You have made a stunning display of indoor plants for your reception area or restaurant and it is important that as they are always on display, that they always look good. How to keep indoor plants healthy isn’t as difficult as it sounds!
Get the light right!
Different types of indoor plants need varying amounts of light. Those plants that like plenty of light still do not want to be in direct sunlight. South facing windows are brighter than north facing ones and east and west facing windows can vary. Some types of indoor plants are very easy going, whereas for others, the amount of light can be crucial.
* Quick tip: Plants always grow towards natural light, so once a week, turn the pot 90º if you can so that the plant grows in a good, well- rounded shape- this is a great easy tip for how to keep indoor plants healthy!
Use good quality potting soil – and plenty of it!
Your plants will thrive if you pot them in quality potting soil which is rich in nutrients and is specially designed to retain water. As the plant grows, re-pot it carefully in a larger pot. When you are buying potting soil, check that it is the correct type for your chosen plants.
* Quick tip: You may find that after time, the level of soil in the plant pot has dropped, add some fresh potting soil to keep your plant happy!
How to keep indoor plants healthy- water them properly
Unfortunately, indoor plants in offices, receptions and restaurants can get forgotten! Plants need frequent and thorough watering. It is essential that the water reaches their roots. The water should be able to drain quickly, otherwise roots can start to rot, In warm,dry environments, most indoor plants benefit from a regular misting. Always check on the plant’s instructions or online how frequently they need to be watered.
It is also important to use the correct type of water for your plants. They thrive on soft water so either collected rain water or filtered water is best.
* Quick tip: If it is possible, water your plants really well once a month. Place them in a sink or outside and pour warm water on them every ten minutes, three or four times, before popping them back in their pot cover.
Feed you indoor plants regularly
All plants thrive on regular food which can be easily bought in a garden centre. Check that you are buying the correct type of food
* Quick tip: If you have ferns and other acid loving plants like Azaleas, Gardenia and African violets , they will enjoy the odd cuppa! Cool some black tea down completely and water the plant with it. Alternatively, mix some wet tea leaves into the top of their soil.
Clean leaves, healthy leaves
Dust soon gathers on plant leaves and not only doesn’t look good, the plant cannot breathe so easily. Regularly wipe the leaves with a damp kitchen cloth to remove the dust. If you prefer, you can stand the plants outside and gently hose them or pop them in the shower! This is a surprisingly easy way how to keep your indoor plants healthy.
* Quick tip: A time-honoured hack, used by our grandparents, is to wipe the leaves in a 50-50 mixture of warm water and milk as this really makes the leaves shine.
Watch out for bugs
Unfortunately, indoor plants can get bugs, so it is very important that you check a new plant carefully before introducing it to your space. Check all your plants every week and if you do find any bugs – act fast! Move the plant away from all other plants. Wipe the leaves with warm soapy water (made with liquid soap) as all bugs hate soap and then use a natural pesticide – your local garden centre will advise. Regularly misting with soapy water can help keep bugs at bay. https://getbusygardening.com/control-houseplant-pests/
* Quick tip: Another popular way to deal with an infestation is to wipe all the leaves and stem of your plant with alcohol. Your may need to do this several times to totally get rid of the bugs.
Indoor plants definitely respond to a little TLC but this is not always possible in a busy work environment. If you like the idea of some dramatic indoor plants to add character and interest to your space, why not consider buying some top quality faux plants for your display? They are so realistic looking that you may well find yourself reaching for the watering can!
St Valentine’s Day brings a welcome splash of colour to a winter’s day and it is amazing how a room can be equally transformed by the addition of a stunning red indoor plant. Indoor plants featuring either red foliage or flowers can really make a visual impact and can effortlessly brighten your office, reception area or restaurant.
Red indoor plants are a great choice
Just as the red-leaved poinsettia is associated with Christmas every year, red indoor plants can bring warmth and interest to a room and are a great way to brighten a dull corner. Red leaved plants look stylish when teamed with one of this season’s trending flower pots, either in plain dark ceramic, or better still, a metallic or natural wood finish.
In Feng Shui, red is considered a very important colour for businesses. It is a fire colour that represents energy and creativity, but importantly, it also attracts money. In Chinese businesses, you will often see a red lantern hanging in the ‘wealth corner’ of the room. The colour red is also known to stimulate the appetite so is often used in restaurants. With so much good fortune promised, why not add a splash of red to your work space with a red indoor plant?
Choose a plant with red foliage!
Not only do these red indoor plants look dramatic, they are surprisingly good tempered. This is a huge bonus if there is the chance that they might not get regularly watered! There are more than a dozen different types of red-leaved to choose from. https://gardenerspath.com/plants/houseplants/colorful-winter/ gives you some colourful inspiration and any of these colourful plants could well help energise your work space.
Looking for a good-tempered foliage plant? Aglaonema can easily grow a metre high and almost as wide and really looks good as its numerous leaves have green uppers, but underneath are red and each leaf is also edged in red. This plant definitely looks great, but a word of caution, its leaves can cause itchy skin- so water with care!
There are various members of the coleus family to choose and they all have red, magenta or pink leaves. Watch out for the variety ‘chocolate covered cherry’ as it its leaves are pinky red and dark burgundy with bright green edges. Coleus grow to an impressive size quite quickly and are the perfect choice if you have a sunny spot to fill. The only point to remember is this plant likes moist soil- so it’s important not to let the soil dry out.
Caladium ‘Red Flash’
This red indoor plant really is really eye-catching and easily grows to more than a metre in height – and almost as wide! It has vibrant heart-shaped leaves that have earned it the nickname – ‘Angel Wings’. The leaves are edged in green with large red veins and spots. It too is a plant that does not like its soil to dry out.
Flamingo Lily (Anthurium andraenum)
The distinctive Flamingo Lily has unusual bracts that are red or white in colour with a large golden stamen. The bracts contrast perfectly with the plant’s shiny heart-shaped leaves. In a recent NASA Clean Air Study, this indoor plant was found to be effective at removing pollutants from the air.
Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa)
This attractive leafy plant has leaves that are dark red and green, with a lighter red underside. What adds to its good looks is that new leaves are pink in colour and darken much later
Or opt for a flowering red indoor plant
When asked to name a red flowering indoor plant, many will think of the winter favourites such as the Christmas Cactus or Amaryllis with its lofty stem and huge trumpet flowers. There are many others available and these can be fun to watch as they develop. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/ hpgen/what-houseplants-have-red-flowers.htm
Red African Violets (Saintopaulia ionanthea)
Everyone knows the African Violet with its violet flowers. Did you know that this popular indoor plant can be found with red flowers too? African Violets are attractive and compact in size and shape, so are ideal for a work desk or grouped along a windowsill in matching ceramic pots .
Brazilian Fireworks. (Porphyrocoma pohliana)
If you want a dramatic plant, this one is like a never-ending firework display! It has green leaves with silver markings. In late spring it produces deep red flower bracts and these develop lavender flowers. As these fade, the plant produces numerous black seeds which are easy to propagate.
Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
At this time of year, cyclamens are always popular. With their silver patterned foliage, they look really good and as their pretty flowers unfurl, they look spectacular. Available in a variety of colours, cyclamen are a stunning red indoor plant and their compact shape makes them ideal for desks, reception counters and even as the perfect splash of colour on the counter in a ladies’ toilet. The big tip is to keep the soil moist and to water the plant by standing it in a dish of water to avoid getting any on its leaves or stem.
Crown of Thorns
If you look after this indoor succulent well, you will be rewarded with hundreds of small red flowers all year through! This plant has sharp spines. An old legend tells it was used for the ‘crown of thorns’ at Christ’s Crucifixion. This plant has long leathery leaves and loves plenty of direct light – but not sunlight.
Hibiscus – the elegant red indoor plant
These dramatic plants are available with red or white bract. The bracts contrast perfectly with the shiny heart-shaped leaves. In a recent NASA Clean Air Study, this plant starred as an effective cleaner of pollutants in the air. The lily thrives in a spot with bright light but with no direct sunlight.
You may not know the name, but you will definitely recognise this dramatic plant with its long narrow green leaves and large central scarlet flower. This plant is from South America so loves to be in a bright position – away from direct sunlight. It is fun to water as you pour the water into the funnel in the centre of the flower. Be warned though, this is a fussy plant and prefers filtered water!
….And a clever ‘trick of the trade’
Look closely at the stunning plant arrangements in some offices, reception areas and restaurants and you will find they are comprised of beautiful faux plants. A very clever trick is to leave a spot at the front of the arrangement where a live seasonal plant can be added. For example, a red cyclamen would look perfect in the arrangement right now, but could be easily replaced by some indoor daffodils for Easter, miniature roses in the summer etc. How clever is that!
2021 is definitely the year of the indoor plant! They are are really popular this year for the home, office, reception area and restaurant. Indoor plants are big news – especially those with large lush or variegated leaves.They will be the focal point to any room and can be used to liven up a dull corner. Indoor plants add structure, colour and character to a room as well as a lovely natural feeling. Equally as important as selecting a lovely houseplant, is choosing the best pots for your indoor plants..
The right pot can really transform a plant and accentuate its natural beauty. Choosing the best pots for your indoor plants takes time as there are some important points to consider.
Before choosing a decorative pot for your plant, it is important to ensure that the plant is in the correctly-sized flower pot that will fit inside the decorative pot.
The average plant needs to be re-potted every year. Slower growing plants like cacti, can be re-potted every two- three years.
If the plant is in pot that is too small, it will not grow well, as it will be root-bound. If the plant is in an over-large pot, there is a risk of it developing root rot if the soil is remains too damp for the plant.
When choosing a replacement flower pot, the average recommended increase in size is 7.5 – 10 cm (3- 4 inches) and this is ideal for most indoor plants.. For cacti, which grow far more slowly, an increase in size of 2.5 – 5 cm ( 1- 2 inches) is ideal. Most people pot their plant in a plain terracotta or plastic plant pot, with drainage holes and then place this pot into a larger decorative pot. (https://www.thesill.com/blogs/care-miscellaneous/plant-care-repotting)
Choosing the best material for your plant pots
The most popular type of pots are glazed ceramic. Plain coloured and shiny, matt or textured – your choice! There are numerous patterned, striped and decorated available, but plain or minimalist is the preferred style for 2021.
Natural materials are always popular and pot covers made from woven grasses, bamboo, wicker and wood are all classic favourites.
Metal plant pots are also popular and silver, copper and brass are all trending – especially either with a silk or textured finish. Steel is fast becoming a popular new material for plant pots.Choosing the best pots for your house plants has never been easier!
What about colour?
Colour is an important consideration when choosing the best pots for your houseplants.The most popular colours for plant pots are soft neutral shades that enhance the foliage of the houseplant. Contemporary styled pots can look chic. Opt for matt white and matt grey with a silver or gold band. Matt is always a popular finish and ‘organic shades such as dove greys,soft browns and greens.
Simply styled pots in bold colours such as red, blue and purple, should be used sparingly to highlight a colour in a room – too much and the colour becomes overpowering. Pots with Bohemian patterns in natural shades add character. Coffee and cream patterns look good in most rooms. watch out for the trending design – pot covers made to look like marble. These look really stylish look against large, dark foliage. Pots that are brightly patterned are fun for windowsills. The plant inside needs to have plain green leaves, otherwise the pot will be overpowering.
Is shape important?
Whilst round plant pots have long been the classical favourite, there are some really attractive oval and square plant pots to choose.
Collections of small square plant pots in a neutral shade are the perfect way to display a selection of plants chosen for their varied foliage, colour and shape. These containers are ideal for an interesting selection of cacti too.
What floor space is limited – be creative! Contemporary styled wall planters that look great grouped on the wall with a selection of different plants including trailing ones. Some of the new styles include diamond shape planters in glass and steel. Clean, simple lines are best as they do not detract from the beauty of foliage of the plants.
Other fun types of pots for displaying indoor plants include hanging baskets and plant screens. Plant screens are eye-catching! Made in rattan, wood or metal, plant screens feature different planters attached at varying heights. The right combination of plants with different coloured and textured leaves plus a couple of trailing plants, cam look very effective.
If you feel that your houseplant could benefit from some height, there are various different plant stands and tripods to choose from in wood, metal and bamboo and many can be used with your own plant pot.
Check the drainage holes
When choosing the best pots for your houseplants check the drainage holes – especially if you are planting straight into the decorative plant pot.. Most plants need well-drained soil, so pots should drainage holes in the bottom. Cover these with a layer of small stones before adding the plant and its soil as the stones will help drainage, but you will need to place a drip tray underneath.
Many of the decorative flower pots have drainage holes. Beware! Even if you use an inner flower pot, water could escape through both pots and mark furniture. If you choose a decorative flower pot with a drainage hole, sometimes a rubber plug is provided. If not, it is worth investing in a drip tray/ saucer to place underneath. Choose one that suits in glazed ceramic, plastic or bamboo. The tray/ saucer should be the same shape and just marginally bigger than the bottom of the pot..One in the same colour will not detract from the design of the plant pot.
Remember that the red clay (terracotta) pots and their trays are porous. Never choose a terracotta drip tray to use indoors as water could still permeate through and mark the furniture underneath.
Choosing the best pot for your house plant is essential, because it can really make the difference between an ordinary plant and a spectacular one! If you opt to use faux plants, the correct sized container in a complementary colour and material is also important. To avoid detection, a clever trick is group your beautiful faux plants among real ones, all in similar pots – no one will ever know the difference!
Indoor plants are fashionable – but which ones? How can indoor plants be effectively used in the office environment?
Indoor plants are big news this year and interior designers are using them to add character, interest and fresh air to spaces. Indoor plants of all kinds will enjoy great popularity this year – and the bigger the better! Trending indoor plants are large leafy ones to cheer up dull corners and include all types of trailing ones as part of this year’s ‘rustic’ theme that is being used in restaurants, reception areas and offices to add character. As well as all the old favourites, there are many new plants available including some very exotic tropical ferns from Japan and New Zealand.
Many people working from home last year decided to buy indoor plants for the first time. As a result, indoor plants have enjoyed a huge surge in popularity. As people return to their work spaces, many will be taking plants with them as they have discovered how they quickly transform a space. There are great psychological benefits to bringing nature indoors too and caring for a plant. (https://www.prevention.com/health/g27586276/benefits-of-indoor-plants/)
In 2021, plant pots are extra important. Plain neutral colours are best as they complement foliage plants perfectly. Luxe metallic pots in textured silver, pewter and copper look good as do containers in natural materials such as hessian and wood. Shape is all- important in 2021. Square and oval shapes will dominate and either smooth or textured in natural tones. A layer of tiny white or natural-coloured stones, covering the soil continues to be ‘the’ look.
The perfect plant for beginners
Sansevieria or ‘Mother in Law’s Tongue’ has been a firm favourite for years as it is hardy and can withstand neglect!.
In recent years it has been also been named ‘Snake Plant’. Dramatic to look at with long variegated sword-like leaves, it
thrives well in a light office, in good light, but away from direct sunlight. It is said to be an effective air purifier. This dramatic plant is
looks effective if several are planted in a row a long planter and placed against a bare wall. This plant is the ideal choice for spaces where plants are easily forgotten!
Cultivate a fast growing plant
Ficus Altissima is an attractive leafy plant that is a trending indoor plant for 2021 as it easily grows so quickly – often to two metres in height! This plant is much easier to care for than its more complicated cousin, the Fiddle Leaf Fig. Its leaves are large with silvered veins which adds to its interest factor. Philodendron is another good looking plant that grows quickly too and has vine-like leaves and the heart-shaped variety is perfect for an indoor hanging basket..
Check out the prophecy of a money tree!
The money tree (Pachisa aquatica) is fascinating as it has interwoven trunks and numerous leaves. This plant loves humidity, but regular misting will help. Surprisingly, it only needs watering every ten days. Folklore says that the more leaves that a money tree produces, the more money its owner will have! To encourage it to grow quickly, plan to re-pot the plant every two years.
Add a hint of luxury to your desk
Velvet Calathea is predicted to be a trending plant in 2021. This good looking plant gets its name from the berry-coloured velvet-like underside to its leaves. On the top side, the leaves are two tone green with a central pattern in bright green that look like feathers. This is the ideal plant for a desk, as it thrives on indirect sunlight and not much water.
Choose a trending cactus
Many people find cacti fascinating. All the old favourites remain popular, but as well as these, there are some great new types on the scene this year. The larger and more dramatic the cactus – the better!. For an eye-catching plant choose the fishbone cactus. This cactus has long, flat irregularly shaped that look remarkably like fish bones! The great news is that this intriguing looking cactus is low maintenance. It is the perfect way to brighten up a dull corner.
The ‘Bunny Ear’ cactus has large succulent rounded leaves that , as its name suggests, look like the ears of rabbits. This cactus too is easy to care for and thrives in slightly sunnier places. Introduce some fun with the monkey tail cactus. This cactus has long stems that are covered in fine white hairs that grow downwards. This cactus has bright red flowers and is perfect to put on a sunny shelf in the office.
The Mistletoe Cactus is a fun looking plant with long shaggy ‘hair’ made up of numerous succulent stems. If this cactus is happy where you have placed it, it produces white berries like mistletoe. As well as mini single pots containing a single cactus, a collection of identical pots each with a different cactus is a fun way to liven up a windowsill or the corner of a desk.
And the clever way to always enjoy beautiful plants
Be successful with your display of indoor plants – the clever way. Caring for them can sometimes be difficult. Choose some beautiful trending indoor plants for 2021- but faux plants for the clever solution. Place the faux plants in positions where they could easily thrive. Faux plants are incredibly life-like. As a result, is impossible to tell the difference! Select types of faux indoor plants that are trending for 2021 and you will be making a style statement too. The only downside is that a faux money tree cannot predict the finances of its owner!
There are many benefits for using natural light in your building. Natural light can raise the mood and is known to boost the immune system. The design and detail of furniture and furnishings can be better appreciated in natural light. Colours are natural and not altered as they are with other lighting. Another major benefit is the amount of energy saved and the lower cost of electric bills.
With the beginning of the New Year now behind us, the darker months of winter are seen by many as the perfect time to redecorate. It is fun to restyle spaces to reflect current trends and to make them more practical as work patterns change. if you are planning to give yours a fresh new look, it is easy to incorporate some features that will maximise on the use of light coming in through the windows to make working easier and more comfortable.
Mirrors are perfect
The addition of some really large wall mirrors are a great way to increase natural light in a room as they reflect the light coming in through the windows. More light creates a brighter and refreshing ambiance in a room. Increasing the amount of natural light is also a clever way to make the room seem more spacious. The ideal place to hang the mirror is on the wall opposite the window as this will double the amount of day light in the room.
A collection of small mirrors hung on a wall together can worth well too. Another clever way to reflect day light is by choosing chrome furniture or ones with glass or mirror decoration. With more light being reflected into the room, there will probably no longer be a need for strip lighting. Numerous small recessed ceiling lights that are adjustable, can be very effective and their light is not so stark.
Choose a lighter paint palette
Dark wall colours absorb, rather than reflect, natural light and whilst this can create a warm cosy atmosphere – choosing these colours does not maximise on the amount of natural light. If you are planning to paint the walls, why not opt for clean white walls for maximum reflection of the day light? If you don’t like the starkness of white, light, silvery grey remains a popular paint colour in 2021. There are many other soft pale hues on the market with subtle hints of gold, pink and green and these all work well.
While you have the paintbrush out, is the ceiling white? Darker coloured ceilings make rooms look smaller, more intimate and darker. White ceilings will make the room feel higher and more airy and will definitely help increase the amount of light. Brighten up dark wood or painted doors, door frames and window sills with a coat of fresh white paint. (https://www.houselogic.com/remodel/painting-lighting/choosing-paint-colors-how-light-affects-color/)
Opt for lighter fabrics too
Darker fabric colours work in just the same way as dark paint and will absorb natural light rather than reflect it. Why not introduce some lighter colours into your space? This will work well with the current popular trend for resimercial styling which is making workspaces more homelike. Crisp functional colours are out of fashion this year and softer shades are popular. Wood is the preferred material for 2021, but not heavy, dark woods. Choosing lighter woods like pine and oak is important because these help make your space feel lighter, brighter, more spacious. in keeping with new trends, lighter coloured woods are also less formal .
Finally when considering fabrics, think about window dressings. To help maximise the amount of natural light coming in the windows, it is essential to keep window dressings light and bright. Dark heavy curtains and thick heavy blinds decrease the amount of light penetrating the room. If possible, leave windows without either will definitely help the natural light to come in.
Redesign your desk configuration.
With many staff members still working remotely, ‘hot desking is fast becoming the norm. Many spaces are being redesigned to make room for video conferencing facilities. it you are planning to rearrange the office, it is the ideal time to consider space and making the most of natural light. If possible, it is good to have desks placed near windows, because the most can be made of the daylight. This season, large indoor plants are proving popular with interior designers. They use them to enhance the light airy and less formal approach to office designs. The addition of some lush leafy plants, adds interest and informality to a room and uplifts spirits.
The good news is that whilst opting for larger windows and installing skylights is possible, but costly, our suggestions for maximising natural light in your work space are quick, effective and economical – Promising you a thrifty start to 2021.
The global COVID pandemic has driven us inside. But one positive has been a surge of interest in interior design.
During this time, we’ve had the opportunity to decide what home improvements need to be made. For interior designers, a chance to look at new concept ideas to accommodate our new normal.
New trends include clever home offices and ‘flex space’ which ensure homes grow with families. With the housing market at a standstill, this new use of space means less need to move.
As England experiences lockdown mark 2 and restaurants and bars, close we are all missing the ambience of our friendly locals.
So what can be done about this?
Creating a home bar
Well, home bars are also trending and with Christmas on the horizon, they’re likely to be very popular this winter!
Home bars can the ideal way to relax at home after a long day and to offer an intimate social atmosphere for others to share. There’s something very appealing about being able to whizz up a couple of snazzy cocktails in the evening!
There’re many great ideas for home bars and some of them are enjoying a renaissance. The 1920s bar cart and globe drinks holder are proving popular once again. They are relatively small and versatile. You can even find designs online for making a DIY version! Home bars are being created in spare cupboards and on the top of sideboards.
Do your research
For interior designers, you’ll be able to show your clients how a home bar can be cleverly incorporated in dining rooms and kitchens as finding space in many homes can be a challenge.
Remember to question your client about their favourite bar. What kept them going back? What did they like about the ambience? Why did it feel comfortable and like home?
Once again, the curved corner bar is proving popular. If your client does have space, you can design a flamboyantly themed area with a wet bar (a bar with a small sink). Finish the design off with stylish bar stools and consider a wine chiller as an extra feature.
For those working with a smaller area, the bar will need to be incorporated into another room. Proportions will be an important factor, so bear this in mind.
The home bar must be in balance with the rest of the room and compliment the décor, style and colours, as this will ensure a feeling of spaciousness. Using cleverly placed mirrors and lighting can also help.
When designing a home bar they should be well organised and look inviting. Some smart-looking glasses and somewhere handy to keep all the necessary bar equipment are essential. For making cocktails, there’ll need to be somewhere to store mixers and garnishes too.
The winter of 2020/ 2021 is certainly going to be a long one. If the second lockdown continues beyond 1 December, the option of having a home bar is a very appealing one.
The most famous cocktail book of them all, the iconic – Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas (1862) is certainly going to be on lots of people’s Christmas lists this year!
There’s been a renaissance in the popularity of Victorian interior decoration, with designers successfully incorporating beautiful heirlooms into modern homes. Creating a Victorian-inspired parlour can be remarkably easy as it only requires one or two key pieces of furniture. These can be enhanced with Victorian-inspired decorative features and statement houseplants that were so loved in that era!
The Victorian years were important ones for Britain, as they marked a period of great change. The Industrial Revolution brought wealth to many people and with it, a love of lavish and ornate properties. Large Victorian houses often had solariums, greenhouses and atriums as the Victorians loved plants – especially exotic ones such as palms, ferns, beautiful jasmine, hibiscus and fuchsia.
For the first time, furniture was no longer made by individual craftsmen but by numerous workers and machines in factories. Rooms were spacious with high ceilings. Styles were large and curvaceous with carved detail and button embellishments on the fabric. The classic examples of Victorian furniture include the leather Chesterfield sofa, large mahogany sideboards and dining tables with claw and ball feet.
Victorian Interior Ideas
In a Victorian parlour, the walls were often painted in dark colours such as forest green or claret. A feature wall in one of these colours works well in a modern house, with the other walls covered with period floral wallpaper. In keeping with the period, using decorated cornicing that featured patterns of fleur-de-lys, garlands, wreaths and ovals will complete the look.
Curtains in the Victorian home were voluminous, floor-length and pleated. Sumptuous fabrics such as velvet and damask were in rich plain colours. Curtains were also extravagantly lined in silk or fine wool and hung on gilded curtain rails or complemented by pelmets covered in the same fabric. Layered closest to the windows were the first mass-produced Scottish lace.
You can mirror the colour and fabric of the curtains as well as the floral designed wallpaper by scattering cushions. Tassels can be added as trims on curtain ties and cushions as these were much loved by the Victorians too!
There were plenty of ornaments on display including pretty chintz china tea sets. These were felt to be the sign of good taste – and wealth. In complete contrast to the modern minimalism… more was definitely more!
With lofty ceilings, large paintings, sizeable wall tapestries and grandfather clocks were popular. To garner the flooring of that period use either a beautiful wooden parquet floor or smart tiling.
No Victorian parlour was complete without magnificent plants. The Victorians loved large lush houseplants which were usually placed in metal and wicker pots and sometimes displayed in tiers. Palms and ferns of all kinds were popular and so was the Aspidistra (Cast Iron plant) as it was deemed a ‘good-natured’ plant that refused to die! More exotic and equally popular plants included the Abutilon from Brazil with large, vibrant, bell-shaped flowers. The Jerusalem Cherry, with its pretty white flowers that turn into reddish-orange berries, was also much-loved.
The Victorians adored ivy and encouraged them to grow up walls and along bannister rails.
In Victorian times, the lady of the house or her servants had plenty of time to tend to the houseplants to ensure they always looked perfect. Today, life is much busier, so choosing gorgeous faux plants is the ideal way to complete ‘the look’ without all the hard work!
Whether you’re planning to refurbish your reception area, restaurant or staff meeting rooms, it’s important to make the space attractive, workable and memorable. One of the best ways this can be done is by introducing a few interesting pieces of antique furniture. This can help create an intriguing combination of contemporary and vintage designs, using textures, shapes and styles.
Say Goodbye to Bland
Much of today’s modern furniture is practical but can sometimes be bland. However, you can greatly enhance them with the inclusion of a few special pieces of antique furniture. These additions will introduce a sense of warmth and grandeur. Antique furniture oozes history and character and its style portrays the high levels of craftsmanship of the past.
Remember, a few carefully chosen pieces are all you need to transform an area and give it personality. Interior designers advise that the ratio of antique to contemporary furnishings is 20% old and 80% new. If you want to emphasise the furniture styles perfectly, it’s best to choose a neutral colour for the walls such as ivory or silver grey.
You may consider a large wooden antique coffee table for a reception area. Include a couple of antique armchairs with beautifully turned legs. If the armchairs need reupholstering, the fabric can be chosen in your company colours to complement the company logo. The rest of the seating can be in a modern design as the two styles will blend remarkably well. Have both the modern and antique upholstery in similar tones to unite. To combat the antique furniture looking heavy – opt for lighter colours.
Other pieces of furniture that can look good are:
- Antique wall clocks, ornate gilt-edged mirrors and large period paintings.
- An antique cloak rack or umbrella stands which can be a fun and quirky additions too.
- Shelves with a series of interesting antique curios on display can add interest.
- Vintage textiles can be used to add warmth to a room, including beautiful hand-knotted Persian rugs which make spectacular wall hangings.
5 Clever Antique Additions
- In restaurants, vintage oak writing desks and dressers can look stylish and be used for storage.
- Lighting is the easy way to introduce other antiques and traditionally styled brass lanterns. Tiffany lamps and sparkling crystal chandeliers can all be used to create lovely lighting effects.
- If there is room, you can always create a ‘talking point’ by having an old postbox or telephone box on display in one corner – the latter can be cleverly converted into a wine fridge!
- Give cloakrooms a warm antique character with the introduction of a round antique pub table. Decorate it with a plant arrangement, a basket with small rolled hand towels and a couple of period prints hung on the wall above.
If you cannot find the piece of furniture that you have in mind in your local antique shops, don’t forget to look in furniture auction rooms and charity furniture warehouses as both of these are like treasure troves. There are various craftsmen around the country that make brand new furniture in traditional styles too.
Using Plants to Develop the Theme
It is fun to complement antique furniture with plant displays that mirror that particular period. If you have Victorian furniture, it is fun to accentuate the character with the addition of some of the ‘parlour plants’ that the Victorians loved! These included all types of palms, various ferns, fragrant jasmine and potted citrus trees. In Victorian homes, the palms and ferns were often sizeable so this is the ideal way to create interest and decorate an empty corner. You can fill porcelain washing bowl and matching pitchers with house plants. You can also do the same with an old teapot and a pretty maidenhair fern. For easy care plants, choose top quality faux plants as they look incredibly realistic but require nothing more than a regular dust.
The clever introduction of antique furniture will definitely enhance your commercial space, introducing warmth and character that your customers will both notice and appreciate.
We wanted to give a “garden” vibe to the place, with a lot of green almost everywhere. The cafe has a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes so the “green” touch was an agreement since the beginning. We already knew the quality of the Floresy plants so we thought that would be a good fit for us. We had a clear idea of which kind of plants we wanted, but Katarzyna helped us with some suggestions
– Francesca, Interior Designer, London