Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

July 23, 2010

So! I was in Anthropologie playing happy tourist in Los Angeles recently and realized that I should snap some photos of some of the rad displays. Like a good little girl, I asked the lady who stands guard next to the front door with her Madonna mic on her head. She gave me the go ahead with a very military-like nod and I went around the store snap, snap, snappin’ as much as I could while dodging evil stares from the sales crew, who may not known that I had asked permission first. And so, these are my sneaky spy action snaps blurry and not at all pro-level but hey, it is what it is.  So many good ideas in these photos, I had to capture the awesomeness that is Anthropologie. Their visual teams blow my mind.

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

I loved this installation with all of the books on the wall. It was such a grand entrance to the store!

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

This installation was also fantastic, thousands of what appeared to be papers on string cascading from a beam on the ceiling.

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

This was a surreal moment, seeing Flea Market Style by Emily Chalmers on the shelf, which was photographed by Debi Treloar whom I was there in L.A. with since she is shooting the book that I’m working on. It was just a moment for me, I guess. I felt really proud of myself and sometimes we need time out to feel good about ourselves and to reflect on our joys, don’t we? I also took this photo because I love the reimagined paintings of Leslie Oschmann and was so excited to see a few, for the first time, in the flesh.

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

I could have taken home this entire shelf. Swoon!

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

Love all of the salvaged wood we’re seeing on walls, furniture, kitchen cabinets, even on bathtubs lately! It’s so inspiring and I also adore seeing it as living wallpaper like this in Anthropologie.

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

Enjoying this woodsy theme…

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

I wanted to buy these organically-shaped porcelain vessels shown on the top shelf. I flipped them over to see who made them but I’ve forgotten so if you know, do tell. I couldn’t fit them in my luggage and was scared to spend so much money only to have them fall to bits in my suitcase, so I passed… but it was really hard to walk away.

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

Smart idea to organize a bookcase with drawers! Also like the simple, framed butterfly as art.

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

Sneaky Spy in Anthropologie

Isn’t Anthropologie an inspiring place?

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Moe July 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I love anthropologie, urban outfitters, & free people. I have never been in an anthropologie store but the images of the displays make me swoon! I dream of going into visual display/merchandising after school and am always inspired by their displays.

    Thanks for the post! It made me drool!

  • Reply Liv M. July 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Oh Anthropologie.

    The grey cirrus bedding is my absolute favorite in the world.

  • Reply Krys July 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I looooove this store at The Grove! I was just there early this month and wanted so bad to take pictures of their displays but only had a puny point-and-shoot with me and was not sure I could handle the evil stares from the sales crew even if I had asked for earlier permission hehe :) I’m glad you just went ahead and did it! :)

    Thanks for taking these pictures! :) Anthropologie’s stores are always so amazing and inspirational.

  • Reply Rachel July 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I could just move right in. I love their displays!

  • Reply christina July 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    my recurring dream- living INSIDE of anthropologie. (similar to my childhood dream of living in a candy shop).

  • Reply Gabby July 23, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    what Anthropologie is this? They have an amazing furniture selection!!

  • Reply Lourdes July 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Hey! My friend Lisa Beird is the display person for Anthropologie in the grove. I will be sure to let her know you like her displays!

  • Reply Monica July 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Anthro has the nicest displays! Glad they “allowed” you take pics, each store displays items a bit different according to store layout thus its nice to see how this particular store looks.

  • Reply RealisticChic July 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Love it! I did the same thing a couple months back in Seattle. I asked permission from someone downstairs, but then there was a whole other level upstairs and someone did come up to me, sort-of snootily asking if I had gotten permission. I understood the concern. How can anyone NOT snap pictures inside an Anthropologie??? I am convinced it’s the most beautiful store interior in the world.

    Here’s a link to my Seattle Anthropologie shots:

    Realistic Chic

  • Reply Elizabeth July 23, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    So inspiring! Even when I’m not buying, I often stop in to wander through the store and marvel at the displays. So many doable ideas–even if you don’t have money to splurge. I always love a good Anthropology fix!

  • Reply shellie July 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    i love it there…it is very inspiring…i also love their catalogs…i could do some serious damage to my bank account there!

  • Reply Vicky July 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    They inspire so many of my designs. From weddings to parties whenever I need a fresh dose of inspiration Anthro is always my place to go! Plus their clothes aren’t half-bad either;)

  • Reply Jeanette July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Woohoo for sneaking around Anthropologie! I am in love with all those patterned dishes stacked up everywhere – it makes me want to host a party!
    And I am fascinated by the paper installation from the ceiling beam. I am hosting a PDX Etsy “Launch Party” next month with a retro sci-fi theme, and we were thinking of cascading paper stars from the ceiling. I’ll have to take a closer look at your photo. :)

  • Reply Blenda Tyvoll July 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Oh, I absolutely adore Athropologie! Thank you so much for sharing your “spy” photos with all of us. The bookcase installation is an amazing work of art–reminds me of Louise Nevelson’s famous assemblages.

  • Reply desiree July 23, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    They make wood on walls look HOT!!! – I never like wood on walls… but these I could live with.

  • Reply Christine July 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Oh! Anthropologie never fails to inspire!! I just love a walk through the store, even if you don’t buy anything it’s just fun to go in!!

    You’re making me want to go shopping now!

  • Reply helen July 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Great set of pictures Holly I’m just about to start a small shop and the fitout is on a tight budget but these images have given me some great ideas. Thank you.

  • Reply Concha July 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I was in Anthropologie in London (Regent St) today and I was more enthused by the displays & styling than the goods for sale – I wish I’d taken pictures! I love how each store is different and yet so coherent with the overall feeling of the company.

    Loved your photos!

  • Reply kendal croix July 23, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    simply amazing.

  • Reply Maegan July 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    yes, their creative teams are spectacular but mostly, and in my opinion, Anthro just rips off vintage gems and recreates them half-heartedly, selling them for outrageous prices. I know I’ll get heat for this but they take the fun out of finding the great “find” at a vintage shop and just selling a cheap version of it.

    But yes, again and again, their visual/creative teams are top notch!

  • Reply Maegan July 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    …and inspiring ;)

  • Reply Emilia July 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    wait. this is frowned upon? yikes. i take pictures at anthro all the time without asking and no one has ever said anything! :) oops.

  • Reply ChantaleP July 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    wow wow wow wow wow! Incredible merchandising and visuals! I want everything!!! Love the raw 2tone wood everywhere. Really sets off their merchandise.

  • Reply Jason Thompson July 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Gotta love those cool bookshelves, recycled furniture. Pretty clever.

  • Reply Punctuation Mark July 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I was able to take some pictures of one of their store in LA once and it was so much fun to really pay close attention to every single detail over there… have a great weekend!

  • Reply PriscilaPetersDecor July 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    That store is just incredible! I’ve posted few days ago my photos of my visit at an Anthopologie store. Everything is so inspiring…

    If you’d like t to check my photos of Anthopologie – NYC, here’s the link:

  • Reply July 23, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Awesome! I miss living in California and walk in the store for inspiration… great post! :-)

  • Reply tatiane July 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    BIG thank you!!!
    I used to live near an Anthro store and loved it, but realized now I took for granted all those stop by visits without compromise….. Now I am in Brazil, so no Anthro for me…. boo hoo :(
    Thank you Holly for allowing me to go back and just walk in and browse… to my heart’s content.
    By the way, I LOVE your blog. It’s candy for the eyes.

  • Reply Priya July 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    They are beautiful and inspiring!

  • Reply maria July 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I have a friend who is the art director for anthropologie. they certainly do not get paid enough for all that they do to make the store unique and awesome.

  • Reply lauren July 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I love anthro so much, I had to buy some stock in it….literally! Now I think of it as investing in my investment.

  • Reply Emma July 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    That bookcase is awesome – what a great idea. (Although, you wouldn’t want to be putting any ‘must-read’ books up on those top shelves!) I’ve never heard of this store before. (But I live in Australia…so maybe that’s why).

  • Reply Anthropologie Canada July 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I work at Anthropologie in Canada. The company allows anyone and everyone to take photographs in the store, so you did no wrong! (The “lady who stands guard” is called the front zone associate, by the way.) So glad you love our displays!

  • Reply sideoats + scribbles (Lisa) July 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Oh wow! Love all of your photos Holly! And I love how each Anthro is different — that looks nothing like the one here in Austin.

    Whenever I go, I feel like buying the whole store! GAH.

    The worst thing is, my husband’s office is now right down the street from Anthro, so when I visit him I have this overwhelming urge to go there too, hee hee. :)

  • Reply The Design Dish July 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    whenever I go into an Anthropologie I am tempted to take photos for my blog!
    Great pics, amazing!
    The Design Dish

  • Reply Emily@theNest July 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Fantastic displays, I really loved the bookcases in the first one… on closer inspection of their site, it’s great to see that they deliver to Ireland, hee hee :-D

  • Reply Mona Kay at Home July 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Got a gift certificate for my birthday….thanks for the shopping preview!! I am heading right for their kitchen linens & dishes…LOVE that store!!

  • Reply christiane July 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    It’s my favorite store! I’m trying to sell my ceramics (also organic shaped) there! Wish me luck! I sent you some pucres about 2 months ago. Can’t wait to see them inyour blog! Hugs + kisses

  • Reply Katherine July 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I, too, would love to live inside Anthropologie.

    Also, I see a chameleon plate in the first photograph, but I can’t find it online – does anyone have information on this design?? I am Googling to no avail – I would love to have it (chameleons are my favorite animal and I collect plates and spoons!)

  • Reply christiane sutherland July 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Forgot to put my website!!

  • Reply Diana July 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I looooove Anthropologie! I can see why it was hard for you to resist those porcelain vessels – they’re lovely! I’m working on an Anthropologie-related project right now, actually :-)

  • Reply Stacey N. July 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I just love Anthopologie! I haven’t been to one in quite some time now. Seeing these pics makes me want to run, not walk! I need my Anthro fix but these pics are great and will just have to do. At least for tonight! Thanks for being a great spy!

  • Reply Heidi July 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Anthro has the best displays ever!

  • Reply Holly July 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    All I can say is wow! I love the bookcases!

  • Reply Katy July 23, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    that book case wall is totally my future… now i just need taller ceilings.

  • Reply Natalie July 23, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I adore anthropologie! Thank you for the tour:)

  • Reply kelly swallow July 24, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Amazing photos! This is completely my ‘look’, I love the mix of salvaged wood and stunning colours. In my last house I had my kitchen cupboard doors made from old floorboards salvaged from another room, I’m still missing that kitchen! My patchwork chairs fit really well with this type of mix.

  • Reply noemozica July 24, 2010 at 5:06 am

    all the pottery stuff is sooooooooooo amazing!!

  • Reply Karine July 24, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Thank you for the pics!! I’m a Parisian expatriated in Madrid and there is no Anthropologie shop here and I was always wondering how it would look like. Love it!

  • Reply kat July 24, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Holly, good to have you back sweetie.

    I have Flea market style and love the photogrpahy by Debi,
    am so pleased for you that she is doing the book with you.
    Its amazing and so much deserved.
    I am so looking forward to it being out! Imagine it sitting on the shelf next to Flea Market style in Anthropologie and so many other places like it! Now that’ll be another tingly moment to add to your growing collection of them this year :)
    love Kat xoxo

  • Reply Milk and Honey Home July 24, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I love that store so much—I have items from there in every room! Boys’ rooms, too. I am a big supporter…and many items are handmade. I dig that they are not all mass produced in China.

  • Reply Maria July 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I LOVE the paper and string display. So much so that I just spent all morning creating something similar with colored construction paper and ribbon for my daughter’s room. Simple, cheap, and Super cute! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Audrey July 24, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Brilliant photos and amazing displays.
    I learned the hard way that it’s essential to always ask permission before taking photos in stores.

  • Reply Lauren July 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I think these displays and the products are absolutely gorgeous, but I haven’t shopped in either Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters for 12 years now because of the political leanings of their CEO. Though I love peeking in the windows of the Urban Outfitters in my town, I can’t bring myself to buy from them until I know the money I spend in there goes to a better place.

  • Reply Juana @ SweetVisualAids July 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Is just a delight to visit an Anthropologie shop! What is very interesting is that each store has an unique decor. Always surprising how creative they are!

    I visited their shop in London and they had an amazing wall with plants and flowers! They pay special attention on using recycled products with is great.

    Some pics of the London shop:

  • Reply Lisa H. July 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Wow, I could waste a lot of time (and money!) in a place like that. I suppose that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

    The bowls in the next to the last photo are gorgeous.

  • Reply Lana July 24, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve never been to Anthropologie before but from the looks of these photos, I know I’d love it! Thanks for sharing all the great pics Holly!

  • Reply Camila July 24, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Lovely Anthropologie, is unique. I can spend a day… I Hope one day open one here (Brazil).

  • Reply Mitzi Curi July 24, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I just love Anthropologie, and really appreciate the fact that they allow photos inside their stores. Their catalogs are always great too.

  • Reply Ana July 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Whoa! Call that inspiring! On my next trip to the UK, I’ll have to bring an extra suitcase for all the shopping!! Didn’t you feel like taking everything and put it just like it was in your home? The instalations are perfect!!

  • Reply Minnie July 24, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Anthropologie rocks!!! Thanks for so many photos. Their displays are so imaginative and inspiring. I always want to take photos when I’m in there and not just for blogging purposes – just to look at when I’m home and want to be inspired.

    I am fortunate to live within driving distance of at least four Anthropologie’s, with one less than 10 minutes away so it’s hard to resist temptation. I did get lucky at the one of the stores after covering an Anthropologie event for my blog and met the store manager while I was at it. He was so nice and even commented on my blog, told me I was welcome to come back.

  • Reply Susie M July 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    The only problem with walking into Anthropologie is never wanting to walk back out. Thanks for sharing your photos. The displays are really inspiring. There is just so much to love that it is hard to leave without buying out the store.

  • Reply bronwyn July 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    That book display is amazing. Anthropologie is such a great place to wander when you are in need of inspiration. An hour there is extremely therapeutic.

  • Reply Jessica @ Reclaimed Marketplace July 25, 2010 at 12:32 am

    This Anthro is awesome!!! Ours in Scottsdale AZ does not compare but I still love it! Your right, Anthropology is very inspiring! I just ran into my master bathroom to check out the tub area. I think it would look awesome to do the stacks of reclaimed wood pieces along where my bathtub is.. hmmm

  • Reply Theresa July 25, 2010 at 2:29 am

    I could seriously live in this shop ;-)! Here are some impressions from London ( and New York (

    Lovely pictures from L.A. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Yours, Theresa

  • Reply Spiral Style July 25, 2010 at 4:46 am

    I just want to take up residence in one of their stores. I live near two, Birmingham and Troy, MI

  • Reply barbara July 25, 2010 at 11:44 am

    You took some fine photos. I love Anthropologie. When I travel I always seek out the local Anthro store as part of the trip experience. I do take photos, but always ask permission first, just as a courtesy. No one has ever said no. Except I did almost get asked to leave the mall when I was taking photos OUTSIDE one Anthro, because the mall itself has a NO PHOTO policy. They said I couldn’t even take a photo of the Anthro window from outside, because it was in the mall.

  • Reply steven July 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    hey holly… during my stupidly embarrassingly short time that i worked in the London anthro, we dyed over 10,000 tea bags just for one window…. now thats dedication to display…..x

  • Reply Jen smith July 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I LOVE ANTHRO……I will work for them someday!!!!


  • Reply Juliet July 25, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    We don’t have one of those in my town. Last time I was in an Anthropologie, it was a day in NYC so I could only purchase what I was willing to carry around with me for the entire day. There was so much to love.

  • Reply Blogg by Maliin Stoor July 26, 2010 at 5:19 am


    More than lovely!



  • Reply KG @ KG Style July 26, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I never thought of Anthropologie as an inspiring place but I do know! I especially loved the bookcase and the way it was organized. Quite fantastic!

  • Reply Jess July 26, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Its basically impossible not to walk in and a. want everything b.thake photos because you can’t have everything. Its not our fault :)

  • Reply suprlipopette July 26, 2010 at 8:21 am

    MAGIC !

  • Reply luisa July 26, 2010 at 10:16 am

    i’m reading SO much about anthro lately, been checking out their online shop as we’re not having such a store here in Germany and to be honest I didn’t get the hype yet. but now that i’m seeing their store here i just love it. the interior is really gorgeous and inspiring. i hope i’ll get in one of their stores soon!

  • Reply la petite maison July 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I love Anthropologie! Thanks for sharing these photos. I always want to take photos when I’m at the stores, but I’m too chicken to ask permission!

  • Reply Christina Diaz July 27, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Hi there, really nice photos! Thanks for sharing. For Katherine…The plates are available online they are in the home section under Natural World Dessert Plate, and they are beautiful in person as well!

  • Reply manon July 27, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Merci pour cette ballade dans ce magasin que j’aime vraiment mais si loin de ma provence…



  • Reply Sophie July 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Hi Holly – the little pots are by Imiso, a South African ceramics company

  • Reply hena tayeb July 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    oh Anthropologie how i adore thee!

  • Reply Nataschia July 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    LOVE this place… I do the same-take pictures…for no other reason than it’s just too pretty to not take pictures…except i should probably ask first next time : /

  • Reply etincellestudio July 30, 2010 at 8:54 am

    But who is behind Anthropologie??? I love it so much I am saving all the pictures I receive in the newsletter :)

  • Reply JTay July 31, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Oooh… there are no Anthropologie’s where I live, and I sooo want to visit one soon! Thanks for the glimpse!

  • Reply caitlin August 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    oh those vessels are out of this world! i would most definitely become of a vagabond if i could live from store to store at anthropologies all across the nation :D thank you for sharing these wonderful pics Holly!

  • Reply holly August 31, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I just sold a piece to be hung in the new store in harvard square…So curious to see images of the new store….Can’t stop loving anthro and equally love man shops globe. They are good.

  • Reply A la mode maven March 15, 2011 at 3:28 am

    I am truly obsessed with Anthro. I mean, I just started blogging and I already have 2 posts within a week or so on Anthro splurges and a look alike find from the newest catalogue! Ha. I wanted to share my knob finds for my new office and my new bowl as all of you are probably as obsessed as me or you wouldn’t have commented on this post :) GREAT BLOG by the way!!!!! Xoxo Shelli

  • Reply Aneesa Kathrada May 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    The organic vessel bowls are from artists in Cape Town, South Arica and they are called IMISO. They did a special collection for Anthropolgie, which I actually saw at their store when they were in production. They truly create awesome pieces .

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