World trends in artificial flower design. The one of our most interesting topic on the Floresy blog.
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!
At this time of year, many of us find ourselves looking at the exciting new design trends for commercial spaces. It is important to customers and staff that offices and reception areas are smart, welcoming and user friendly. First impressions definitely count and a pleasant working environment lifts everyone’s spirits and sense of well-being. There are new trending colours, textures and furniture shapes. Why not welcome in 2021 with some New Year design trends?
With so many people spending months working from home, there is a definite shift towards a more relaxed and flexible approach to office design. Adequate space and pristine kitchen and toilet facilities are essential in these COVID-19 days and they demonstrate to staff that their well-being and safety is top priority. Another important consideration in our modern world, is the use of sustainable and recycled materials wherever possible. The new design trends for 2021 will definitely make the workplace look and feel better. ( www.hackrea.com/stories/modern-office-design-trends-2021/)
Colours and textures
This year’s new colours for commercial spaces are taken from the domestic palette. All the earthy tones are popular for paints and furnishings. Colours include rust, greens, all shades of brown and deep wine reds. These are perfect for offices, as they are relaxing and less intimidating. These mellow shades can be used like a canvas and livened up with splashes of a bolder accent colour. Highlight accents using burnt orange, lime green or turquoise all provide great contrast. Once again, wood is the most important material for office furniture. The emphasis is on old, secondhand or upcycled furniture in lighter woods such as pine and oak. Interesting pieces of driftwood are being used as attractive features on counters and coffee tables.
The New Year design trend is flexible room design.
With many members of staff still working from home or continuing ‘flexible working’, companies find themselves needing to adapt their work spaces. Good video conferencing facilities are becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. These facilities will be vital for much of 2021. In some companies, this form of communication has proved so effective, that it will always be used now. Suitable comfortable areas for video conferencing are essential.
Consider adapting large office spaces to maintain social distancing. Once restrictions have eased, there will be the requirement for privacy for private meetings or customer visits. Perspex and glass screens have been widely installed for use during the pandemic, but many companies are now looking for alternatives that do the same job – but are more visually appealing. Planters, ‘living walls’ and huge indoor plants are all effective and versatile as they can be re-positioned. Fabric screens are popular as they add colour and can absorb noise effectively.
The pandemic has triggered dramatic changes in the workplace. Many companies now feel that as many staff members are only coming in on certain days that ‘hot desking’ is the way forward – rather than having designated desks. Create a spacious and comfortable’collaboration zone’ for staff. These are areas where they can meet and sit comfortably, whilst they share ideas or discuss projects.
Resimercial design is gathering momentum
For the last few years, ‘resimercial’ has been a buzzword with interior designers. The is a blend of the words ‘residential’ and ‘commercial’ and it describes bringing home comforts into office design. After so many months of home working, this idea is proving increasingly popular. A more relaxed work environment helps promote happiness and mental well being in staff. Resimercial styling softens the starkness of the office by introducing indoor plants, warmer lighting and attractive wall paintings and pictures. Build on this style by adding softer seating, coffee tables and rugs.
Reception areas are becoming boutique
The character of a company and hotel reception areas is dramatically changing. Both are losing their clinical and corporate character and gaining what interior designers call a ‘boutique style’. New style receptions feature statement wallpapers, softer paint colours and eclectic collections of comfortable seating. Colourful tactile fabrics that are different from the usual corporate array can banish blandness. There is a gallery approach to wall decoration, this groups interesting paintings or photographs with a common theme.
The idea behind these design changes is that receptions should be welcoming to customers and in no way intimidating. Customers are more likely to relax and linger in them. Receptions with a relaxed feel, will make customers feel more comfortable about asking for any advice they may need.
Restaurants are softening their design trends
Many diners love to feel that their favourite restaurant is ‘home from home’. One of the trending styles for homes in 2021 is rustic charm and this is also good for restaurants. Rustic charm is a perennially favourite style. It works well in older properties with wooden beams and panelled walls, but the new take on this look works in bright, modern spaces too. In the past, rustic charm meant everything in the room was in this style, but the modern twist for 2021 is to develop the theme using just a few key pieces of furniture.
Successfully create a warm, comfortable ambiance in your restaurant, with some rustic charm. Introduce this design trend effortlessly, with the addition of a grandfather clock, traditionally styled chairs and a display of antique glasses. Indoor plants are a big design feature for 2021 and some traditional leafy plants such as ferns and palms accentuate the look perfectly. Climbing and trailing plants can be cleverly used to decorate bare walls and staircases as well as conceal doorways.
There are many exciting ideas for interior designs in 2021 that will dispel the clinical look still found in so many commercial spaces. Why not make it your New Year’s resolution to ring the changes in yours?
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.
Retro style never really loses its popularity and once again it is amongst the most trending interior design styles today. Retro style brings together an eclectic mixture of furniture styles from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and gives them a fun modern twist with the addition of trendy wall art, cushions and throws.
The retro-style features such wonderful furniture such as side tables, cabinets and beautiful chandeliers and is the perfect way to incorporate a family heirloom into the modern home or to bring a new lease of life to pieces of furniture that would otherwise be considered as dated – Retro is the perfect way to recycle and upcycle quality made pieces that are both stylish and functional and incorporate them in a fresh new look for any space.
Go Retro With Colour
One of the key points to consider when creating this style is to play with bold and strong colours that were popular in the past. The most popular shades were avocado green, orange and mustard yellow and these can be cleverly combined and contrasted with brown, black, white, aqua blue and reds.
Since retro colours are bold and strong, spaces can have a neutral background to be used like a blank canvas, as this will accentuate the styles of the furniture and the colour will be provided by the soft furnishings. For example, an all-white restaurant with boldly coloured furniture certainly makes a statement, as too will a single statement wall. The colours can be emphasised perfectly using modern touches such as coloured picture frames, throws and table runners.
And Stylish Materials
Beautiful wood was the most popular material in these eras. Woods with a red-tint including cherry, walnut, oak and beech -the most fashionable being attractively grained teakwood. These woods can be found in classic pieces of furniture, as flooring options and in a variety of accessories such as fruit bowls and lamp bases. For fun, look out for retro styles that combine grained wood with chrome metal and leather. To complete the retro look add a large colourful shaggy rug. An alternative flooring that sets the tone perfectly, is large black and white tiles in a checkerboard pattern
Lighting is a clever way to enhance the old fashioned mood of these eras. It is worth hunting for such typical retro styles as wall sconces. Industrial styled glass shades and stainless steel pendant lamps look great suspend above the dining table. Beautiful chandeliers are so stylish and will cast colourful spangles of light around the room. Why not check out charity shops for spare light fittings? You just don’t know what they have lurking in a forgotten corner! If you are given any lights, getting them PAP tested by an electrician to ensure they are safe, is essential.
Retro furniture is easily recognised by its free form, simple curves, abstract shapes which all have no fancy details. The furniture has its origin in the classic Bauhaus style. The focus for the designs of these eras was on functionality, minimalism and lightness rather than more elaborate designs. Chairs usually had lower backrests, at shoulder height, with no padded armrests. So these could well need the modern additions of cushions and a throw for comfort! Sofas were sizeable; broad, long and easily seating three people. The sofas were often decorated with multi-coloured cushions in orange, gold and avocado and in tactile fabrics such as velvet, silk and even leather.
Retro furniture design often combined several different materials. Wood and metal and wooden topped tables with metal legs were popular. When bar stools first appeared, they were a sell-out and inspired the first designs of much-loved breakfast bar. Wooden sideboards with pencil-thin legs were popular as were Ottomans covered in a jigsaw made from offcuts of soft velvet.
Prints, Patterns and accessories
When it comes to achieving the perfect retro feel, the correct use of patterns and prints is essential. Patterns were mostly geometric and used for tiling, flooring, wallpapers and upholstery. Curtains were often patterned with geometric or ornamental designs and psychedelic wallpaper prints were popular – although in modern retro-styled homes, maybe one feature wall would be preferable to all four!
Add some Retro houseplants.
The 1950s/60s/70s were a time when everyone loved houseplants! You will need to look out for the ultimate in your local charity shop – a macramé hanging basket – to fill with a huge trailing ivy! Other popular plants were large Swiss Cheese plants, Rubber plants and hard to kill Spider plants. Many polished teak sideboards were decorated with pink and purple flowered African violets displayed in textured ceramic pots or wicker baskets. Whereas in the past, many would share coffee and ponder why their Swiss Cheese plant leaves were not growing with the current splits, now you can buy gorgeous faux plants that will make your life more carefree!
Creating a retro interior design is great fun and a clever way to pull together different older styles of furniture. Using quality pieces of older furniture makes sense as they are beautifully made and built to last. Cleverly combining them with modern touches in retro colours will create a warm, welcoming room – but beware, Granny might just claim her furniture back!
In recent times, bamboo has become a design favourite for flooring. Wooden flooring has been a popular option for residential and commercial spaces, but the cost factor can be a concern. This is where bamboo flooring can make a real impact in terms of cost, as well as aesthetics and functionality.
It is said that bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Once you cut a bamboo plant, it can grow back to the same height in the short span of 5 – 7 years, making deforestation less of a factor.
So the next question is… what exactly is bamboo flooring?
Types of Bamboo Planks
These floors are manufactured using strips or strands of the bamboo which are cut, dried and processed into flooring planks.
- Vertical bamboo flooring is where strips of bamboo are glued vertically to form planks.
- Horizontal planks have the strips glued horizontally, making the bamboo grains more prominent in appearance on the surface than the vertical ones.
- Strand woven is where the strands are woven together using machine locking under extreme heat and pressure to form the planks. These floors are available in click-lock or floating planks with an underlayment. Although the horizontal planks have a beautiful grainy appearance, stranded woven planks are more durable, resilient and hardwearing in terms of functionality. It’s said that a plank of stranded woven bamboo is two to three times as hard as an oak flooring plank. This makes it highly recommended in commercial spaces such as hotels, offices, restaurants, gyms etc, where there is a greater footfall.
Most of the bamboo floorings are naturally toned in light or yellow hues. However, the darker tones can be achieved through staining or carbonisation, where the planks are subjected to high temperatures. You can also use the ‘hand scraping’ method to bring a distressed look to the bamboo flooring.
Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring
- Bamboo flooring is known to be one of the most affordable flooring options.
- Bamboo is known as organic and sustainable, making it an eco-friendly alternative to carpets, laminated flooring and tiles.
- It’s an ideal choice for commercial and residential spaces in terms of style. It’s natural tones, variety of colours and finishes make it aesthetically versatile for any space.
- In terms of maintenance and upkeep, it is water-resistant, easy to mop, sweep and clean, and in case it loses its shine, a quick retouch and repolish will have it looking as good as new.
- Bamboo floorings are easy to install compared to many other flooring options.
- Although bamboo is water-resistant, it is not 100% waterproof. So don’t install in extreme water prone areas as this can lead to distortion and swelling.
- Bamboo can be installed in fluctuating and humid temperatures but extreme humidity can result in planks shrinking. Therefore, it’s best not to install this flooring outside.
- Although it is a hard-wearing floor covering, you may still find scratches and dents to the surface if you do not look after it properly.
- The manufacturing and glueing process involves the use of chemicals. Check to see whether the planks are free of VOC paints and formaldehyde.
- Although the carbonisation process gives a variety of stains, it makes the plank soft and unstable.
The French are known for their dramatic interior spaces, using clever furniture designs, sumptuous fabrics and colours. French designers know that the perfect ambience in restaurants, office spaces and homes can be achieved using versatile ideas. These features include beautiful faux plants that are lifelike and lush, but easy to maintain.
Canny design features are beginning to appear this side of the Channel too because the French style is casually elegant and perfect for softening formality. Using plants for interior decoration is fun and innovative. The bonus of working with quality faux plants is that they can maintain their lifelike look for a long time to come.
Make a Statement!
If you have a large space, fill it with an equally large plant. The French use huge beautifully maintained house plants to be the focus of a room. Make sure you choose the right size – monstera deliciosa and the various ficus plants are all ideal. Ensure the plant does not look squashed, faux plants should be displayed in the part of the room where it would thrive if it were natural – such as near the window but away from direct sunlight. Trailing plants can give an air of elegance draped over the edge of a statement furniture piece.
Choose the Ideal Plants for Each Location
If you have a large plain wall, choose a variety of big plants with large leaves and consider a couple of wall baskets too, filled with tumbling trailing plants. Faux plants can look stunning and so life-like that it is hard to tell them from the natural variety, but clever selection is important – if your plain wall is somewhere shady, choose plants that would happily grow in such a position.
If you have large bare looking windows, treat them with some true Parisian style – a line of large flower pots in front, each with a tall plant with numerous small leaves. Choose varieties that normally love plenty of light and choose ones that complement each other to create a similar effect to a lace curtain – letting plenty of light into the room but relieving the starkness of the bare windows.
Clever Ideas for Bannisters
Bannisters are essential, but unless they are beautifully styled, they can look bland. The French way to deal with this is to use them as a blank canvas with a dramatic arrangement of climbing and trailing plants in a rectangular planter in front of the balustrade.
The selection of plants should include plenty of different shades of green and a variety of textures too. Plants such as faux ivy and vines can look delightful interwoven in the bannister rails. The focal point of the arrangement can be a beautiful live or faux flowering plant, this feature can regularly be replaced to mirror the passing seasons.
Wide staircases look elegant and appealing, but they can look a little stark. The easy way to add some interest is to have a different faux houseplant on each stair. The plants should be different heights and textures with a range of leaf colours – adding some with variegated leaves and others such as Crotons with rich red and gold leaves. Provide additional colour by introducing indoor roses and cyclamen – you can add these as seasonal highlights. It’s fun to add some dramatic plants that can be ‘talking points’ for visitors!
The plant pots and saucers can be simple terracotta ones to give a welcoming rustic feel or they can be various designs and shapes – either antique or contemporary in style- with a colour theme.
Sometimes, there is a need for subtle screening, either to offer privacy between tables or to mask a plain-looking doorway. An easy way to achieve the ‘wow’ factor is by the clever use of plants. Tall leafy plants in stylish easy move planters are a versatile way to define areas – a fun choice is a large vine. A colourful myriad of ferns and trailing plants hanging down from the top of a doorway is the perfect way to obscure it from view.
Stunning Flower Arrangements
The French love nothing better than a huge and vibrant flower arrangement. They love tall vases which they fill with huge colourful heads of hydrangea or with arum lilies at Easter time. Flowers are always arranged very simply in a vase. The most interesting and natural arrangements are made using a variety of wildflowers, interspersed with ears of wheat or barley and wild grasses – with plenty of French style!
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