My in-laws are proud owners of a frozen dim sum company in Vancouver. (Should you live in the area, the shop is called Gah Lok Dim Sum.) All the dumplings are wrapped by hand by a team of skillful workers, flash frozen, and sold to local restaurants, grocery outlets and also available to the public. My mother-in-law wanted me to come in to one of the shops to enhance its appearance. As you’ll see in the “before” photos scattered throughout this post, nothing had been done to the shop since it first opened its doors. If anything, considerable clutter and dust had accumulated over time.
The restrictions were as follows:
- No moving walls.
- No disturbance of architectural treatments.
- Minimal budget.
So, I made do with everything as it was (kept the floor tiles, the wall tiles, the counters, etc.) and just gave this place a much needed reorganization and facelift.
This was what everyone used to be greeted with when entering the shop.
My MIL wanted something pretty to cover that blank white wall, thinking mainly of a photo to market their products. Sometimes I lean towards creating my interiors with a dramatic flair, so I immediately thought to hang a large wall art to cover the entire space. I couldn’t quite explain what this meant to my traditional in-laws, so they just had to trust me. I ordered an adhesive wall mural in the exact dimensions of that blank wall. This was my splurge item, but I think it makes an awesome impact when you walk through the door. The photograph of the har gow (shrimp dumpling) was shot by me. It was my very first attempt at shooting food for presentation, so it wasn’t very creative, but my father-in-law loves this image the best.
When a customer purchased their frozen goods, this was the wall they saw when handing over their money. I only have one word for this wall: ick.
I took down the shelves, filled in the holes, gave the wall a fresh coat of white paint, and hung up more marketing images of dim sum; again, photographed by me. These were large posters hung in picture frames. The counters were cleared and dusted off. I still have to hang up those two smaller frames leaning on the counter (they’re the business license and other business stuff you need to have visible at all times). After the makeover, the customers thought the tiles on the wall and the counter were new!
This is what it looked/looks like behind the cash wrap. The “after” photos show further evidence of my love for containers.
One of the problems my MIL pointed out was that the register sat too low and the customers couldn’t see the price. So I built a drawer unit that would prop up the register AND store important everyday office supplies. Double duty, yeah!
After clearing out ALL the clutter, we were left with many empty cabinets. We turned this base cabinet into a coat closet by hanging an adjustable closet road. It was so simple to install and now all the aprons and coats are neatly hung up and hidden out of sight.
Finally, to give the storefront a cleaner appearance, I hung up frosted window film on the lower half of the windows, which still allow light to filter through the space, but also offers a bit of privacy. I used this same material on an old kitchen window that looked right into the neighbor’s house. Worked like a charm!
Anyway, not a huge project, but I think it cleaned up rather nicely. The shop gets twice as much natural light now since everything was moved away from the windows. Since I did this work all by myself, it was a royal pain to get all the junk hauled out, so I felt like it was a huge project. Hope you like the results!
Adhesive wall mural: Eazy Wallz
Dim sum posters: Posterjack
Picture frames: Ribba by Ikea
Plastic containers: Walmart
Drawer dividers: Dollar Tree
Drawer unit: Materials from The Home Depot
Window film: The Home Depot
Closet rod: The Home Depot
Paint: The Home Depot
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