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Winter is most definitely on its way, but if you are a hotelier the show must go on. So how can you prepare your hotel for winter? 

According to Eurostat: Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and Austria were the most popular EU destinations for EU tourists travelling outside their own country in the 2018-2019 winter season. 

So if you haven’t already, it’s time to prepare your hotel for the winter months to ensure your business is running smoothly during this season.

Extra Exterior/ Interior Effort

Cold weather generally keeps travellers indoors for longer periods of the time, so make sure your business is a visual delight for the festive season. Play around with wreaths, dry scented fruit and even pine cones. You can even explore outside of seasonal foliage on hand by garnishing your rooms with artificial plants

No watering …no problem!

Yes,  it may be cold, but there are plenty of ways to bring the cosy to your outdoor space.  Consider adding external heating, you can even explore a cosy fire pit. Couple this with super warm blankets, ambient lighting and voile!  A perfect space to drink your mulled wine underneath the stars.

Stockpile 

Floresy prepare hotel for winter toiletries

Bad weather can ultimately lead to issues on the road. And that can lead to delayed or cancelled deliveries to your hotel. You don’t want to be caught out, so it’s time to put your forward-thinking, preparational hat on. 

Over the weeks start to stockpile:

  • Toiletries 
  • Linens 
  • Stationary
  • Food 
  • Shovels 
  • Rock salt 

And in case of a power outage:

  • Torches 
  • Batteries

Keeping a stash of inexpensive umbrellas for the guests can also be a nice touch. 

Safety First

Flooring should be one of your top considerations for many reasons. The carpeting inside public spaces are a heavy expense and need to be maintained as customers trudge snow and mud inside and out.  A non-carpeted or tiled floor can be a slippering accident waiting to happen. Lay down heavy-duty rubber mats with large grooves in them at the entrance to catch the moisture and salt before it’s brought into the hotel. In addition, place longer walk-off mats at some of the entrances to ensure guests can wipe off slush, snow and salt.

Utility Check 

Floresy prepare hotel for winter - utility check

If your utility providers have not contacted you to carry out their checks – then it’s time to contact them. Especially in terms of heating facilities like boilers and thermostats. It’s especially great to take advantage of these visits if your utility contract includes a free maintenance check and if it doesn’t, it may be time to revisit your utility contract. 

On top of this, consider the preventative measures you can take to ensure guests have a delightful mid-winter stay free from disruption. For example gutter cleaning, checking for drafty windows. As the for the exterior, do your lightbulbs need replacing and it might be time for car parking and pavement repairs. 

Change to the Food and Beverage Menu 

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for… Your team have been busy developing an exciting menu with tastes and colours to comfort and brighten the darker days of winter.  Time to release your new hearty winter menu!

Winter can be magical as long as you are prepared. 

It is imperative that you are operationally running during this season as it’s a competitive market out there. So make sure you don’t lose your customers to another hotel around the corner because you weren’t prepared.

Planning now will help ensure that you and your guests experience a great cold-weather travel season without a hitch.

It won’t come as much of a surprise that the wedding design industry is big business and least of all in the floral department. In fact, the wedding service industry was estimated to be worth at least £10 billion last year and that was in the UK alone.

According to various sources, the average newly-engaged couple will be looking to spend about 8-10% of their nuptials budget on floral arrangements for their big day. A hefty chunk when you consider all the expenditures that go into planning the wedding as a whole.

Flowers are always going to be an essential detail for any wedding design, but they don’t necessarily have to be real to create an everlasting impression.

7 Pros of Using Artificial Flowers in Wedding Designs

  1. They are hardy! No more wilting and shrivelling – especially during the heat of summer when so many weddings take place. In fact, they’re ready to go from the initial ordering process to the time of the big day itself.
  2. Artificial flowers also tend to be a lot lighter. This also applies to the various centrepieces as they won’t need a water source. This is important when it comes to transportation and hanging installations in the venue space. No water source = no water splash = one less thing to worry about! 
  3. Takes the stress away! You don’t have to order the flowers to arrive last minute so they are as fresh as possible or worry about them turning up on time. Artificial flowers can be ordered way in advance and then be lightly dusted and adjusted before they are actually needed. Also, if you are arranging them yourself this gives you plenty of time to play around with arrangements without having to constantly keep buying fresh ones.
  4. Allergies! If there are concerns that a wedding guest may sneeze through the ceremony or start sputtering through the speeches then this may be a good way to eliminate the fear of a sudden pollen attack ruining everyone’s day.
  5. The couple gets to keep them forever! This element of a couple’s special day will be frozen in time if that’s their wish. 
  6. Once their primary use is complete, the wedding display can then double up as a great gift of thanks to the bridal party.
  7. You don’t have to wait for the right season for a particular flower to appear! It’s the couple’s big day so their choices are widened by going down the artificial route.

Here are some great faux wedding design ideas:

Table setting 

Secret Garden – Peony Garland

Outdoor wedding 

Wisteria Tree 300cm     

Grand entrance 

Modern Eclectic – Amaryllis

Although you may not have the smell of fresh flowers, the versatility that faux-flora and fauna have to offer quashes any worries on that front. This is all about getting maximum impact with a minimum amount of stress and disruption. Plus, it’s about creating a lasting reminder of a beautiful day.

Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?

In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.

Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.

According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.

How employees can benefit 

Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.

Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve memory and concentration
  • restore mental energy 
  • encourage team building
  • improve social interaction

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

    Fill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
  2. Seating

    If you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues. 
  3. Walking Trails

    For larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost,  this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
  4. Outdoor Grilling Station

    If you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.

With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.   

Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.

It’s easy to access green space when living in rural areas. There are sprawling fields and woodland scenes painted across the rolling green hills of this sceptred isle. And the chances are that you can see green space from your home or drive through it on your way to work.

We know that living closer to nature can have benefits to our mental and physical health. But can people who live in cities gain the same health benefits by having access to green spaces?

What is a ‘green space’?

Green space is defined as:

an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment.

Green space and health

There are many health benefits that come from living where you have access to green space:

Green spaces make us more social

Urban design that incorporates green and colourful elements can increase social wellbeing. Simple and low-cost ideas such as painting concrete or adding planting along a roadside can promote happiness, our sense of environmental stewardship and community plus a greater trust of strangers. 

Green space slows cognitive decline among the elderly

In addition to combating social isolation through a greater number of connections, green space can also help promote healthy ageing. Living in greener neighbourhoods, and the lifestyle associated with it (physical activity and social support) can slow cognitive decline that comes with natural ageing.

Green space is good for children’s behaviour 

Just as green space may increase our sense of community, a greener urban environment may reduce aggressive behaviour among adolescents. Also, children who live closer to green spaces maybe better at paying attention, such as when at school. And students who have a view of greenery from their classroom can improve their performance during tests. 

Green space helps us concentrate at work

Green roofs are good for the environment but having a greener view from your office window may help boost a worker’s concentration. Study participants performing a boring, mind-numbing task were given a 40-second ‘micro-break’ by looking at a city rooftop scene. The participants who looked at a green rooftop subsequently made fewer mistakes and showed better concentration when the task resumed than those who viewed a concrete roof.

What are the health impacts of living in a city?

Surprisingly, there are many health benefits associated with living in urban areas:

  • City dwellers often have a lower carbon-footprint than people live in more rural areas due to denser housing and better use of public transport.
  • Obesity rates are lower in cities, maybe because people walk more.
  • You’re also less likely to die as a result of a road traffic accident in cities.

But living in a city also some negative impacts on health:

  • People who live in a city are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and from mood disorders
  • The brains of urbanites handle stress less well than their rural counterparts
  • Air pollution is higher in urban areas and can contribute more premature deaths per year if proper controls are not put in place.

Why is green space important in a city?

In developed countries, the majority of the populations live in urban areas such as cities. In 2010, a staggering 90% of the UK’s population lived in urban areas compared to 82% in the US, and 76% in Germany.

Incorporating green space design into urban areas means being able to address some of the negative health effects of city living. And because of the higher density of people, these green spaces can impact a significant proportion of a population.

Green space can also help reduce air and noise pollution and also help keep a city cool.

So providing access to green spaces in cities becomes vital for maintaining the health and wellbeing of the majority of a country’s population.

Adding a rooftop garden helps you and your community

If you run an urban business, you can help improve the environment for your local community – as well as your staff or guests – by adding a rooftop garden. 

To help limit the weight and maintenance of such a garden, consider combing natural elements with some well-chosen artificial trees and plants. Floresy stock a range of artificial plants for outside spaces and can help you choose the right options for your exterior space. Call us today for more information on how we can help ‘green-up’ your environment.

 

Project: Sofitel (5-star, 183 room hotel)

Location: Waterloo, London

Brief:

  1. Replace existing planting but retain the planters
  2. Screen unsightly view of the machine room and piping from bedrooms

Products used:


At Floresy, we understand the importance of creating the right customer experience for hoteliers. Especially 5-star establishments in central London. The apparently effortless transition by your staff of guests from the lobby to bedrooms to function rooms is mirrored by the same high-standard of decor, cleanliness and amenities in every space in your hotel.  However, the reality of running any 24-hour hospitality business is that, behind the scenes, it’s a lot less glamorous.

Sometimes this means substituting an unsightly view from a window with a far more attractive and pleasing alternative.

Our solutions

The brief for this project was two-fold with the first objective being replacing the existing – but tired – artificial planting whilst retaining the planters. As we both design and manufacture artificial plants we are able to create planting solutions for any problem area in a client’s brief. So using planters and containers of the client’s preference was easy. This area is outside one of the hotel’s many function rooms. Restricted access to this awkward space means maintenance would be an issue for real plants.

Our bespoke artificial tree and plant arrangements in the clients existing containers. These displays are uplit for added nighttime atmosphere.

Can you tell the difference? Floresy’s artificial plants are of the highest standard.

Next, objective number two was a larger roof area overlooked by several bedrooms. One of the benefits of using plants as room dividers or screens is they do not completely block the light. And this is an important consideration for any screen solution for a window when detracting from an unsightly view.

Our green walls make great screens and because they are freestanding, they are a perfect solution for this situation. They are easy to install in addition to not blocking all of the natural light coming into a room. 

What lies behind: solving the unsightly view.

The result is much better

For other bedrooms overlooking the roof, the use of low-level window boxes as an attractive feature was sufficient in order to maintain the illusion of a swan.

Our bespoke wooden box hedges in situ

Our conclusion

The project is a success with both satisfied customer and supplier. We are looking forward to working with Sofitel again soon.

If you have a similar unsightly sight at your premises, you can read more about how Floresy can help. Alternatively, give us a call on 0208 0770891 to speak to one of our helpful customer managers.

First impressions really do count when your business relies on attracting customers from the street – whether you are a retailer or in the hospitality trade. So the most important area of business premises is, therefore, it’s doorways. In one cursory glance from a passer-by, you need to be able to communicate what your business is and who your clients are.

A very popular technique for defining the doorways to your premises is to use a pair of trees or plants. Placing the plants in matching containers either side of the door or porch will demark and frame the doorway. Whether you use boxwood or olive or whether it’s a standard or a natural shape, it’s a quick and easy to achieve a polished look.

Traditional and formal doorways

Nothing creates a traditional, elegant and refined look to an entranceway like a topiary of classic clipped boxwood. Symmetry is important with any formal look. These plain grey planters, neat box and black door make an imposing and professional entranceway.

It is not an inviting look. It suggests authority and power and that only a select few may enter. Perfect for a members-only club.

Formal Front Door with boxwood trees

Neat boxwood, grey planters and a big black door.

 

Executive hotels also want to appear exclusive but need a softer image to invite in the right kind of clientele. The Marignan Hotel in Paris uses these impressive planters to create a more contemporary look to this very formal entrance. Doubling up on the pairs of plants doubles the impact. And having a doorman is always impressive too.

Marignan Hotel Paris Entranceway

A very impressive facade at the Marignan in Paris

Modern and clean doorways

When you are a retailer, attracting customers in from the street is crucial to your success. Framing a doorway with symmetrical planting will give a sophisticated look but it also needs to be inviting. 

The Hudson Grace store in San Fransisco uses a cone-shaped boxwood topiary to frame the door whilst retaining a modern, clean look.

Classic contemporary topiary Doorway

Hudson Grace Shop Front Doorway with a classic yet contemporary topiary

This Dior shop front still conveys sophistication and refinery. However, the harsh formal look is softened by the addition of the pretty whites flowers and the wooden planters. The coordinating pale grey and white painted shop front echoes the tones of the wooden planters and flowers.

Dior Shop Front Doorway

The formal yet appealing image helps attract customers into your shop.

Warm and homely doorways

Humble Pie Whitby Doorway

Humble Pie shop in Whitby uses galvanised tin planters

So, the severity of this formal look is easily adapted to create a warm and inviting exterior. Combine the main tree or shrub with flowers. Change the planter for something informal. Humble Pie in Whitby (above) uses galvanised tin planters to decorate their shop front. Adapting the classic look by placing both trees central to the shop window, most likely due to space. Serena Lily’s home decor store uses re-purposed beer barrels as planters. This hotel in Province, Crillon le Brave, uses worn terracotta pots. The black and white shop front (photo by Mackenzie Horan) uses wooden containers in black to match the awning. The planting is softened by sweet little colourful flowers.

Standard Trees available at Floresy

Floresy design, make and sell a variety of trees perfect for use defining any doorway:

This classic long trunk olive at 210cm tall will add an instant wow factor to any premises entrance. Perfect on its own in an equally impressive container.

The Croton Artificial Tree has a unique appearance with a variegated leaf tinged with brown for a very natural look. It comes in two heights (150cm and 180cm) and would be great for a relaxed and tropical style restaurant.

The fabulous Ginkgo tree is 190cm and has an interesting leaf shape and a vibrant mid-green colour. It has a sunny feel and would be perfect for any cheerful and happy shop front.

One of Floresy’s many Ficus trees, this particularly bushy product is 120cm and would create a traditional topiary look, outside a hotel or office building.

 

Architectural plants are the backbone of any exterior planting scheme. If gardens are rooms, architectural plants are the furniture. These vital plants are the structure around which smaller or seasonal plants are placed. They act as focal points for a bed of plants to give them volume and presence. But they can also have more simple yet structural uses such as defining a doorway or walkway. Or just filling a space. Wherever they are used, they add height and visual impact to a design.

In modern minimalist architecture, structural plants are often used in isolation to create drama using a minimal number of plants. The choice of planter or pot that the architectural plants are placed in is often as important as the choice of the plant itself. The use of plants in sleek and cutting-edge exteriors helps soften the overall look. The coldness of stone, steel and glass emphasises the green of the foliage.

landscape designDesign by Rayavat Engineering

Architectural plants design tips

  • Choose a bold or striking plant as a focal point to a flower bed or a collection of pots.
  • Add instant height to a space to create more visual interest
  • Using a large artificial as the focus plant(s) will require far less maintenance and will look good in any location.
  • Use planting to soften the harsh lines of the outside of a building

Unlike their natural counterparts, Floresy artificial architectural plants will not grow bigger to obscure a window or view. What you get is how it will stay. This is a big advantage when designing a look of a space. Especially if the style is precise and ordered like minimalism often is. Very low maintenance also means no watering and no sweeping up dead leaves.

What makes a plant an architectural plant?

Some people may argue that certain plants can be classified as architectural whilst others will disagree. It is the use and placement of a plant that makes it architectural or structural. Because the plant needs to add a certain focus, architectural plants have similar traits. Architectural plants will often have at least one of the following:

  • A distinctive shape
  • A distinctive leaf colour or shape
  • Evergreen or offer interest all year round
  • Interesting bark or stems
  • Generously sized (but aren’t we all?)

You can be creative and use any plant architecturally as it is all about the context. A climbing ivy or wisteria can be used to frame a doorway just as two identical topiary boxwoods in striking planters. Use low, ground-cover plants around the edge of a patio to create a visual boundary. Likewise, place them around the base of a statue or sculpture to contrast with its height.

Choosing architectural plants

Buying real architectural plants is certainly a considered purchase with mature specimens carrying a hefty price tag. A significant advantage of choosing a Floresy artificial architectural plant is that your investment will require far less maintenance, look exactly the same all year round, will not grow to spoil a design and can be moved to different locations and still look just as good. All these factors mean that your investment is more secure and has a longer lifespan than a real plant could be.

Tall and upright architectural plants

Artificial Yucca in pot

Yuccas are great architectural plants for both indoor or outdoor.

Yucca plants are known for their tough, sword-like spiky leaves and are popular as both an indoor and outdoor plant. The leaves of a sansevieria are also spiky and are also known as ‘snake tongue’. They come in a dark green and this yellow-green variety. Both this artificial yucca and this sansevieria are great solutions for adding vertical drama when floor space is at a premium. The yucca and Sansevieria are also useful for creating a more tropical feel to a setting. 

Sansevieria Yellow architectural plant

Sansevieria come in two shades of green and make a fantastic feature plant when space is a premium.

Formal architectural plants 

box tree 110 cm artificial plant

Boxwood gentle topiary tree in the pot

Nothing is more classical in a garden landscape than a box topiary. This beautiful box in a pot from Floresy combines the formal choice of the plant with a softer shape and styling. With a bonsai-inspired shape, this particular product will suit any more formal setting including oriental gardens because of this delicate shaping. The thuja conifer tree offers a very traditional look and so is equally suited to a formal presentation. You can easily imagine a line of these trees flanking a gravel walkway on the approach to a stately hotel or conference centre. But they will look equally at home in a very professional office reception. It is a very flexible choice because you can use it in a variety of different situations.

Thuja tree

The Thuja is a conifer like plant with great potential in more formal schemes.

 

Bushy and big architectural plants

larch tree

Artificial Larch trees by Floresy is available in three different heights

Same as the thuja, Larch trees are also conifers. This variety from Floresy is available up to 180cm in height so it’s big without being too unpractical. They can easily fill a space but their more delicate branches will not block the light. In addition, they can be decorated with lights for a romantic effect. The cycas is a bold a bushy plant which means it is ideal for a central placement. Its big enough so that you can add additional plants underneath or just plant individually in a gravel bed.

Artificial cycas palm tree architectural plants

Artificial Cycas Palm Plant 100 cm artificial plant

Floresy also offers a bespoke tree design service for the ultimate in architectural plants. Contact us today so we can help you with your designs.