Plants + Retail

Effective plant design in shopping malls and retail environments have several strong functions to offer. Plantscaping can emphasize the character of the mall and help create an atmosphere that shoppers enjoy. The presence of greenery makes shopping centers more appealing to customers creating an enjoyable shopping experience. Plants are also known to reduce noise levels which can be important for busy retail destinations. From directing foot traffic to providing shoppers with an inviting place to relax between shopping visits, plants are an integral part of the selling environment.

“Retailers have long understood the importance of store environment in enhancing the shopping experience. The outdoor landscape can be a seamless extension of shop interiors, providing indoor/outdoor continuity for a positive shopping experience. Urban forestry can play an important role in business districts. Interior plants and landscape may create store interiors more favorable for retail activity.” (Ref: “Retail and Urban Nature: Creating a Consumer Habitat”, K.L.Wolf, at the People/Plant Symposium, Amsterdam, 2002).

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.

Holiday Trends 2016

Every year Blondie’s designers scour the markets for current trends, new materials and inspiring designs. This year we are seeing a continuation of using natural materials and sculptural branching only now with a boho edge of mixing in a hint of glamour and metal to earthtone palettes. Flocking has also seen a continued expansion into different interpretations and textures such as iced, frosted and crystal. Layered colors introduce a soft palette that complement and blend with the overall design, as well as a monochromatic palette that combines various finishes such as matte, gloss, pearlized, metal and soft fabric. Playfulness is being seen with the use of nostalgic figurines, animals such as owls and deer, as well as vintage and retro design concepts. Look for a futuristic edge as well, with the combination of transparent colors, unique lighting display and the application of metallic textures that is somewhere between technology and decor.

Check out Blondie’s Holiday House for more design ideas and inspiration:

Contact us for a complimentary consultation: 914-777.6300.

2015 Holiday Showcase

Every year Blondie’s Holiday House designs and installs hundreds of Holiday displays. Each account is unique, site-specific and produced in our Holiday workshop that functions year round. Now that it is early January we have a flood of decor streaming back into the building. Each account is assessed and stored until it is time to refurbish or redesign for the next holiday season. 2015 was a really exciting year with an emphasis on monochromatic and tonal design. We saw ornaments being massed together to create a tight and opulent texture as well as an interest in a mixed metallic palette. Incorporating natural elements such as pods, ferns and cones was also very popular. Here is a sampling of what was out there this year…. enjoy !

The Wedding Bouquet

Wedding flowers are steeped in history and symbolism. The tradition of a bride carrying or wearing flowers stretches back into ancient history. To our knowledge the earliest herbs and flowers to be incorporated into the wedding ceremony was dill, garlic, marigolds, thyme and sage, among other rather strong-smelling herbs and spices that were thought to ward off evil spirits, ill health and bad luck.

Another explanation for the tradition of the bouquet, according to explains “In ancient times, a bride was considered especially lucky on her wedding day.  So, guests were compelled to tear off parts of her dress to obtain a good luck talisman for themselves!  Not all brides cared for this activity, as it seemed unpleasant to have their clothing ripped bit by bit, compliments of the guests.  So it evolved, that the bride outsmart her guests by giving an offering of herself; enabling a guest to obtain a lucky talisman and allowing herself to keep her clothing intact: she starting throwing her garter and bouquet in lieu of pieces of her dress.”

In later times flowers evolved into symbols of love, fragility and fertility. They became the precious way to adorn the bride on the day of the ceremony and have become one of the most important aspects of her attire.

Many people assign their own personal meanings for flowers and the selection of wedding flora reflects these sentiments. Currently, with an overabundance of options to choose from the key deciding factors have become seasonality, sentiment and the overall color theme for the wedding party and décor.

For those interested in the historic connotation of flowers, this could be an exciting way to compose your bridal bouquet. This symbolism looks something like; Freesia, innocence; Blossoms, promise; Hyacinth, sincerity; Hydrangea, perseverance; Iris, inspiration; ivy, fidelity; lilac, first love; Calla Lily, regality; Peony, healing; Ranunculus, radiance; Roses, everlasting love; Stephanotis, good luck; and Zinnia, friendship.

One could also consider the overall color palette to evoke the desired tone. Cool colors are both comforting and nurturing. Blues, greens and neutral whites, greys and silver reflect these properties. Warm colors convey optimism and excitement. The warmth of red, fiery orange, hot pink and yellow as well as the neutral quality of black, gold and bronze carry warm attributes. There is also direct meaning associated with the colors of the spectrum such as; Blue – strength, intelligence; Green – growth, harmony; Gold – richness, extravagance; Orange – energy, vibrancy; Pink – sweet, romance delicate;  Red – passion, love; Yellow- happiness, joy; White-purity.

The most important consideration in selecting your bouquet is seasonality and character. Your floral palette enables you to express yourself through the flowers themselves. When meeting with your floral coordinator to discuss your options this will be one of the first conversations that you have. You will begin to develop your palette based on preference, character, theme, season and venue. Together, with a designer, you will be walking down the aisle with a bouquet that perfectly encapsulates the energy and style of your day.