If you want shoppers to think of your department as the place to
buy flowers, you must know what floral design styles appeal to
them. We asked nine experts to identify the key trends you
should target when choosing containers, flowers and foliages,
arrangement styles, bouquets and bouquet sleeves. The results
are five trends: “Clean & Simple,” “Eco-Friendly,” “Citrus,”
“Spa Treatment” and “High Style.”
contributing floral experts
These nine floral industry notables identified the five design
trends on the following pages.
• Robert De Bellis, AIFD, floral designer/Product Development
Team member at World Class Flowers, Egg Harbor, N.J.
• Pieter Landman; Blooming Vision B.V.; The Netherlands
• Laurie Lemek, AIFD, creative director for Everflora Chicago,
• Rhonda Lynn-Moeckel, AIFD, design coordinator/trainer for
Schnuck Markets, Inc., St. Louis, Mo
• Ben Pauley, vice president of mass market initiatives for FTD
Group, Inc., Downers Grove, Ill., and Super Floral Retailing
editorial advisory board member
• J M.H. Schwanke, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CMG; JMHS Enterprises Inc.;
Grand Rapids, Mich.
• Pam Smith, AAF, PFCI, director of marketing for Nature’s
Flowers and a columnist for Super Floral Retailing
• Rene van Rems, AIFD, PFCI; RenÈ van Rems International; Vista,
• J. Keith White, AIFD, partner and design director of AANDK
Productions, Houston, Texas
While the five trends highlighted on these pages have distinct
looks, several have common characteristics. Be sure to
incorporate these items into your product mix.
• Glass vases, clear and colored
• Monochromatic and/or monobotanical bouquets
• Smaller bouquets with more “sophisticated” flowers
• Lush designs with a mixture of texture
• Orchids and tropical flowers
• Heirloom and traditional garden flowers
• Grasses, branches and pods
clean & simple
Inspired by do-it-yourselfers’ and 30-somethings’ distaste for
clutter, the Clean & Simple trend takes floral designing to its
simplest terms. Vase arrangements require little effort, easing
labor requirements at store level. A tulip bunch is easily
plunked into a clear glass vase with coordinating colored floral
foam balls or marbles, or a few sprigs of bear grass. At the
high end are simple topiaries designed with flowers such as
Alstroemerias, Gerberas, lilies and carnations. Fewer flower
types are used in both arrangements and bouquets, and many
appear to come straight from the garden.
Hand-tied bouquets drop effortlessly into open-mouthed,
clear-glass vases. Although consumer bouquets tend to be
smaller, they maintain their price points with more upscale
flowers in monochromatic, complementary and analogous color
schemes. Simple, solid-colored wraps replace patterned sleeves.
Your target customers for this trend believe less is more and
find inspiration from magazines like Real Simple.
Despite the current dominance of bright colors, this style
welcomes heirloom hues such as faded reds and yellows in gray
MATERIALS: a) Clear vase from Meyer Imports, Ltd.;
Kolor FoamÆ from American Foam Technologies; tulips from
favorite suppliers; b) Square Vases from Syndicate Sales,
Inc.; peonies from favorite suppliers; c) ClearphaneÆ
from Highland Supply Corporation; Blush Economy Tissue from
Nashville Wraps, LLC; Alstroemerias and myrtle from favorite
suppliers; d) Gathering Vases from Syndicate Sales, Inc.
Environmental awareness empowers the Eco-Friendly trend, which
should only grow more prevalent over time. It’s a natural, clean
look for ecological-minded consumers.
The natural color palette incorporates spring green, vintage
avocado, mint, sage, greenish blues, browns and natural white.
While garden- and wildflower-style flowers such as sunflowers
dominate, attractive mixtures of foliages freely hold their own
in simple vases. Expect the target audience to request organic
and certified flowers that carry “green” labels, such as
Veriflora and Florverde. This group recycles, carpools and cares
where its flowers come from.
Containers stay simple and include handcrafted baskets or
pottery. Plants are upgraded in Asian oxblood red pottery.
Earthy resin Tuscany-style containers resemble stone or ceramic.
Garden planters bring nature indoors. Specimen and orchid
planters are a natural fit.
In bouquet packaging, less is more. The preference is recyclable
or biodegradable sleeves, but open weaves and natural nettings
add textural interest while remaining down-to-earth.
MATERIALS: a) Loofah Vases from Roost; elephant’s
ear (Alocasia) foliage from favorite supplier; b) white
king Protea from California growers; c) Large Magnus
Rattan Vase from Eighteen Karat International Product Sourcing
Inc.; d) kraft wrap, sunflowers, lady’s mantle (Alchemilla),
myrtle, rosemary, dried lotus pod, artichoke, Eucalyptus and
Monstera foliage from favorite suppliers.
Despite its familiarity, the Citrus trend is so fun you
shouldn’t expect it to disappear anytime soon. Neon oranges,
lemon yellows, lime greens, bright pinks and clean blues sustain
its vibrant life. While young people made this retro look
popular, shoppers of all ages have grown to love it. One need
only look at the colors available for cell phones and iPods to
prove its national appeal.
Big, fun, bold blooms suit this style best. Gerberas have made
their mark in the industry as part of this trend and combine
well with bright yellow roses and green Hypericum berries in
sleek cube vases or colorful sleeves. Simple 1970s-style spray
mums have made a comeback in dyed neon colors for both
arrangements and bouquets packaged in bright retro-print
sleeves. To give more design depth to this style, work in
tropical flowers, colorful spirals or river cane.
MATERIALS: a) Citrus Garden Vase from The John Henry
Company; ‘Aalsmeer Gold’ roses, carnations, spray
chrysanthemums, Acacia and Galax leaves from favorite suppliers;
b) Reception Vases from Syndicate Sales, Inc.; c)
Mandarin Mix bouquet from Sunshine Bouquet Company; d)
Citrus Circle Sheets from Temkin International, Inc.
Overworked and underplayed, consumers need this Spa Treatment to
escape their busy lifestyles. Comparable to a tranquil ocean,
this trend sets a calm, relaxing mood with aqua blues; rich
turquoise; cool, clean greens; and shades of lavender. Flowers
in colors from this soothing palette are limited, so colored
glass containers in such shades are often necessary to pull it
off. Soft, beautiful and fragrant flowers like stocks, Freesias
and roses combine with natural materials such as shells and
The trend has two design extremes. On one end of the spectrum,
an Asian Zen influence elevates the style to a higher design
level with a focus on three-flower placement (representing
heaven, earth and man) and foliage (the intermediate) in a
square cube vase. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the style
takes a simpler turn with fuss-free bouquets and arrangements
with an abundance of grasses and foliages.
MATERIALS: a) Clear Morgan Vases from Accent Decor;
hyacinths from Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center; b)
etched Glass Vase from burton + BURTON; c) Gossamer Cloth from
Highland Supply Corporation; Iridescent Baby Blue Wrap from ArtMesh (Earth-Deco, Inc.); stocks, ‘Bella Donna’ Delphiniums
and Freesia from favorite suppliers; d) Vase with Shell and
Sanded Blue vases from burton + BURTON.
High Style inches its way back through true floral design with a
creative edge. But clean, crisp and fuss free still have their
Minimal floral stems give the most impact with this style.
Orchids, callas and Oriental lilies have the presence to pull it
off. Steel grass and bear grass as well as sharp, strong
foliages have a place here, too. Container choices range from
high-end colored glass or ceramic vases in sleek cylinder or
square shapes to brushed metals with an industrial look.
Colors presented as accents to always-stylish black and white
add sophistication to designs. Popular colors range from
lavender to deep plum and chocolate to fuchsia.
Bouquets contain specialty flowers—miniature callas, large
Hydrangeas, Godetias, double tulips and stocks. Bouquet sleeves
can be as basic as crisp, clean white—simple patterns are
New aluminum and copper wire gives drama to even the most
simplistic designs. Colored wire can add a touch of flair to
functionality, as it binds and secures centerpieces, bouquets
and armatures. Wire, willow and grasses are used to shelter or
cage floral designs of all sizes.
MATERIALS: a) Helen Vase from Accent Decor; miniature
callas from Flower Transfer; b) Modern Garden Vase from burton +
BURTON; c) Trapez glass vase from Jamali Garden Supplies; green
Glass Ice from Accent Decor; glass vase and Rectangular Votive
from Syndicate Sales, Inc.; long Hematite Flower Grid from
Roost; Silver Aluminum Wire from Smithers-Oasis; miniature
callas from Flower Transfer; d) three-stem Dendrobium bouquets
from Royal Orchid Imports.
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