Inspiring seasonal settings from florists around the country
By Jill Brooke
It is no secret that people entertain at home more during the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas holidays. This becomes an opportunity for florists to customize experiences for their clients, particularly with spectacular tablescapes. As we’ve previously recommended, florists should promote at-home visits with clients, to see their design elements and offer ways to create holiday magic and memories.
In Salem, N.H., Bert Ford, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, owner of Ford Flower Co., recommends having a set price for at-home visits. This way you can sift who will have the budget for your creativity and services. When friends and family of clients ooh and ahh over your floral artistry, those customers-turned-fans will routinely want that same validation again and become loyal clients.
After all, professional floral designers have the magic spell and talent to create what at-home arrangers rarely can attain. Plus, florists have the ability to buy flowers and vases that the average consumer cannot. This leads us to the next imperative: Promote what you can do that others cannot. Make sure, though, that you have the capacity, in terms of staff, space and time, to handle home decorating because many clients will want holiday décor installed in a compressed period of time.
Because people like to see visuals to anticipate their holiday décor, we have gathered some beautiful examples of holiday tablescapes designed by florists around the country. Present multiple options to clients, in varying styles and sensibilities, to assist them in envisioning all the possibilities for creating holiday cheer.
For a contemporary approach to Thanksgiving table décor, consider wrapping the exteriors of vases and other containers with stalks of asparagus. Add orchids or succulents for a dramatic effect. For a more traditional yet still modern aesthetic, establish a color palette around white, green and gray-green pumpkins and gourds.
For December holiday entertaining, Hypericum berries are now available in virtually every color in the spectrum other than blues and violets. And winterberries (Ilex verticillata) are now available in a range of hues from orange to golden yellow, in addition to the traditional bright red. They can be added to an arrangement enhancing the end result like flavoring a treasured dish with thyme or rosemary.
Although we love Santa’s cherry-red attire, the color isn’t great for every holiday table. If red clashes with a client’s dining room, it can pose a problem. Furthermore, millennials are veering toward modern design that consists of a sea of neutrals. This is why many forward-thinking floral designers are creating centerpieces that include luscious white flowers, like lilies and Lisianthus, and other options such as garnet Hydrangea or lilac Alstroemeria.
The point of all this is encourage you to be creative in your thinking when it comes to holiday décor and to imagine what’s possible beyond the traditional and same-old, same-old. And doing that requires studying trends and researching all the new and trending products that are constantly coming to our marketplace.
Another bonus of this thinking is that multiculturalism is becoming more prevalent and pervasive. For those who celebrate Hanukkah, blue hues, such as with hyacinths, Delphinium and, even, peacock feathers are de rigueur. For those who celebrate Kwanzaa, the traditional colors are black, red and green. From Mexico to India, for the November celebrations of Day of the Dead and Diwali, orange flowers, including marigolds, Asiatic lilies and even parrot tulips, fill the bill.
Part of the fun of holiday décor is maintaining traditions and then offering a surprise, to add excitement. For example, “People still love ‘rustic’ for holidays,” says Theresa Colucci, AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI, owner of Meadowscent in Gardiner, N.Y. “But we’re finding that white flowers, as well as ombré and burgundy-colored flowers, are more in demand now for holiday centerpieces and door wreaths.”
Also, most clients will want different décor for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I, for one, change my kitchen and dining-room décor with each season and holiday. Doing so creates a variety of festive feelings in my home. Once clients discover the beauty of professionally designed décor for the fall and winter holidays and then experience all the positive feedback they will, no doubt, receive—not to mention the convenience of having you do it all for them—they will come back every year for more.