Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Old Barrel Tea Company and The Art of Display

It's not just a refreshing sip of tea that awaits you on a visit to this adorable tea shop hidden away in Albuquerque Old Town. It is also a charming space decorated to highlight the atmosphere suggested by its name: Old Barrel Tea Company.

From the clever and trendy chalkboard signs, right down to the pleasing vintage displays, it's plain that the owner knows about more than just tea!

My thirteen-year-old granddaughter who shares a long tea connection with me was just as enchanted as I was on our visit here. It was like walking into the pages of a favorite decorating book. And as a vintage shopkeeper I got a big kick out of all the wonderful and professional ideas for display that I found. 

The way that things are shown here are exactly what I would like to achieve in my own retail space. I mean, having wonderful pieces like this adorable tea cart to show off the wares. No one is ever going to buy the piece right out from under this carefully crafted vignette. It's not for sale! But in a vintage shop that is really what you want to happen. It is frustrating to a buyer to find too many things in a vintage shop that read "NFS" (not for sale).

We just enjoyed all the lovely touches like this dried eucalyptus hanging from the rafters. Simple and beautiful.

A chippy metal grate is a wonderful way to show off tea mugs.

And a weathered old gate does the same job with a few hooks and a metal shelf attached.

Even the window display has wonderful vintage touches like an old crate and a rusty metal chair to support the merchandise.

A tempting zinc watering can is just for show...

But a few great looking reproduction pieces are for sale like these fabulous tin pitchers.

I loved this enamel painted flower sign.

And the bunting and lace are the perfect touch at the windows.

The shelves on this wall of the tea shop are filled with vintage touches too. More wooden crates, and an old multi-pane window.

This antique trunk has a small metal shelf attached right inside it, but I loved how the old wood blocks elevate it in an interesting way. So clever and great looking too!

Using an old suitcase for display is not a new idea, but always useful and fun.

I even love the plain brown bag packaging and jars.

A garden sieve frames a few sweet quotes beautifully. And live plants in pots are scattered here and there.

An old weathered head board serves as an interesting backdrop overhead.

There were a few of these popular metal lockers holding merchandise.

Same for a handy vintage typewriter stand.

Soaps are gathered in this chippy old tin first aid box.

A natural companion to tea, honey and bee themes are all about too.

This old and grey hive body still holds signs of life inside!

Another cute tea cart groups honey things.

We think this old fridge makes a fantastic and original display shelf. 

Even the original metal refrigerator shelf makes a nice place to hang stuff.

A simple old wooden table, a cool looking blue refrigerator drawer (turned upside down), and a sweet embroidered cloth look adorable here with still more vintage objects to show the wares. 

Such a sweet little corner to visit again and again!

I hope you enjoyed the look around with us!

Happy Tea Time!



  1. Love the cut flower sign. What a fun shop.

  2. What a wonderful place. So many unique and interesting ideas for decorating a tea area. :)

  3. We were in Albuquerque this past weekend and I was able to finally find your booth in the vintage shop on my way out of town Saturday. If you're missing the old beat up watering can and the lovely, little white linen pillow...I bought them! Will be doing a post on your displays, which I thought were prettier than the tea shop ones in this post.

  4. Jackie, that looks like the perfect tea room. I would be too busy looking to enjoy the tea.

  5. Such a fun shop and great tea room. Happy New Week

  6. What an enchanting store! Thanks for all the photos.

  7. Wow! What a fun store. I must tell my friend that lives in Albuquerque to go for a visit. I would love it and I know she will too.

  8. What a fun and unique shop! Loved 'shopping' with you and seeing all the cute displays. The old refrigerator with shelves is so clever, and love the little tea carts. The old grate cup display is a great idea, too. Thanks for taking us along! xx Karen

  9. What fabulous photos. I loved every single thing that I saw! My blog friend Marilyn visited your shop (and bought something, too!) while she was visiting but I see by her comment that she didn't go there. Oh, she would have loved it. I do know that if I went, I would need my VISA card!

  10. What a fun post, Jacqueline! I loved all of the wonderful displays! and what cute merchandise.
    Happy Summer to you!

  11. What a cute shop. I hear concerning NFS. That bee pitcher is too adorable.

  12. Hey, Sharon again! Here's a link to a post I did on your booth at Je L'Adore. I borrowed two of your pictures to use in the post and linked back to here.

  13. When I saw the words "the art of display" in your title, my first thought was that you are the Queen of the Art of Display.

  14. What a charming shop, Jacqueline! And so many lovely ideas for display... truly creative. Your photos of YOUR vintage shop are wonderful, it is such a beautiful place and so prettily arranged; but as you say it's always fun to get new ideas.


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