Interior shop pictures

Pat Murphey

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Nov 16, 2002
Lafayette, NJ
Interior shop pictures. Comments welcome. Post yours too with Photobucket - it's easy.

Pat - Victory Frame Shop, Lafayette, NJ








Personally, it's WAY too crowded!! I would be afraid to move around in there for fear of accidentally bumping into something and breaking it.
Very nice Pat. I don't think it is too crowded. I think it is cozy and inviting. Love, love, love the floor. Are they linoleum tiles and if so, where did you get the ones with the stars in them? ****, I almost laid my tiles diagnally too.

I have to say you seem to be engulfed in corner chevrons, that looks a bit overwhelming. How do you keep track of them all?

Also, tell us about the ship........
Another advantage independents have over the BB's!

Beautiful and quaint...cozy...crowded, yes, but neat. (Can you push the walls out a little???)

I'd love to post some interior pix, but then I'd have to either embarrass myself or get out the dust pan and broom...

Congratulations on a store I'm sure your customers love to visit!

How about an exterior shot? No, don't tell me you're between Michael's and HobbyLobby...actually you should be so lucky! That would be the best place for a quality framer to locate!

I'd love to see more postings of both interior and exterior shots from other stores.

Dave Makielski
Pat - we can pick at it all we want, but it works!

You and I are total opposites but I love the whole mix you have put together. I get the sense of being below deck of a great sailing ship of 'ye olde days'.

The only thing that I would suggest you make big changes is in the lighting. Can you ditch the flourescent fixtures?!?!?! I know that they burn cooler than track lighting, but the light pattern in such a small space may be undoing some of look you have created. At least switch to the warmest color bulb you can find and maybe cover them to diffuse the light somehow.

Crowded? Sure, but it makes sense given the prominent styles and themes you have there. I would be concerned about it going too far and costing you time and business, so take a step back twice a year and 'edit' the look. (or maybe that's prune?)

I am a frame-sample-aholic and have been thinking about new ways to buffer customers from all of my corners. I will be doing the changes this month. I'll post pics when its done.
I forgot to ask...where's your smiling staff and how did you chase the customers out to take the shots? :confused:

Dave Makielski
Good thing I read down to Eric's post. I was also about to say I had the feeling of being below deck on a ship. Lo and behold, there's even a model ship.
Ahoy, mateys...arrrgh!
:cool: Rick
DUCK! Those beams look barely 6 feet high!

Looks like you're in the basement of an old building. I've never been in a shop like that. It is a nice layout given the space.
I just revisited the golly, now I have to see an exterior shot...Is she a three master?

I don't know how I missed the boat analogies, but it's way cool... :cool:

Evey independent frame shop is going to be different in character reflecting the owner and empoloyees personality.

Some customers like cleanliness, some like disorganization (you appear to be busy when you are disheveled). Some want a woman designer, some a man...some would never shop in a downtown urban setting, others enjoy the personality of the city...etc. etc. etc.

Independents should never harmogenize themselves to be other than what they should be.

Now isn't that a wise statement!

Time to go home.


Dave Makielski
Originally posted by Dave:
I'd love to post some interior pix, but then I'd have to either embarrass myself or get out the dust pan and broom...
Dave Makielski
My sentiments exactly, Dave.

I like the look because I like "stuff", but I'm not sure I could work in all of that. My space is extremely small, and there are many days I could knock out a wall myself.
Possible she was a Go-Go dancer in a previous job??


I love it. Your shop shows personality and character. Might do something with the fluoresence(or is it florescent), I might do something with the lighting.

I also used furniture instead of typical store fixtures and people tell me they like the homey feel. Then I yell at them to get their feet off the coffee table and go play outside, just to make the home atmosphere more real.

Are the tassels Umano?

If I ever find myself in your neck of Jersey I will stop by. Please feel free to do the same and tell me what you think over here.
BTW, to see some of my shop and the first generation website I'm at...

The next website is being built but wanted to have an elementary web presence than none at all.
I am very impressed. To coin a favorite phrase: Wow.

The personality of your shop is evident. As Eric says, we are opposites, but I still appreciate different styles and tastes (which is what we have to provide for our customers) - but I believe that your style must attract customers that want that style you project. I just want to know - do you do anything really contemporary!!

Thanks for sharing.

The building is a rambling 3 story 1850 gristmill. The exterior is an unassuming door in a stone wall in the lowest level. My foot traffic is antique shoppers as the Mill is an antique center.

The fluorescent lighting is out of my control - landlord - I added the track lighting.

The floor is paint on cement that is in terrible condition. The stars are stencils done by my wife.

Behind the curved windows (that simulate the admiral's cabin in HMS Victory) is the pit where the water wheel resided. Now its my workshop.

The tassel's are part of my wife's gift sales. They sell at a pretty steady pace.

My counter is my design table. I pull up a sheet of foam core as a neutral background for design work and I pull out an easel to work with those that have trouble with the height of my counter.

I have developed into a relatively low volume higher end shop - suits me fine as a framer retired from my lifelong flying career. The Abe Munn and Regence samples and the Munn foot long chop samples seem to appeal the most to the antique shoppers. Those Ross engravings behind the ship in Regence rosewood frames recently sold for $1500 apiece. I've sold those 2 engravings 7 times before in comparable but different frames. I believe that high end frames are sold best by showing sample art in those frames. I also specialize in display cases, made from picture frames, for model ship builders and other collectors. The Victory model is in such a case.

I think I broke every rule for retailing that I was taught at LJ's framing school. And, contrary to other's advice, I discovered that you can sell expensive framing in Sussex County, NJ.

Pat :D
Looks great Pat. Lots of personality.

Could you explain the construction of the display cases?


Lower base - reverse frame, i.e. LJ 403IG on the Victory case. Or, a flat or cove mitered to sit with the rabbet up to fit the upper base ( like the doll case). Fill the lower base with foam core extending up (with fabric mat top) into the upper base.

Upper Base - Groove cut into top of flat moulding to receive the glass. Table saw with 1/8" kerf blade required for this step.

Verticals - Flat moulding with grooves in bottom and rabbet to receive glass at 90 degrees. Interior of moulding and grooves need to be painted.

Top - Grooves cut in bottom to match lower base and in the rabbet to receive the glass. insert the upper glass when assembling and gluing the upper frame. alternatively, skip the rabbet slots and make a separate top with a decorative moulding slotted for glass and mitered so that the decorative top and rabbet overhangs the inner top (as in the doll case).

The upper assembly (and/or the top in the alternate method) lifts of the lower base for access. It's a two man project with my Victory case.

Experiment with scrap to develop technique. Aligning grooves, offsetting groves slightly between top and verticals to give a slight reveal are techniques that you can develop by trial and error - better with scrap. I use screws from top and bottom of the upper assembly to hold things together on all but the smallest cases. Allowing some vent space between the upper assembly and the lower base is an issue with model ship builders. I usually do that with felt pads.

Pat :D

I LOVE it. It is sooo me! That is what I want my shop to look like in alot of ways.

I have been toying with idea of tassels and now I think I am just going to dive right in.

My building is very old and in bad shape in alot of ways too. I have to make due with what I have but my rent is alot cheaper.

(As a matter of fact, I would love to buy my building one day.)

I love what you have done with all of your walls and I also use shutters for display. It just adds texture and I think for the most part, that is alot of what selling framing is all about. Different textures for walls.

I want to ask about the corners samples for closed corner frames. 1st, do you sell alot of them and 2nd, Where did you get the samples.

I sell alot of JFM frames and I would love to have samples to sell from, but they don't have any.
Anyway, I adore it!
You really have a designers flair.

Thanks for posting, You have inspired me today.
So, now the big question for me is can you stencil on linoleum? I love that floor. Gonna have to try.

I have closed corner samples from APF/Munn, Regence, Thanhardt-Burger, American Choice, Wesley-Allen and AMCI. I had to pay for almost all of them. Some of the companies offer 1/2 wholesale, package discounts or rebates on first sale. And, yes I do sell them, but, would not without the samples. Sometimes I will frame wall displays of them. The problem with that is that they usually look so good that they go out the door too fast to serve as examples.

This past summer, though slow for cheap frames, was the best yet for closed corners - just under $30,000 retail - a nice addition to the bottom line. The lesson is that you cannot sell something that you don't show.

Pat :D

The source for the on point black and white check design comes from the painted canvas rugs used in the officers quarters on HMS Victory. Walls and furniture were stricken below when preparing for battle. The wooden decks were painted red so that blood wouldn't then be so obvious. Hence, the need for the rugs.

Good luck painting the linoleum. We had enough trouble getting the paint to stay on the deteriorated concrete.

Pat :D