before and after by 35

before & after: two new shop designs

I was so excited to see so many great shop makeovers in my inbox. I often find myself fantasizing about what it would be like to open a shop, especially when I see so many lovely shops opening up all around the country. It seems like the current fragile state of retail has come with a silver lining: shops really have to find their niche and be well designed, thoughtful and interesting to have a chance at success.

This boutique is actually a second location for Noon Designs, a company founded by jeweler Nora Alexander and her partner, graphic designer Maie Webb. They met at RISD (so many awesome design duos and teams come from there, no?) and opened their first location in Ocean Beach, CA, two years ago. This new location in Solana Beach, only 25 miles away from their flagship store, began as a humble space with tiled floors and bare, putty-colored walls. I love the addition of the red brick wall and the dramatic, dark accent color in the back. They’ve really warmed up the space, and I hope the new shop is just as successful as their first. Great work, Nora and Maie! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE for the Party Box Co. Pop-Up Shop after the jump!

This makeover is made more exciting by the fact that it’s temporary. I know the concept of the “pop-up” shop has been around for a while, but it seems to be hitting its stride, and I’m so glad to see these kinds of spontaneous spaces/events literally “popping” up everywhere. This charming version is the brainchild of Lisa Fulker and Cathy Keyani, the co-founders of the eco-responsible party supply company ACME Party Box Co. in Palo Alto, CA.

First off, I love the name . . . who wouldn’t want a party box? I know I do. Badly. Secondly, I’m amazed at the work they did to transform this space into a warm and friendly shop, all for under $1000. Lisa shared with us some of their secrets for working with a tight budget and staying green, and they seemed too useful not to jot down:

  • Worked with their local antique store to borrow some of their furniture and lighting in exchange for selling the items for them if customers were interested.
  • Moved furniture from their houses and used them as display pieces.
  • Bought inexpensive sheets to use as a store divider and adorned them with vintage millinery that they use for the corsages they make for the store.
  • Had their local florist create a large boxwood swag to highlight the center of the store around their checkout desk.
  • Made large blackboards out of lightweight masonite chalkboards they framed with door casings they spray painted and cut to fit.
  • Bought display items from their local flea market and eBay.
  • Created displays using their shipping boxes.

Luckily, I happen to live near here and I definitely plan to make a trip down to check it out. Great job, Party Box! I just had to say the name again :) Nice work, Lisa and Cathy!

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before and after / holidays



Wow! I love the brick wall too and the clip boards hanging on the wall at Noon. What are they used for?

And, love how ACME got so creative on a budget.


The giant shell bowls (with aqua interiors) are AMAZING!!! Anyone know the source?

Colleen Dean

So, with a pop-up shop, do they pay a lease for just a bit? I’m sorry, but Dallas is slow to trends (we don’t even have Food Trucks yet). Please tell me more. I’m dying to open a vintage and jewelry shop, but scared, too.


hi everyone!

it’s the noon gals we noticed that the link to our site is broken, if you want to shop our site we have a 20% off sale going on right now! check it out !

thanks for posting our before and after design*sponge we love you!

happy holidays!

Sarah Bastien

Gorgeous! And we have the exact same pair of armchairs as in Noon’s: am currently stripping them and sewing new cushions. So inspiring to see them looking great in this space!

Becky Tyre, Retail Details blog

Creativity goes a long way in store display. I applaud both of the shops’ resourcefulness. I especially enjoying seeing all the natural elements. It helps to make a store so inviting. Thanks for sharing. Stay display inspired! ~Becky


I am so happy you featured Noon! They are one of my favorite shops in San Diego. Their design are gorgeous and they graciously sell my hair accessories. So excited for them and their new shop!


I love Noon! So happy to see you share their new shop. Maie, Nora and all the Noon girls inspire me everyday. I never leave home without a peice of jewelry on.


D*S, i love reading the comments just as much as the original posts! but is there a way to make it so the links in the comments open in another window? sometimes the links take me on a new journey and i get lost. thanks!

Mustang Sally

I took the train to Solana Beach from L.A. when I was visiting a few years ago. The weather was fab and all the shops on the main strip were so all awesome. What a perfect addition. Love your merchandising. I agree with an earlier poster – it’s total eye candy to see all the natural elements.

Dora Cuenca

Kristine, I don’t know if this helps but if you are in a mac, by pressing Command and the link at the same time, the link will open in a new tab or window. If you are in a PC I guess you can do right click and choose open in a new tab or window.

In your browser preferences you can choose whether you want links to open in new windows or new tabs and also whether you want the browser to take you to the new window when you open it or to stay in the current one.

hope it helps (o:


I am a Noon lover from SD, so glad that these lovely ladies and the the new location was featured!


Your shop is beautiful and all of your designs. This building has really good bones to work with and you can’t beat that brick wall. I’m loving it!

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