we have people wanting our displays all the time. We auction them off and give the money to whatever charity we are donating to that month. I love that we do this because: we get more money for our charity, we don’t have to break down the displays, and we don’t have to throw them away- you know landfills and all that :)
speaking of store decor….my nieghbors have the PINK Victoria’s Secret Dog (yes, the life sized polka dot one) in their front yard as a lawn ornament. The pink spots have faded (because it is fabric) and it’s legs are muddy and dirty. The occasionally move it around amongst their trees and shrubs to ‘redecorate.” yikes.
Mellie in Iowa says
That is hilarious
eileen marie says
Holy gross, Batman!
(Our friends have neighbors who hang stuffed animals from all of their tree branches for every holiday.)
I worked for Victoria’s Secret for 4 years in college and snagged a ton of window display stuff that I thought was cool. (Ive since donated most of it, but still have a red and black plaid throw and some cute little pillows shaped like cupcakes.)
They stopped letting us have it, though, because they were having a problem with the stuff getting sold on ebay. It sucks that dishonest people ruin it for everyone else.
I’ve often wondered about what happens to store displays, but I was always too shy to ask if I could get it once they’re done. So cool to know people actually do it! Here’s to hoping it works out for you guys!
Target just trashes it! Such a waste. If you happen to catch them on the day they are changing it out, you can usually ask for it. But they won’t hold it for you, or add you to a “list”… it is just the luck of the draw.
I did the same thing at Old Navy this summer. My daughter’s name is Summer and they had “Summer” printed all over their in-store displays. I asked them to call me when they were ready to pitch the old displays, but sadly I never got a call. I’ll have to be more persistent next year.
Back in highschool, I used to go to fast food chains with my cousin and ask for their window posters to “wallpaper” a wall in my room with. We actually got a ton. She even got a huge hamburger poster from a Hungarian McDonalds. Did make you hungry every day to wake up to huge Arby roast beef sandwiches and McFlurries staring back at you..
LOL. That’s hilarious to picture.
I love that poster! What a fun idea – I love everything “bike!” In college I had an abrecrombie poster (they are gigantic in our suite – a sister of a friend snagged it for me.
My husband and I recently acquired to large wooden spools, you know the ones that hold wiring or a hose of some kind. We got one from Lowes and the other from Home Depot. I just asked the salesperson that was closest to the area and voila. They each checked with a manager to get the all clear. We were told they usually just trash them so they were ours for the taking. One mans trash! We got those suckas fo free. It was pretty awesome. We just rolled those puppies out. Now we use one of them in our breakfast nook and the other is in pieces (that was an adventure) and being modified to eventually be used on our patio!
Sarah in Indiana says
Oooh, cool idea! I’ll have to remember that.
There are a couple neat “how to make a table out of a giant spool” posts at Design*Sponge if you want any tips or photo inspiration on converting your spools. Those things are popping up everywhere now – they are super trendy!
Wom-mom Ethne says
We snagged a few movie posters and cut-outs in college from movie theaters. Same as you – we just asked. Like my mom says: it’s 100% ‘no’ if you don’t ask, so it doesn’t hurt.
I wanted the Tord Boontje hanging pendants a Target several years back. I never asked but I did buy a few things from that collaboration.
I never thought they would give display items away, so I’ve never asked, but you have inspired me & I will definitely be putting in some requests in the future!
ooh I love that. good luck! I’ve asked gap for a poster before (years ago) and was told they couldn’t give them away, and had to throw them out when the display was over. Seems like asking the right person could get you somewhere, though!
There is a great breakfast/lunch place in South Lake Tahoe called The Keys Cafe. They have some outdoor art made of found objects like keys, nuts and bolts, etc. all placed on brightly painted plywood. I can’t wait to try a smaller version for a seating area in our wine/beer garden that we ave planned for our backyard.
We have an awesome old Gap ‘bus stop poster’ style ad with Steve McQueen – It reads ” Steve McQueen wore khakis”. Like this: http://www.mcqueenonline.com/gapkhakis.htm
We love it. Unfortunately, not sure where to put it in our house right now. Maybe I can work it into our little boy’s nursery….
Wonder what super exciting major stuff is going on in the world of YHL that we’re getting this “filler” post… we’re onto you now that you spilled the beans about the mirror/compost bin filler posts during blogiversary week! Is it Monday yet?? Can’t wait for next week already!
Guys. Kitchen stuff is going to be happening for the next few months! The first one took us 113 days! And we’re DIYing a lot more this time, so it probably won’t be done until January. So sorry we can’t do a full reveal in a day – this stuff just takes time! We’re just working on picking a countertop. No major walls coming down or demo yet. We wish! We’ll report on things as we go as usual!
Sorry :( I didn’t mean to come across as demanding… I just love your blog and get excited to see your progress.
Haha- no worries at all! Just know that we’re going as fast as we can! Around 2-3 posts about the kitchen a week (like we’ve done this week) will probably be the average. We wish we had everyday updates but we just can’t work that fast!
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.
Maureen @ This (Kinda) Old House 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!
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!
haha i have a huge palm tree from bath and body works
[email protected] says
I still have a super cute Christmas yarn ball wreath from Starbucks. I worked there at the time, and after Christmas, all the baristas just split the decor. I think I got the best part. :)
I also scored Christmas decor from Starbucks. A few years ago when I was in college I asked the manager about the decor. They took my name and number. I didn’t really expect anything to happen, but a couple days after New Years I got a call to come and pick them up. I found a picture like the cute card trees I received on the Captain’s Blog, http://www.chadestes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Starbucks_holiday_trees.jpg
Mine look like the one in the center.
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.
I don’t know the answer to your Anthro question, but I have recently discovered that they put up pictures of their seasonal store windows on their facebook page–instant inspiration! Here’s this fall: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150397547931416.406230.107418161415&type=3
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”.
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.
Hi Alissa, each store has a display artist who makes all the displays for the store (: Hope that helps!
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!
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 http://www.weliveinfinancialtimes.com/#). 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!
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!
[email protected] up with the Jenks' says
I really hate to admit this, but in college, my roommate worked at Abercrombie, so we had the giant-5-foot-half-naked-men posters in our apartment. I cringe thinking of it. But, at the time, everyone complimented our decor choices!
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)
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!
Thanks for the tip Jennifer!
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.
That’s amazing! What a score.
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!
Haha, I love it!
*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.
Haha- too funny.
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.
that poster is a total rip-off of a paper company’s promo piece that was made over a year ago by VSA. The cover is the exact same set up as the poster but perhaps slightly different. here’s a link: http://news.mohawkpaper.com/2010/09/22/mohawk-superfines-mode-of-transformation/
more info: http://www.feltandwire.com/2010/09/20/transform-your-creative-mode-with-mohawks-latest-on-superfine/
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!
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!
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.
When John Krasinski did the ad for Gap, I totally managed to snag a giant in store poster from a friend who had formerly worked there.
I never actually hung it up (it was HUGE, and I wasn’t a 13 year old girl. Didn’t want to scare guys off), but it was pretty awesome that she got it for me. It floated around my apartments for a few year before I finally said (sniff) goodbye.
Haha- I love it!
A friend of mine gets the Christmas decorations from Starbucks each year (they give them to her the 2nd week of January). Last year they had those really cute twisted topiaries with bright fuchsia, royal blue and lime green wrapped presents on them, so this year those will be outside her house and she’ll match her inside decor to it. She’s so smart!
Those sound awesome.
A couple years ago, I was swooning over the Christmas decor at Starbucks. The most adorable garland and topiaries, ever. I asked the manager, and it was a line something like “we give our employees preference, and then if they don’t take them, we’ll call you.” Even after multiple inquiries, I came out empty handed. Oh well, I tried!
Several years ago I was working on a skit where the storyline was set on a cruise boat. At the time, Victoria Secret’s displays were all nautical. Just by asking, we ended up with 2 truck loads of life size anchors, rope, life savers, and surfboards. You never know until you ask!
Holy cow- that’s amazing!
Most larger department stores have a visual department. Contact the visual manager of the store and let them know what pieces you are interested in. If it’s a seasonal item, I know that JCPenney will usually pitch the item after 30 days or so (this applies to large graphics in the store and not larger display pieces). Good luck!
Thanks for the tip! I used to work visual at Express a million years ago. Good times.
A good friend of mine was in a horrible car accident, broke her back and lost her hand. She was in the hospital for months(an hour away from where she lived, but 15min from me)
I worked at our mall in C’ville, and our local music store was awesome and gave me a life size cardboard cutout of Blink 182(her favorite) for her to keep in her hospital room. They weren’t even finished using it, but her story touched the manager’s heart. :)
Aw, that’s so cute! What a funny cheer-her-up surprise.