Illustrations by Don Carson. Copyright 2012 Red Barn Productions - may not be used or duplicated without permission.
To increase visibility and add to the fair flavor, add hanging signs that project from your booth front. (Remember that there are rules about head and fire clearance when doing so.) These signs might be pictorial, i.e., cut in the shape of the item pictured. Signs such as this worked 150 years ago, and they'll work again for you.
As you design your interior, pay close attention to your layout. Does your walk-in shop have enough room for a flow of customers... with hoop skirts? Can people admire your goods comfortably?
Your exterior design helps you attract customers; your interior can help you close sales. The atmosphere should invite people to tarry by displaying items that will interest even the non-buyers in the group. Make use of those flocked wallpapers that are so gaudy now but then spoke of luxury. Lay down rugs or Oriental carpets to finish the floor and furnish warmth. The Victorians were eclectic. Find old, everyday items to give your booth a lived-in look. Hang pictures, old photos, samplers, and the like on the walls. Display the tools of your trade. By Victorian standards, a room could not be too filled.
We are building Victorian London: the upper-class parlours, ballrooms, eating establishments, shops; the grimy, smoky, lustful lower side; and the working-class streets of merchants and mongers, thronged with Christmas crowds, carolers, chimney sweeps, and pick-pockets. Let's illuminate and decorate so that our fair looks, smells, tastes, and feels like London 1840-1860.