Team BTH created this impressive red cedar sauna for the residents of The Halcyon

We’re in love with the gorgeous, tranquil cedar sauna we’ve recently installed at the Halcyon, 301 East 51st Street. Wrapped in Clear Western Red Cedar, this 14′ x 6′ sauna anchors the building’s amenity-rich Aqua Spa, 24 stories above Manhattan’s East Side, with oversized windows overlooking the East River and Roosevelt Island.

Drawn in CAD and cut on a custom CBC machine, our Design Principal hand-selected quarter-sawn cedar boards of the highest quality, carefully matching grain and color. Custom fabricated off site to allow for a smooth installation, we trimmed the sections on site for a perfect fit. All fasteners were cleverly concealed using matching cedar plugs to achieve an attractive, uniform finish. Perfectly sized for 3 or 4 people, this sauna is already a huge success and one of the most popular and talked about amenities of the plush Sky Lounge.

This job gave us some challenges- after some misgivings about the initial design of the seating, we redesigned the bench slats to run horizontally instead of vertically, giving the bench a smoother and more comfortable surface for users to relax for as long as they like. Our redesign also simplified the fabrication of the bench, eliminating the need to steam and press cedar slats into unnatural curves around the contours of the bench brackets. The redesign will extend the life of the bench as well as improve functionality, and helped to reduce the cost to the client. Howard K. Freilich, President & CEO of Blondie’s Treehouse, supervised a team of five to install the sauna, decking, fencing and plantings over a five day period. Plantings include boxwood, clematis and blue holly ilex sourced and contract grown by Country Gardens on Long Island.

Upscale Design uses a mix of Faux and Live

The interior plantscaping design for this upscale shopping center relies on both live and faux elements. The durability of the artificial onion grass utilized in the custom planter benches are a reliable option for such high traffic and heavily used area. The same holds true for the artificial topiary boxwood spheres which are placed in unique planters with molded geometric patterning. Live Dracaena plants are placed in modern rectangle planters behind the benches to provide both privacy and and throughout the shopping mall to create an interesting design element. The color palette is kept minimal and fresh relying on metal, wood and light upholstery which provide a neutral backdrop to the bright presence of the  plant material.

National Accounts Program Project Spotlight

Blondie’s National Program has recently installed a interiorscape design at an upscale shopping mall located in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. 44 new Fiberglass Decorative Tapered Square Planters were placed throughout the mall, all with a coordinating bronze finish and 175 live plants in such varieties as Dracaena Limelight, Dracaena Lemon-Lime and Aglaonema Silver-Bay were brought in and placed in groupings for a cohesive and streamlined design. 21 custom planter inserts for the Food Court were fitted with over 215 Square Feet of 18″ Preserved Prairie Grass. The grasses were selectively hand-pruned after the installation to insure that the grasses did not flop over or impede on diners. The overall effect is a simple, clean design that unifies the food court, providing both privacy and aesthetic appeal.


Greenwall Installation | Embassy Suites Hillsboro Or

For this Greenwall installation Blondie’s designer and national account developer Daria Snyder selected a trough system that attaches to a grid structure. Because of this wall’s high visibility, its planter trays that hold 6” plant material, can easily be planted or are accessed easily for plant replacement assuring ease of maintenance and seasonal rotations. This system relies on water wicking technology which has long been a successful method for regulating and extending watering cycles in a commercial environment. The walls dimension is 10’ H x 10’ W and incorporates approximately 200 6” plants. The plant palette was custom selected for the site’s location and relies on the contrast of color and texture of the plant material. This project highlights Blondie’s National Account Program and how it is set up to seamlessly function and manage national and international projects. After developing a design program with the client, we build a team of regional specialists and a local plantscaping company is brought onto the project and trained to assist in the installation and on-going maintenance of the project. By staying on as a project consultant, Blondie’s is able to monitor the quality and success of the installation and is a consistent presence in managing the project. With this type of hands on approach Blondie’s is able to offer custom high quality designs for multi-location and international brands.

Marsala | 18 – 1438

Pantone’s 2015 color, Marsala succeeds in capturing the emotional concept of color, proving to be both impactful as well as elegant.

The color has been chosen as it will “enrich our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability” according to Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman. Eiseman states: “Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while it’s grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.”

The strength of this color lies within its versatility and can be when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors. It can be either bright or low key, matte or gloss. Harmonizing the palette when used as a layered color, look for it in textured, monochromatic patterns. Easily paired with metallics of bronze, umber and copper as well as complimenting the spectrum of teals, blues and greens. Combined with the surrounding hues of spicy orange, amber and fiery reds, Marsala picks up a vivacious earthiness that both softens and deepens the palette.

For the interior, Marsala will prove “complex and full bodied without overpowering” and has the ability to unify space by adding elegance through paint and texture. Look for it as a detail used in accessories, accent colors and décor. The color is enhanced when applied to textured surfaces making it a smart choice for rugs, textiles and upholstered furniture.

In floral design, expect to see Marsala center stage in wedding and event décor as a focal color as well as an accent color contrasting other hues and tones. This warm and rich shade will bring an air of sophistication to the palette and pairs well with bright pastels and blush tones.

The grounded influence of Marsala’s earthy hue may be just what we need in 2015. With its undertone of rootedness, this nurturing color feeds our soul and speaks to the robust, intrinsic power that animates the life force that surrounds us.