How Does Plant Leasing Work?

plant leasing

More businesses than ever are looking to plant leasing, and with good reason. Hiring a plant-care specialist is the best way to know that you are receiving professional services from someone with proven experience. In an office or other business setting, plants aren’t just beautiful. The right kind of plants will help filter impurities from the air. NASA tests have shown, for example, that 15-20 spider plants or golden porthos plants can clean and refresh the air in a space of up to 1,800 square feet. Treating your employees and clients to clean, fresh air leads to increased focus and productivity, and generally makes your business or office a more pleasant place to be.

So why lease? For starters, most of us are not trained horticulturists. A horticulture specialist will know what plants are best for your particular environment. They can tell you which plants must have a south or west facing window, which shouldn’t be around air conditioning, or which plants are best to combat any particular pollutants or small airborne contaminates like ozone from copy machines, or benzene from carpets or building materials. Consulting with plant leasing professionals will help ensure that you get the most out of your investment, and are pleased with the results.

Plant leasing doesn’t just involve choosing plants. A reputable plant leasing company will guarantee customer satisfaction. They will regularly come in and care for your plants, and respond quickly to any issues that should arise. Plant leasing also allows you to bring in new, seasonal, more, or less plants than you started with – all without hassle or guess work. Taking care of plants requires specialized skill, the sort that only comes from years of diligent study and experience. While many of us can manage to keep a houseplant alive, tending to interior plant-scapes should not be an afterthought. Like people, plants are at their best when their needs are being met and they are well cared for.

What to Look for in an Interior Plant Service

interior plant service

Business owners want a lot of the same things from their indoor office plants. These include beauty, ease of maintenance, affordability, and consistency of quality. Additionally, seasonal changeability, improvement of indoor air, and freedom to change one’s mind are also important factors. Plenty of interior plant service companies promise pretty plants that will stay alive, but how can you be sure that the horticulture professionals you hire will be able to meet all of your needs at a budget you feel good about?

Start by determining the budget you want to stay within, and by defining your specific needs. Are you looking for a few focal point plants near an entranceway or in your reception area or do you need mass-plantings to fill an atrium or raised beds? Do you want both indoor and outdoor plants? Should the changing seasons or approaching holidays make a difference in your desired plant layout? Whatever your choices, you’ll want to ensure that the interior plant service you hire is flexible enough to meet all of your needs without pressuring you to spend more than you’re comfortable with. Look for testimonials from local customers, and if possible, check them out in person. Your own eyes can tell you far more than an Email or phone call.

A reputable interior plant service should be upfront about all costs and expected delivery windows so that there are no surprises. They should freely tell you where they source their plants, what chemicals are used, and what any possible caveats are. They should know, for example, why a poinsettia is a bad choice for a pet store. Further, the interior plant service you choose should be well-versed not just in maintaining plants, but in helping you make the best selections based on space, light levels, preferred appearance, and desired functionality. Your satisfaction should be guaranteed within specific parameters that you are told upfront. Finding the right interior plant service can be the beginning of a long, lush, and beautiful relationship…with plants!

4 Advantages of Indoor Plants

advantages of indoor plants

Humans are no strangers to the benefits of plants. Throughout history, we have continued to expand our uses of plants for food, medicine, and other practical applications. We humans have an instinctive, often subconscious bond or urge to associate and connect with other living systems coined the biophilia hypothesis. Plants can help keep the sun off our backs, send mosquitoes and other pests away, and make otherwise barren landscapes more inviting. There are plenty of advantages of indoor plants. It cannot be denied that the biophilic relationship between plants and human beings is a long and treasured one.

If you’re thinking about applying the advantages of indoor plants to your business, there are even more great reasons to do just that. First and foremost, the right selection of plants can make any space more comfortable. Researchers at Chicago Hospital have demonstrated that patients with plants in their rooms heal faster and have better outcomes than patients with no plants at all. It’s suggested that plants lower stress, improve mood, and encourage relaxation in people and animals.

In a work setting, reduced stress leads to employees who feel more rested, alert, focused, and cheerful. Yes, plants actually help people become more cheerful. Given that smiles are contagious, a well-placed plant can put everyone in a better mood—and lead to good feelings all around. Employers often find that the introduction of indoor plants leads to increased worker productivity and flexibility, as well as an improvement in employee morale. This may mean that an investment in indoor plants can pay for itself in a relatively short time.

One of the best advantages of indoor plants is that, well chosen, they improve the environment. Plants improve air quality by filtering out toxins in the air through a process called bioremediation. Carpets, draperies, adhesives, even upholstered furniture emit fumes of numerous volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), like benzene or formaldehyde, into the air. Nobody should be breathing that! Copy machines release chemicals that can affect ozone as well as human lungs; while cleaning products like those used for dusting or in restrooms also release chemicals into the air. The right plants properly spaced can reduce these toxins by up to 70% or more. That helps everybody breathe easier.

However, it’s not just about chemicals. One of the often overlooked advantages of indoor plants is that they help regulate humidity. Winter and summer months are especially prone to dry indoor air, which leads to sore throats, coughing, and increased feelings of fatigue. Several varieties of plants will keep humidity at comfortable levels so clients and employees alike can feel great and perform at their best.

Both scientific studies and informal surveys indicate that the presence of well-maintained indoor plants can help businesses make a strong first impression. Because horticulture is a skill, an expanse of healthy plants can send a message of professionalism, consistency, and success – exactly what you want your business to project. Whether your goal is to increase your client base, or attract the very best employees, there are tremendous advantages of indoor plants that are healthy, lush, and plentiful. The right plant specialist will help you choose plants that are best for your environment, and sure to create exactly the impression you’re hoping for.

If you’re not already reaping the advantages of indoor plants, there are trained professionals standing by to help you get the most out of indoor greenery. Plants are nice to look at, which may be why being surrounded by plants puts people in a good mood. Never underestimate the effect of beauty in a work place. Color therapy can be incredibly effective in an office or business setting. Greens are calming and reassuring, while vibrant reds and yellows encourage a sense of well-being and can lead to increased productivity. The advantages of plants are numerous, and can be had on nearly any budget. It might be time to take a look, and see what everyone is talking about.

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Plants WORK

Interior Design Trends for 2013

Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

African living room Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

We are looking forward to fascinating interior design projects in 2013 and by the looks of things, our expectations will be met. Even though we can not anticipate how most of the projects will look, we ran across some interesting trends for this year, which we would like to share further. Here are the top 10 most talked about key tendencies in interior design for 2013:

#1. A New Relationship Between Men and Interior Design

Society is changing and its “movements” have collateral effects on all aspects of life as we know it. In developed countries, men are known to spend a lot more time at home than in the past, helping out with children and housework, as a result of the proclaimed men-women equality. In 2013, interior design will thus begin to mirror male preferences like never before.

Sober furniture details, less flashy colors and functionality over “cuteness” are just some of the features expected in a home with male dominance. If you think about it- strictly from an aesthetic point of view- this situation can create a great visual balance, one that will make both partners feel at ease in their own crib.

clip image002 thumb82 Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

#2. Group Dynamics

Men being more involved in interior design is not the only social trend for this year. Another interesting shift will be made from personal tastes to group tastes and from a single designer to interior design teams. Efficiency will go sky-high, as project tasks will be well managed by more than one person.

For example, when it comes to designing a room, one team member could do the planning, another could take care of the lighting effects and the third designer could take on the finishing touches. Having more people dealing with a project is a good way to share responsibilities and speed up the work process for the client.

cool office space 21 Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

#3. DIY projects

Desire for self expression is more and more obvious in the houses of people everywhere. We want to have furniture and decorations that mean something, that make us smile and that ultimately make the place feel like home. Re-purposing various objects and materials is now both a passion and a form of art.

DIY projects are slowly starting to gain power in the process of interior design, whether we are talking about old chairs being revamped or new candle supports being created. Creativity is once again taken to the next level and the home owner is more than just an innocent bystander- he is now in complete control of the project’s outcome.

Diy stool Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

#4. Texture and Touch

If people did not pay much attention in the past to how a furniture object feels when touching its surface, this is probably due to the fact that functionality used to be the main sought after characteristic in a household item. Now things are much different. People are in search for “touchable” textures, which inspire warmth and comfort as a way to engage and experience a proper home atmosphere. Suede and wood are two of the materials which will define the interior design world in 2013. Variety of texture will also be a key factor in arranging spaces.

Open Plan Bedroom Bathroom  Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

#5. Embroidery and knitting

It’s a shame we did not learn everything our grandmothers thought us; if we did, our homes would probably look a lot more cheerful right now. Nevertheless, embroidery and knitting is a major trend for 2013. From colorful carpets with thousands of knots to various storage baskets and poof covers, handmade is back and appears it will be here for a while.

The modern twist of these items produced by hand gives them a particular charm, one that can not be obtained from any industrially produced household decoration. Here are some thoughts on knitting and crocheting from a post we published on Freshome a while back.

knitting furniture Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

#6. Stripes, stripes, stripes

In 2013 social spaces will likely turn to design dynamics, in order to inspire vibrant living and energy. One of the most simple ways to achieve this effect is by employing stripes in an elegant manner. Carpets, wallpapers, upholstery, graphic art- each of these elements can wear the distinct feature of movement as long as they are defined by… stripes.

Bold red and black&white patterns are the highlight of the design themes again, only this time associated with minimalist decor complements. The idea is to make things stand out, without compromising in elegance or visual harmony.

est 20 Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

 #7. Floral patterns with a white background

Floral patterns are also back in style, only this year they come with a twist: a white background. Ensuring a very romantic touch and giving the feeling of a perpetual holiday, these stylish additions make a strong statement in a room. You can go for a variety of colors, as long as the overall result is appealing. Try new fabric covers, graphic art, wall paintings and wallpapers- the effect will be pretty strong.

flower pattern Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

#8. African influences

More and more modern villas are starting to showcase unique design themes and African influences are particularly considered dynamic and “exotic”. In 2013, African influences are said to be a major trend, bringing warm colors and animal skin imitations back into the eclectic interiors of most fashion enthusiasts. In luxury holiday villas across the globe you will likely observe wooden furniture elements decorated with carvings or wrought iron, sculptures and handmade decorations, all defined by the African style.

african zebra interior Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

 #9. Hand sketching and wall writing

We featured a post on Freshome a while back with some ideas on how to bring letters into your home. Hand sketching and wall writing will be more and more popular this year, as graphic artists will start collaborating with interior designers in creating original wall imprints. Imagine your favorite message elegantly written in the hallway or various letters adorning the ceiling. Here is a nice example below:

Concrete letters ceiling Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

 #10. Green walls, garden rooftops

Green living will be a key factor in design and architecture this year. From mobile plant panels to framed plant screens with lighting effects, this idea can bring a fresh touch to any apartment or public space. This approach is not only healthy, but also original and elegant. The advantages of having such a green wall? Air cleaning, humidification, evaporation of the air and appreciations from visitors. And here are 30 incredible garden rooftop ideas for further inspiration.

01 interior design green wa Top 10 Most Talked About Interior Design Trends for 2013

Flowers and Plants in the Workspace Promote Innovation and Ideas

Key Findings Shed Light on Environmental Psychology of the Workplace

In today’s economy, it is more important than ever for businesses to gain the competitive edge. Constant fluctuations in unemployment, productivity, consumer confidence and other major economic factors make it imperative for businesses to implement the right strategies to stay ahead of their competition.

According to business experts, the key to gaining the competitive edge in the modern economy is easy to understand – a happy, productive workforce. And, while sometimes the easiest notions can be the most difficult to achieve, a recent scientific study conducted at Texas A&M University finds that nature can hold the secret to business success. The research demonstrates that workers’ idea generation, creative performance and problem solving skills improve substantially in workplace environments that include flowers and plants.

“Our research shows that a change as simple as adding flowers and plants can be important in the most meaningful way to businesses in the modern economy,” said Dr. Roger Ulrich, lead researcher on the project. “People’s productivity, in the form of innovation and creative problem solving, improved – which in certain circumstances could mean the difference between mild and great business success.”

Research Findings: Overall and Men vs. Women

In an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments, or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments.

During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And, while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.

“We know the importance of learning, for example, how natural surroundings affect drivers, school children, and hospital patients,” said Ulrich, who has conducted extensive research on the effects of environments on psychological well-being, stress and health. “To businesses, it should be equally as important to understand what features can improve performance at work and make employees more productive.”

 

Research Background: Dr. Roger Ulrich

The Impact of Flowers and Plants on Workplace Productivity Study was conducted by Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Center for Health Systems and Design, Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Dr. Ulrich is a professor of landscape architecture and is an internationally recognized expert on the influences of surroundings on human well-being and health. His interests concern applications of environment-behavior knowledge to healthcare buildings, landscape architecture and urban design.

For The Impact of Flowers and Plants on Workplace Productivity study, Dr. Ulrich worked in cooperation with Professor Dr. James Varni, who also is internationally recognized for his research in psychology and medicine. The research lends weight to growing scientific evidence that flowers and plants, as well

as other aspects of nature, have a beneficial impact on state of mind and emotions. The Society of American Florists worked in cooperation with the Texas A&M University research team, bringing an expertise of flowers and plants to the project.

Plants Improve a Home Aesthetically, Emotionally, Physically and Economically

Think about it! We all recognize how our mood can change when we are surrounded in an environment with living vegetation. It’s the reason we take trips to the park, spend time in our backyards, desire the coveted corner office with windows or have a yearning desire to be out in nature. Plants have an immediate and documented impact on our happiness and long-term positive effects on our moods-specifically making us feel less stressed, less anxious and less depressed. The scientific term for this connection is biophilia, which describes the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with living systems (Wikipedia). Considering that 90% of our time is spent indoors-and maybe more in the summers of South Texas-bringing the outside inside is deeply rooted in our biology.

Given our affinity for nature, it is hardly surprising that many large facilities invest in bringing the outdoors in. By creating indoor parks with large trees, plants, water features, daylight and comfortable retreats, they are able to impact the experience we have while in the facility. Builders, developers and commercial realtors would not invest in this if they didn’t believe that such amenities have positive payoffs.

In most cases, plants are often placed within spaces merely for their aesthetic benefits: to soften hard surfaces and to provide ambience. A few well-placed plants in a room can dramatically change the look and feel of a space. Plants can be that final touch that ties everything together and makes a space more inviting and comfortable. It is that intangible benefit that we pick up on when we enter the room that renders a subconscious attraction to the space.

The bottom line is the most important interest of most home buyers and sellers. Also, as the agent trying to sell a home at a fair price, you have to find that edge over your competition. What are you doing to create an environment that produces a positive experience to a prospective buyer aesthetically, physically and emotionally while benefiting you economically? Plants cover them all!

A Clemson University study documented the impact of landscaping on the resale value of single family residences. A house that obtained an excellent landscape rating from a local landscaping professional could expect a sale price 4 to 5 percent higher than equivalent houses with good landscaping. Homes with landscaping ranked poor relative to neighboring homes with excellent landscapes could expect a sale price 8 to 10 percent below equivalent homes with good landscaping appeal.

Other research finds that plantscaping both inside and out can add as much as at 14% to the resale value of a building and speed its sale by as much as six weeks. You can see that small improvements with plants can produce large economic returns to the seller. And, of course, you know the importance of the first impression, so just imagine how magnified the improvements by plants are on the front porch.

Interior plants are a very cost-effective way to dramatically change an indoor environment. When you evaluate what it costs for remodeling a space or to install new furniture and fixtures, the return on an investment is much greater with the addition of plants, due to their relatively low cost. We recommend at least two significant, healthy plants per 12′ x 16′ room.

Notice the word healthy. We find that most people tend to over-care for their plants. In other words, they tend to give them too much water too frequently, feel the need to re-pot the plant when it is not looking well, over-fertilize it when it does not need it, or stick it outside where it is often baked by the sun. Due to the much lower available light inside (100-500 foot candles indoors vs. 8,000-10,000 foot candles outdoors), your plants are photosynthesizing at a much slower rate inside your home. The water requirements of interior plants are dramatically lower than exterior plants for these reasons. A Google search can give you many options of plants that work well inside; some favorites are Aglaonema, Spathiphyllum, Dracaena deremensis and Zamioculcas zamifolia.

So, convince your buyers and your office managers not to overlook the vital role plantscapes have in your success of enhancing the prospective buyers’ and clients’ experience aesthetically, emotionally and biologically. Plants Work!

 

Joshua Senneff, CLP, CLT, is Director of Operations for Plant Interscapes, a San Antonio-based interior horticulture firm servicing San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Corpus Christi. For more information visit www.plantinterscapes.com or www.greenplantsforgreenbuildings.org or contact Josh at 888-284-2257, ext. 111 or jmsenneff@plantinterscapes.com.

Plants Boost Creativity & Keep Employees Healthy

INDOOR PLANTS BOOST CREATIVITY & KEEP EMPLOYEES HEALTHY

Don’t see red when you’re stressing out at work, go green.

Studies have shown that indoor plants boost productivity and reduce stress levels, so now there’s every reason to beautify your desk, feel great and perform better too!

It’s true – a study conducted in a computer lab at Washington State University among subjects who were performing a slightly stressful computer task showed that their blood pressure was lower after plants were added to the lab and they showed a 12% improved in reaction time on the computer task. Now doesn’t that sound like the easiest way possible to get ahead!

Other studies from the UK, the Netherlands, Australia and the US also established that office plants can have a positive effect on the work environment, reduce absenteeism, as well as improve employees’ wellbeing and productivity. Greenery is a very simple and most effective way of making a positive impact on the work environment.

Further studies revealed additional health benefits of working in a ‘green’ office. Plants have a cooling effect, they reduce noise and they improve air quality – so instead of working in ‘sick’ buildings, why not put the pressure on to work in a healthy ‘greenhouse’ instead?. On a much bigger scale, an investment in indoor plants and gardens could be just the ticket to getting that edge over the competition. If staff are happy, healthy and productive – that’s first prize towards success in business. Clearly, nature holds a key to success in business and savvy organisations should be on the buzzer to their local florist or plant provider to sharpen their competitive edge, say a leading florist in Perth, Western Australia, Angel Flowers.

And it’s not just for the girls – as evidenced by an 8-month study by a Texas university which researched men and women. The study showed that in ‘green’ environments, men generated a greater number of ideas while the females came up with more creative and flexible solutions to problems.

Some top varieties for indoor environments are peace lilies, yucca plants, ficus, aspidistra, African violets and maidenhair ferns. Other factors to consider are lighting (low or bright light), indirect sun light, dryness etc so it’s worth consulting a professional florist for the best suggestions.

Healthy solutions for inspiration, emotional health and wellbeing come from Mother Nature for the outdoors as well as the indoors. How much more evidence do we need that interior plants not only beautify our workspace, but have a tangible benefit to our emotional, physical and intellectual wellbeing?

Sales Jam Coming to Charlotte!

National Interiorscape Network Colleges –

TI Planter

 

Come join me and other interiorscape sales professionals at the NIN Sales Jam in Charlotte next week, February 21-23, 2012!  We’ll discuss relationship building and how to actively listen to better understand our customer needs.  Together, we can enhance our skills in prospecting, qualifying, presenting, and much more.

SUCCESSFUL PROSPECTING to include:

Who does WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW, & HOW OFTEN to keep the sales funnel full

A. For interior sales

B. For holiday sales

By Mike Senneff, President, Plant Interscapes, Inc., San Antonio, TX

 

FULLY QUALIFYING THE PROSPECT to include:

What to ask, what not to ask, when and how to ask it, who to ask, and what if you can’t ask

the decision maker?

By Brad Miller, President, Interior Plant Scapes, Ft.  Myers, FL

 

PACKAGINGING YOUR PRESENTATION to include:

Innovative packaging: Why? How? Alternatives… all designed to define your brand and increase your probability of sales success

By McRAE ANDERSON, ASLA, President, McCaren Designs, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

 

Successful customer and prospect campaigns for 2012..….

To include simplicity, connectivity, and specific target marketing in order to close more sales

and increase your closing average.

By SCOTT BARRON, President, Botanical Designs, Inc.,Seattle,Washington