When first impressions count!
  • By Annabel
  • In Inspiration
  • Posted Jul 25 2016
Did you know that it takes only three to five seconds for someone to form a first impression? That applies to your own professional image, but also to how your business looks.

You may be accustomed to thinking of ‘clean and tidy’ as being the watch words to ensure your premises or venues are appropriate, but that only gets you so far and can result in a rather sterile, easily forgotten environment.

To bring this to life, plants are a brilliant inclusion. They offer colour, texture and beauty, and stop those corners looking empty and dismal. In offices, greenery can help people feel good and enjoy their work space. For wedding venues and restaurants, plants are absolutely key to creating a stunning backdrop.

However, whilst real plants look fab when you buy them, within weeks the wrong temperature, incorrect watering or just bad luck can reduce them to a wilted mess. Increasingly, artificial blooms and foliage are being chosen.

Many of us have a perception of fake plants that is well and truly stuck in the eighties: One tone, thick lime green leaves, awkwardly attached to a stem of a slightly different colour. Then all coated in a thick layer of dust. Yuck!

It may be time to update your views. Modern faux plants are having a resurgence; for example, at Marks & Spencer, sales of artificial flowers are up by 84%. New techniques and materials mean the ugly plastic monstrosities have been replaced by delicacy, accuracy and subtlety.

There are certain workplace and business scenarios where artificial plants will be a wise investment.

Offices and meeting rooms

artificial office plants at Funding Circle

Fake flower options are particularly welcome in open plan offices. It's estimated that there are more than 10 million people with hay fever in England and other allergies are on the rise too. One person’s bloom is another’s blight and lost productivity through stuffy noses and itchy eyes is to be avoided at all costs.

Real plants often meet an untimely end in offices. Either everyone waters them, or no one at all. Alternatively, one individual lovingly tends them, but then goes on holiday or off sick and the end is nigh.

For meeting spaces where you will host external clients, it pays to make a real effort. Choose large, impactful plants such as ficus or fan palm for corners of meeting rooms, entrance halls and lobbies.

Don’t forget to ensure staff feel looked after in rest and relaxation spaces too. John Lewis in Stratford have chosen low-maintenance artificial hedging to make their rooftop staff area feel cosy and welcoming.

Wedding venues

artificial flowers hotel entrance Artificial flowers aren’t just about practicality; they can also be exquisitely beautiful. When you are responsible for the happy couple’s big day, you have to be absolutely confident that your flowers and displays won’t let you down. It can also be reassuring for brides and grooms to know exactly what to expect, regardless of the weather or flower availability.

Do ensure you have seasonal displays, and a variety of colour schemes. That way you can offer each couple the choice to select a look that will fit with their vision.

There are some essentials that work all year round and with any colours. Box spirals in and around a marquee look amazing, and potted laurels either side of entrances will make a perfect first impression for guests.


artificial lavender and starflower hanging basket Retail premises present lots of problems for real plants. Regular opening and shutting of the door, as well as heat curtains in doorways, all create massive fluctuations in temperature that can be difficult for plants to survive. Instead, select a few artificial plants to make a shop feel welcoming and full of life.

You can also use artificial plants to bring interest and colour to your displays too. Think seasonally and creatively to ensure your products are complemented. The little details like a well-tended hanging basket make all the difference.

Restaurants and cafes

artificial plants in restaurant

artificial phalaenopsis orchid - pink Silk flowers bouquets work beautifully as table arrangements, and buying a variety enables you to change them regularly. A top tip for a fresh modern look is to use a small clear vase and place the flowers into real water or, for a more permanent display, acrylic water.

Next, make the exterior of your premises attractive with a window box. You can even buy them ready planted for ease, and they are very simple to fix in place. Many premises select a summer and a winter box; maybe cyclamen for winter and lavender for summer, to offer variety and a seasonal feel.

Finally, don’t forget the toilets! Many a restaurant has received uncomplimentary reviews on TripAdvisor because of unwelcoming, dirty or dingy restrooms. Choose a stunning, delicate flower such as an artificial phalaenopsis orchid. Just do make sure they are cleaned regularly as part of your general cleaning and maintenance plan.

There are enough challenges in business without making caring for plants one of them. It pays to invest in good quality artificial flowers and foliage because it will give the best first impression to existing customers and potential ones.

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