I’ve written a few times about some of the advantages shopping in-world can have, quite aside from the benefits of easy browsing, sharing time with friends, etc., simply because many content creators with land of their own put as much care and effort into providing a place people will want to visit as much for itself as for the shopping experience.
Tab Tatham is one such creator. Her region, called simply Junk, the name of her store, is wonderfully atmospheric in design and execution. So much so that not only does it provide an eye-catching place to visit as well as to spend time shopping, for me it is also mindful of another region design I always enjoyed and admired: Jordan Giant’s The Colder Water, which makes it doubly attractive.
Like The Colder Water, Junk offers a crescent island with a landing area atop a broad, rocky plateau at one end, which sweeps down and around to rocky “tail”. It is also cast within a twilight world which suits it admirably, watched over by the slender finger of a tall lighthouse sitting just off the coast of the main island, something which again carries an echo of The Colder Water, although this lighthouse is very much still functional.
Which is not to say the one is in any way modelled on the other, there is also much which stands the two designs apart and make them entirely unique and individually attractive. My comparison is purely a means of showing how my memories of one had me feeling a comforting warmth of familiarity on my arrival at the other.
From the arrival area, which also forms the store’s information area, the visitor can wander the length of the island, Tab’s store being laid out as a series of sheds (Tab’s own designs) and awning-draped flat-bed trucks either side of the island’s sandy ribbon. Between these winds a board walk of loose-laid planks, enticing the visitor onwards in exploration.
At the far end of the island’s curve sits a live events area, built out over the water, with seating areas both on and near it, and the stage provisioned by another awning-hung truck. Braziers made from old oil drums, glowing with the heat of the fires burning inside them offer warmth should the sea breeze turn cold, while the seating – whether made by Tab or by others – is wonderfully home-spun in styling, adding enormously to the overall ambience of the place.
Just off the main island, and sitting within its curve, are two little islands. On the first, barely more than a rocky outcrop, sits what appears to be the last remnants of an old factory. Further out, and reached via a set of stone flagstones which allow visitors to keep their feet dry, is a little warehouse area which offers cosy places to sit as well.
For those who like spending time meandering around market stalls or poking through little stores of bric-a-brac and suchlike, then a wander through Junk is liable to delight; it evokes such feelings perfectly, quite aside from any real or imagined sense of familiarity the region design may evoke. There is also a whimsical quirkiness present as well, which adds to a visit enormously, be it through spotting Nessie sitting in the water or smiling at the lantern carrying crane lighting the board walk, or any one of a dozen or more little touches which bring a smile to the lips.
Whether you are shopping for something that’s a little unusual and pleasing to the eye design-wise, or just out to see what you can find when it comes to furnishings and decor, be sure to take a look at Junk – you’re liable to find it is anything but.