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Design Trends

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, Inc.
• 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, Calif.
• J. Keith White, AIFD, partner and design director of AANDK Productions, Houston, Texas

7 must-haves
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 tones.

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.

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.

spa treatment
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 driftwood.
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.

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
High Style inches its way back through true floral design with a creative edge. But clean, crisp and fuss free still have their place here.
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 optional.
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.

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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