“Cabinet of Curiosities”, mixes tingling effects in the spine and interior design ideas at Roger’s Gardens

October may just be beginning, but anyone who already wants to start celebrating Halloween doesn’t need to look any further than Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar.

Employees of the 6.5-acre outdoor nursery and home and garden decorating hypermarket have created a huge seasonal boutique designed not only to showcase a range of ghoulish and whimsical holiday items for sale, but also to entertain, and perhaps slightly horrify, visitors from all walks of life.

The instructions “Cabinet of curiosities”Features areas or scenes animated by characters who appeared to have walked, hindered or buzzing out of classic Hollywood horror films and into the showroom.

Those looking for stylish Halloween expressions may be drawn to a nook, where a life-size Frankenstein bride stands among a spider web made of strung crystals and is surrounded by white and silver accents.

Various skeleton items for sale at Cabinet of Curiosities, a Halloween shop at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The area of ​​a mummy’s tomb is further forward and includes skulls, skeletons, and even huge sarcophagi that patrons can buy and take home in mid-October, in order to keep the show intact for the public. visitor.

Meanwhile, oddities, like a display case filled with spooky Victorian-era dolls or an arched hallway lined with skeletons, reminiscent of the Roman catacombs, create a spooky effect between the themed areas.

Nava Rezvan, who leads marketing efforts at Roger’s, says themed displays are more than just product placement, taking visitors on a whirlwind tour of the nearly endless ways they could decorate their own homes for the holidays, bring a little life (or a little death) at a party or find the perfect gift.

“It’s almost like a theatrical retail experience,” Rezvan said. “We want to make it an experience for our customers. I think most people would say that’s why they come. “

A painting adorned with dozens of knives hangs from

A painting pierced with dozens of knives is on display in the “Cabinet of Curiosities” in Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The Halloween exhibit opened to the general public just before Labor Day weekend, but it took months to complete. Head Merchant Hedda Staines, who strives to find pieces that are desirable and trendy but also complement each year’s theme, said organizers are starting to plan a year or more in advance.

“Sometimes we’ll have the next two Halloween planned,” Staines said. “We’ll start going to trade shows, talk to artists and people who make Halloween art, and the team make props. We are a well-oiled machine.

And since Roger’s is an outdoor plant nursery, suggestions for decorating gardens or finding clever ways to display flora seasonally are scattered throughout the exhibit. A nearby section of “spooky plants” allows people to buy creeping vines and vegetation with tendrils or black flowers.

Although “Cabinet of Curiosities” pays homage to horror films of the 1930s and 1940s, it is largely inspired by the dark recesses of the mind of a certain Eric Cortina, creative director of Roger’s Gardens, who began to design small Halloween collections 20 years ago and never looked back.

Buyers walk under an arch lined with fake human skeletons on Thursday at Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar.

Buyers walk under an arch lined with fake human skeletons on Thursday at Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

On Thursday morning, Cortina found Cortina in another building, working hard on this year’s Christmas display.

“It’s about creating that sense of childhood wonder,” he said of the vacation rooms. “With Cabinet of Curiosities, the great thing is that everyone has participated and put their hands into it – everyone has a character.”

With the Christmas showcase underway, the Roger’s Gardens creative team is already starting to conjure up ideas for next year’s Halloween production. What will the theme be? Staines won’t be the only one to overthrow.

– If I told you, I should kill you, she said with a devilish smile.

Cabinet of Curiosities runs from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. until October 31 at Roger’s Gardens, 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona del Mar.

Chief merchant Hedda Staines on a Thursday guided tour of "Cabinet of curiosities."

Roger’s Gardens Chief Merchant Hedda Staines on a Thursday tour of the Cabinet of Curiosities.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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Margarita B. Bittner

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