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What plants are best for commercial interior design projects – real or artificial? 

At Benholm we always say “Use real plants wherever possible but where it is not practical make sure the artificial ones are as real as possible”   

Visually, due to advanced manufacturing techniques, it can often be difficult to tell the difference between a live or artificial plant. Plants offer much more than just visual appeal, however, meaning there will be more to consider than just aesthetics when choosing plants for a commercial space.    

In this article, we will take a closer look at their key differences to help you make your own decisions on what type is most appropriate for your project by considering:   

 

The senses

Artificial plants are less impossibly perfect than they once were and are now created with deliberate imperfections to give a more natural appearance and texture. With almost thirty years of industry experience, we understand the intricate differences between real and artificial plants and take care when dressing out the foliage to give a more realistic finish. Despite this, real and live plants are still largely distinguishable when viewed from a close distance.  

Although visually similar, other sensory experiences that real plants can provide are more difficult to replicate with artificial plants.  

Real plants have an authentically earthy scent. There are scenting possibilities with artificial plants, however, some do still smell of materials used in the manufacturing process.   

Real plants can be satisfying to touch, and they have a much wider variety of textures than artificial plants. The leaves of artificial plants tend to have a more plastic and synthetic feel which is uniform across most artificial plant types.   

There is no real sound from real plants, whereas artificial plants will often rustle in breezy conditions.  

Maintenance

Real plants require regular maintenance which may make artificial plants a more tempting prospect, however, with our maintenance service you can enjoy the benefits of real plants without any hassle or disruption to business.   

Artificial plants have no major maintenance needs other than occasional dusting and rearranging as required.   

Versatility    

Artificial plants can be used almost anywhere as they do not require natural light as real plants do and are suitable for use in most climates. They are also particularly useful in areas that are difficult to reach or will be viewed from a distance.  

With both plant types, we will offer our expertise on the best setting to use to keep them looking as vibrant and healthy as the day they were installed. 

 

Robustness/Durability

Artificial plants are very durable and less susceptible to damage through physical contact or temperature fluctuations. They can usually be easily rearranged and dressed out if in need of repair.  

Artificial plants can become discoloured if they are not coated with UV protection and are subjected to direct sunlight.  

At Benholm, our artificial plants and floral displays use the most natural looking and durable products to ensure a truly special look that requires no special care or attention.    

Sustainability

Sustainability has become a key consideration for businesses around the world.  

Live plants are good for the environment as they absorb CO2 through stomata in their leaves, helping to regulate excessive CO2 which is harmful to the Earth’s climate and weather patterns. 

We use a peat-free Enviroculture planting system that does not require soil or compost for live plants to grow, helping to reduce the impact on natural peatlands.  

Real plants require regular maintenance visits which involves emissions associated with travel, however, our watering reservoir technique helps to minimise the frequency of these visits.  

More sustainable products are being introduced to create artificial plants; however, many continue to be made using plastics and other synthetic materials, often sourced from Asia, which are non-recyclable.   

 

Perceptions

Real plants have universal appeal. The distasteful appearance and texture of older style artificial plants from decades gone by gave artificial plants a bad reputation which continues to linger – regardless of the significant advances in how they are created today.   

 

Biophilia 

Live plants provide a direct link to nature which has been proven to engage the senses and stimulate the mind. This is also true of artificial plants, as even a perceived sense of nature can provide psychological benefits. The Human Spaces report: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design (BD) in the Workplace found that those who work in environments with natural elements report a 15% higher level of well-being, a 6% higher level of productivity and a 15% higher level of creativity than those who work in environments devoid of nature.     

 

Health & wellbeing

Real plants play a part in purifying the air of harmful pollutants which can potentially reduce absence through sickness. The Office for National Statistics found that minor illnesses, which excludes Coronavirus, accounted for over a quarter of all employee absences in 2020. These minor illnesses include coughs, cold and flu which are often caused by VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in busy indoor spaces which hold a lot of recycled air.  

In addition to absorbing CO2, live plants also produce oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis, essential to everyday functions of the human body. 

 

Acoustics

The multangular nature of leaves on a plant, both artificial and real, can help to dampen noise through deflection and absorption. 

Real plants will normally dampen noise to a greater degree as their leaves tend to be softer making them potentially more absorbent than artificial plants.   

Conclusion

Whilst live plants would always be the preferred option to artificial plants, there are often several compelling reasons that might mean artificial plants make more sense for your project. We provide high quality real and artificial plants with a range of creative options and can offer our expertise on the most appropriate option for your next project.      

To chat with a member of our team or obtain a free quotation, call us today on 01324 861300  

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How to use plants to improve acoustics in commercial interior design

Plants bring so many benefits to their environments and the people in them, but noise reduction is one of the lesser-known advantages. 

Here we will look at the importance of being able to regulate noise within a commercial setting, how plants can be used as a barrier to dampen noise, as well as recommending what to look for in a plant when used for this purpose. 

Reasons to improve acoustics in commercial interior design 

Unwanted noise is an annoyance in any setting, but within a commercial environment it can have a measurable impact on the objectives of that space. It can also trigger health conditions such as Tinnitus, or in more extreme cases, cause adverse cardiovascular and psychological effects. 

Retail

Customers are often carrying out multiple negotiations in their head whilst browsing in a store: Do I really need this? Does this fit? Can I afford this? Having a level of noise which is invasive to these thoughts can encourage customers to retreat and potentially shop elsewhere.  

Hospitality

In 2016, Consumer Reports surveyed complaint types across several restaurant chains and found excessive noise levels to be the most commonly occurring complaint, above poor service, problematic food prep, and even cleanliness.  

Being able to regulate noise is especially important in a restaurant where guests expect a certain level of ambience that allows for conversation and a sense of intimacy. 

Click here to download our free Hospitality plant displays brochure. 

Corporate

Busy offices are filled with distracting and interruptive noise that can reduce the productivity of employees. A sharp increase in virtual meetings taking place in offices has also made acoustics a more important consideration than ever before. Time lost through being unable to communicate clearly due to excessive noise can be costly and may frustrate customers and clients. 

A 2021 study conducted by Cambridge University established a link between open-plan office noise and both stress and negative mood. They found that negative mood increased by 25% and sweat response by 34% in participants.

Click here to download our free Corporate plant displays brochure. 

Education

Classrooms usually share a wall with another classroom and often look out onto a busy playground. This can impact the behaviour of pupils and therefore the results they achieve. It is important for teachers to be able to be heard clearly and for outside distractions to be minimised to create the best environment for learning.  

The Royal College of Agriculture’s research found that attentiveness increases with plants in the classroom. When students taught in classrooms with plants were compared to students in non-plant classrooms, those in plant classrooms showed 70% more attentiveness.

 

How do plants absorb sound? 

Through deflection, absorption, and refraction; plants provide a colourful antidote to the chaos of a busy commercial space. 

In a similar way to carpet, plants act as a sponge for noise. Plants can be used as a barrier to deflect and prevent sound waves from travelling. Sound bounces from impermeable surfaces such as walls and hard storage units, whereas plants are porous to support photosynthesis which also gives them the ability to absorb sound waves from the air. Their thirst for air also helps to eliminate echoes which are a major contributor to noise pollution.  

Absorbent    

Plants such as the Dracaena Janet Craig, Pachira Aquatica and Spathiphyllum are commonly touted as being the ‘best’ at cancelling indoor noise, however, there are some general characteristics to look out for when sourcing plants to improve acoustics.  

A dense population of leaves on a plant increases their capability to trap sound and soften the acoustics in a room. Plants that are equipped with thick leaves and a large surface area will normally dampen noise to a greater degree. 

The volume of plants in any space will determine the degree to which noise can be dampened. More is always better but there will of course be limitations on space, budget and practicality to consider. 

The placement of plants will also influence how well they are able to soak up noise. Plants placed around the perimeter of a room and grouped together will have a more noticeable impact than plants that are sparsely placed in the centre of a room. 

We always recommend speaking to an expert to ensure suitability. Our friendly team can offer advice on specific plant types that are compatible with your climate and provide a full maintenance service to ensure they continue to thrive.  

 

How to use plants to dampen sound

We are bursting with creative solutions that can simultaneously make your setting more harmonious and aesthetically pleasing. 

Moss Walls 

Our Nordik Moss Walls are a popular alternative to traditional planting that require minimal maintenance whilst saving on valuable floor space. They provide excellent sound-absorbing properties, helping to dampen noise and improve working conditions in almost any indoor environment.  

Moss used on a wall is dense and tightly packed and has been proven to reduce noise levels by up to 10dB with an absorption rating of 0.96. International Noise Awareness Day estimates the average sound level in a busy restaurant to be around 85 decibels. This is just below the legal limit for daily or weekly personal noise exposure, which is set at 87dB, meaning that a moss wall could be the difference in keeping a space compliant whilst also protecting the safety of staff and guests alike.  

You might just notice a 3 dB change in noise level, because of the way our ears work. Yet every 3 dB doubles the noise, so what might seem like small differences in the numbers can be quite significant. – Noise at work: Guidance for employers on the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, published by the University of Glasgow. 

Alternative methods to dampen noise

Plants are just one of many methods interior designers can use to improve the acoustic qualities of an indoor commercial space. Acoustic battens/screens and selecting soundproof doors, windows and interior walls can also help to reduce noise levels but lacks the beauty and benefits of biophilia that plants can offer.  

To chat with a member of our team or obtain a free quotation, call us today on 01324 861300 

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Untap the potential of your outdoor area this summer

Outdoor areas have provided a lifeline for hospitality venues over the last two summers as businesses were forced to operate under a variety of restrictions. Whilst we hope for a much more normal summer in 2022, we expect outdoor areas to continue to provide a valuable source of income for hotels, bars, and restaurants alike.  

The benefits  

A great outdoor area will increase the capacity of a venue and can provide a valuable source of income all year round – a key opportunity at a time when many hospitality venues are trying to recuperate operating losses. Bars or restaurants with an outdoor area that is eye catching and inviting can also pull in passing trade bringing new customers to the business. Following a great experience, these new customers may become regulars beyond the peak season and provide valuable word-of-mouth exposure both online and in real life.  A great outdoor area can also attract customers that might still be a little cautious about indoor spaces following the pandemic.       

High expectations

Many customers are now “outdoor dining connoisseurs”. Due to the variety of restrictions the hospitality industry was forced to operate under, many consumers will now have experienced Al Fresco dining from a variety of venues. This experience makes consumers more knowledgeable and qualified to define what makes a great outdoor space, and their expectations will therefore be higher as a result.  

Websites like OpenTable and Bevvi allows users to view nearby restaurants and beer gardens specifying if they wish to book indoors or outdoors. Naturally, customers will research several venues on these platforms before deciding where to book, and making your outdoor area stand out from your competitors will give you a significant advantage. 

Success story   

Times Square in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre is a great example of how to elevate your outdoor areas as they were overwhelmed with bookings ahead of reopening after refurbishing their outdoor areas last year. Whilst this success can be partly attributed to a national thirst to socialise once again after months of strict lockdown measures; what was it that made customers visit Times Square ahead of other beer gardens reopening across the city? 

Seating was comfortable and sensibly laid out making social distancing possible in a way that didn’t seem invasive. There was adequate shelter provided with parasols and plenty of heaters to ensure guests stayed warm. Plants gave the outdoor area a welcomed sense of nature in the heart of the bustling city centre and provided a degree of shelter. As more and more guests visited the beer garden and shared their experiences online, this created a snowball effect meaning a large part of their marketing efforts were outsourced to their own customers reliably establishing their position as the place to be for outdoor drinks in Glasgow.    

Implementation 

Any unused outdoor space is a golden opportunity, providing the appropriate steps are taken to ensure you get it right from the start.  

Check the ownership rights and any restrictions before starting. Local council websites are a good source of information on what is normally allowed and, due to the recent pandemic, we understand that some councils are considering cutting red tape for street venues and making it easier for bars, restaurants, and hotels to enjoy even more additional covers throughout the busiest season.   

Some of the things to consider is the capacity of the venue and services offered. This will guide the amount and type of furniture needed, and then map out how this might practically fit in the space. Other decisions will be needed such as what audio/visual equipment to use, ensuring the space has sufficient Wi-Fi coverage, any safety precautions, and then the whole visual aspect of branding, greenery and flowers.   

Whether furniture needs to be cleared away each night or if it can be left in position permanently, will make a difference to the features that have to be included. Furniture taken inside at the end of each day needs to be easily movable so consider materials which are durable and light. There are some excellent products with wheels or castors or other methods of moving them as well as some very compact styles.   

If floor space is at a premium, consider wall mounted fixtures and fittings like awnings or giant parasols and easily movable furniture for ease of storage. Ideally the exterior should match or at least feel cohesive with the interior design.    

Once you have clarified if you have any restrictions on your space you can then look at how to best use the area to maximum advantage.  It’s a great idea to get some professional input into how to lay it out and what to do to make it into a destination venue.   

We are able to advise on many of the practical aspects of creating an outdoor dining space that not only looks great on day one but ensures a hassle-free, vibrant Al Fresco success in the long term. We pull everything together before coming to site so that when our team arrive they will transform your empty space into a whole Al Fresco dining area that is fully operational and looking beautiful in just a few hours!   

Built to last

Consumers are more inclined to continue to use outdoor spaces if the appropriate infrastructure is in place to make Al Fresco dining enjoyable whatever the weather. It is well worth investing in good quality equipment to ensure protection from the common weather conditions of rain, wind, low temperatures and dark evenings in the winter months.  Most items are easily retracted or dismantled for periods of nice weather and in Scotland we have the advantage of some of the longest summer daylight hours in the UK!  Things like plants, flowers, lighting, Wi-Fi and music can transform some of the most utilitarian outdoor spaces into really popular destinations. 

Avoid cutting corners and doing things as cheaply as possible. Providing a poor outdoor area could potentially damage the reputation of your main establishment and overall brand.  

Keep it fresh

It’s important for venues and brands that outdoor dining space looks fresh and inviting.  An annual refresh is generally recommended although there are some very low-cost refresh solutions that can give a new look without having to replace everything.  Good quality parasols, awnings, barriers and furniture should only need replacing or refurbishing every 2 or 3 years.  We have a range of carefully selected ‘UK proof’ products, tried and tested to survive and thrive in our colourful climate! 

 

 

Trends

Bookings for international travel have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels meaning more staycations and an appetite to recreate outdoor hospitality experiences found in warmer climates, domestically. This has been reflected in the types of furniture used in outdoor areas and we are seeing demand for a wider variety of seating types such as swings, hammocks and sun loungers which are often associated with beach clubs abroad.    

Indoor vs Outdoor menues

Certain foods and drink typically served indoors will not always be appropriate in an outdoor setting. Restaurants are increasingly offering more limited menus in response to supply chain issues. This has made businesses more efficient by reducing waste and speeding up service time. Large menus can overwhelm the customer and lead them to question how well a restaurant or bar can possibly do every item on a large menu. 

Outdoor areas for all

Outdoor areas should be enjoyed by visitors of all ages, and you may want to consider providing facilities for our four-legged friends.  

Dog friendly pubs and restaurants have become increasingly popular in hospitality settings in recent years and can be easily replicated outdoors by providing water bowls, treats and a cosy corner for them to relax in.   

A playpark can be a safe and low maintenance way of making an outdoor space fun for children. Activities like table tennis, pool or even giant chess will keep older children entertained and can also be enjoyed by adults.

Get social

Once you have invested in an outdoor area – make sure people know about it! Engage with customers online and encourage reviews and feedback. Keep a keen eye on what competitors are doing with their outdoor spaces and embrace trends.  

Make it quirky and sharable. When considering the design of an outdoor area it is worth considering who the potential customers are and building in some Instagram-worthy features. The team at Benholm Group love creating interesting spaces that people want to be seen at and our bespoke plant & floral features have proven popular on Instagram helping to drive footfall. 

Consider working with influencers who can draw attention to your space in a more authentic way than traditional advertising methods.  

Work with a photographer or videographer who can capture the essence of an outdoor area in an engaging and professional way.  

If appropriate for the setting, hosting events can give consumers an extra reason to visit an outdoor space.  

Don’t delay 

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Why is biophilic design important in commercial interior design?

The use of natural design elements within a commercial setting is not a new phenomenon, but forward-thinking interior designers are now using biophilic design principles more consciously than ever before with a greater appreciation of the benefits it can provide. 

Biophilic design can be most simply described as bringing the benefits of the outdoors, indoors. The purpose of such a design goes beyond just the aesthetic; it incorporates nature to nurture an innate human need to connect with our natural environment, creating a tangible feeling of nature that is ever-present without ever being overpowering. 

If you struggle to articulate the benefits of biophilic design to clients, or simply want to learn more, this article will help you to quantify and easily explain the importance of biophilic design in a commercial setting. 

A LASTING IMPRESSION

Employees are not the only consideration when thinking about biophilic design. A company’s premises will also make an impression online, on passing foot traffic and external clients visiting the building. Having a well thought out design based on biophilic design principles, and which is harmonious with the workplace, can give that moment of wow factor that will encourage people to interact with your business and keep them coming back.  

POST PANDEMIC WORKPLACES  

As we begin to move into a post pandemic world and back to a more normal way of working, many businesses are reconsidering their working practises. This will often mean refurbishment or the opening of new premises making it the ideal time to include biophilic design in your strategy. 

Based on a 40-hour working week and assuming 8 hours of sleep a night, a full-time employee will typically spend over 35% of their waking hours in their office. Unfortunately, workplaces often tend to be stripped of much of their connection to the natural environment. Many employees who were working from home, used plants as a way to create a space that is comfortable for them. According to The Garden Centre Association houseplant sales in 2021 were up 29.40% in comparison to 2020 figures, and up 50.19% on 2019. As workers transition out of the home office back to the typical office, many employers are considering creating spaces which are less clinical and feel more compelling and inspiring to create a productive and happy workforce.  

The Human Spaces report: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design (BD) in the Workplace found that:  

  • Biophilic Design in the workplace has a strong, measurable impact on key employee outcomes such as well-being, productivity and creativity. 
  • Those who work in environments with natural elements report a 15% higher level of well-being, a 6% higher level of productivity and a 15% higher level of creativity than those who work in environments devoid of nature. 
  • Surprisingly large numbers of employees reported having little or no contact with nature in their workplace – 47% report having no natural light and 58% report having no live plants.

Biophilic design can also aid retention and help to attract new talent to businesses. Green spaces communicate to workers that their employers care about them and their welfare.  

BESPOKE SOLUTIONS    

There are now more possibilities than ever before in how biophilic design can be executed to align an organization’s space with its key messages. In recent years, we have seen the introduction of the irresistibly sharable living walls and branded installations allowing more specific messaging whilst still giving sense of sustainability. 

 

Jack Daniels Nordik Moss panel
Jack Daniels Nordik Moss panel

Plants can also be used as a stylish way to clearly separate areas of an office, restaurant or retail space, and give a sense of privacy in open plan areas. Cabinet top planting, window sill and grid shelving planters, and hanging planters all allow you to feel the benefits of biophilic design without sacrificing valuable floor space.

 

SOUND ABSORPTION

Ringing phones, machines, footsteps on hard floors, and a constant buzz of conversation are just some of the typical sounds found within shops, restaurants, and offices. These noises are distracting and interruptive, and overall make employees less productive. Through deflection, absorption and refraction; plants can provide a colourful antidote to the chaos of a busy commercial space. Our Nordik Moss Walls also provide excellent sound-absorbing properties, helping to dampen noise and improve working conditions in almost any indoor environment. 

NATURES AIR PURIFIER

Having a healthy pool of employees is critical to any well-run business and absence through illness can be costly. Pre-pandemic government figures revealed that the UK economy lost almost £92 billion in 2019 as a result of ill-health related absence in the workplace. Busy indoor spaces often hold a lot of recycled air and plants can help to purify the air of harmful pollutants. The Agricultural University of Oslo conducted a study across 51 offices and reported a reduction in fatigue, headaches, sore/dry throats, coughs, asthma and dry facial skin in offices with sufficient greenery. 

Live office plants
Live office plants

SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE

Bringing the benefits of biophilic design to your business doesn’t have to be time consuming, and you can rely on our expertise to help bring your vision to life. We are bursting with creative ideas on how to transform your space, regardless of the setting. Whether you choose to buy or rent from us, our friendly team will take care of the installation and maintenance of your plants minimising any disruption to your business. 

 

NEXT STEPS

Biophilic Design is proving to be more than a trend or well-timed business opportunity, and the benefits it can bring are plentiful.  Having nature in a workplace is significant to influence positive behaviour, promote wellbeing and achieve organizational objectives. We now understand plants can be more than just visually appealing and, as a key contributor to biophilic design, can be used to create spaces that are more productive, more creative, that are calmer, less stressful, and more restorative.  

Blur the lines between the outdoors and indoors. Talk to our team to find out more information or get a free tailored quote – 01324 861 300 

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What to expect as an interior designer when working with Benholm

Plants are a science in their own right and incorporating greenery within a commercial space can be daunting. At Benholm, we assist with all aspects of designing, specifying, creating, installing, and maintaining plants to make the entire process as stress free and easy as possible.     

We wanted to give you an idea of what to expect when working with Benholm so that you can be sure you are in safe and knowledgeable hands throughout your journey with us.   

Who we are and what we do  

As a family run business with almost thirty years of experience; we have built a diverse portfolio of work which has helped enhance the reputation of the companies we work with and stand out from their competitors.  

We service the whole of the UK and offer an extensive selection of real and artificial plants which either can be rented or purchased. Depending on your location, we are sometimes able to facilitate overseas orders.  

Our head office is situated in central Scotland where we proudly maintain Scotland’s longstanding horticultural trading history. We encourage interior designers to visit our showroom, meet the team, and get a closer look at the products and services we offer.   

We work with some of Scotland and the UK’s most prominent interior designers, helping to bring their creative vision to life with the perfect plants and flowers for any space. We are Living Wall specialists and offer bespoke green wall design and specification, with expert advice on the irrigation systems and supplementary lighting we use.  

Our culture is guided by “The Three Cs” and informs every aspect of how we operate: We are Creative, We have a Can-do attitude, and We are Caring. 

Specification  

  • We begin each project with an initial discussion over email, telephone or Zoom to get a better understanding of your needs.   
  • We would then follow up with a meeting, or site visit if required, or by consulting drawings/3D models, which helps us to visualise the space and determine what plants will work best. We can provide samples to compliment a mood board and give a better representation of how our plants will feel, as well as look, in your space.    
  • Our talented design team will then get to work creating a bespoke idea for your brief. We’ll present this to you and collaborate with you until we have a solution that you and your client feel is perfect.   
  • Benholm’s team of horticulturalists, florists and creative installers are then able to expertly create and install the chosen design and can also maintain the planting on an ongoing basis to ensure plants are kept lush and healthy.    

You can find out more about the key differences between rental, purchase, and maintenance here

Knowledge and Education    

We have more than just a keen eye for what looks great; we also have a deep understanding of the scientific benefits of biophilic design.  

We have the accreditations you would expect of an exceptional supplier – ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO25001. Our extensive knowledge of plants can add a new dimension to your offer and set you apart from your competition.     

We provide free CPD training for you and your team on “Using plants to support biophilic design” and use feedback from these sessions to ensure the content is always relevant and engaging.    

“Thank you for the great CPD. We all learnt a lot and it really made me think about future uses!”    

“We all remember your CPD.  It made such a refreshing change from the usual technical details of standard building materials!”    

“Your CPD has changed our approach.  Biophilic elements are now amongst the first things we discuss with our clients.”    

We regularly publish and comment on the latest industry trends across our social media channels and have a range of handy materials and examples of projects we have worked on throughout our website. 

We also provide access to an image gallery packed with over 300 plant types from our global network of growers to provide inspiration for your designs. The images in this gallery are in PNG format with a transparent background making them perfect for use on mood boards and project presentations.  

Collaboration and Innovation

We value the power of collaboration and nurture the lasting relationships we have built as we do our plants and flowers. 

In 2021 we partnered with luxury CBD skincare brand, La Rue Verte and award-winning DJ, Brian D’Souza, to create a multi-sensory hotel room immersive spa experience within Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel which combines the theory of biophilia with CBD rituals, meditation, and sound therapy. By combining these theories, we created a one-of-a-kind experience and what one guest described as the recipe to a perfect night’s sleep.

Timescales

We understand that there are many moving parts to an interior design project. We aim to make things as easy as possible for you to meet your client’s timescales with clarity around lead times for the various products being specified.

From your very first contact with our design consultants, until installation of your design and beyond, our friendly team will maintain a consistent and transparent line of contact with you so that you know what to expect throughout.   

The timescales we provide will depend on the planting specification and complexity of the installation. Most installations are carried out within 4 or 5 weeks from order but sometimes it can be quicker if it includes items we have in stock. Our administration team will keep in touch with you so that you know where everything is up to and when to expect our team on site. If you have a specific deadline for an opening etc. we will always do everything we can to meet your timescales.  

Don’t just take our word for it, click here to read an interview with Design Director, Tracey Forbes who shared her experiences of working with Benholm.

“Benholm are responsive, they really get to the ground of a project, from design right through to installation and maintenance. They are always involved; dropping off samples, offering advice – they really are the experts” – Tracey Forbes, 442 Design

 

Maintenance

We provide a full maintenance service to ensure your client’s plants look as vibrant and healthy as the day they were installed. Our talented team of technicians will visit the premises regularly to carry out a full inspection of the plants. We will also clean, feed, prune and water the plants according to their specific requirements and replace any dead, ailing or even overgrown plants at no extra cost.  Artificial plants and preserved moss, whilst needing minimal maintenance, can be included in a regular scheme to keep everything looking as beautiful as you designed it.

Get in touch

No matter how vague or complicated your design may be, we are confident we can find a solution that works for you. We’re responsive, professional with a market leading breadth of solutions and ideas for you to choose from. We work with companies of all sizes throughout the UK. Get in touch today and let us bring your ideas to life.    

To talk to our team and find out more information or get a free tailored quote, call us on 01324 861 300 or email mail@benholm.com    

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Moss Walls: Answering Interior Designers most common questions

Moss Walls are still a reasonably new way of incorporating greenery into a commercial space and clients who are unfamiliar with these walls may have reservations of how appropriate they are for their setting. 

 Here, we will address some of the most common questions we are asked by Interior Designers about moss walls to arm you with the knowledge to demonstrate to clients why they can provide a striking and efficient solution for their space.  

  1. Is preserved moss still alive and does it continue to grow?  

  2. Does a preserved moss wall need to be regularly sprayed or watered?  

  3. What maintenance do moss walls require?    

  4. What is the typical lifespan of a moss wall?    

  5. What colours of moss are available?  

  6. Are there different types of preserved moss?  

  7. Do moss walls have a smell?    

  8. Do they attract pests?    

  9. Where can a moss wall be installed?   

  10. Do you provide a design service for your moss walls?  

  11. How long does it take to install a moss wall?    

1. Is preserved moss still alive and does it continue to grow?  

No. Preserved moss is a sustainable material, harvested by hand in a controlled manner from some of the most beautiful forests in Scandinavia, and is 100% biodegradable. It is preserved using natural minerals to stop it from growing and retain it in it’s natural state indefinitely. Simply sit back and enjoy.    

Because it is a real preserved product, a Nordik Moss wall will still offer many of the benefits of Biophilic design that a living wall would. As an added bonus, they are also fire safe, resistant to discolouration and hypoallergenic.  

2. Does a preserved moss wall need to be regularly sprayed or watered?  

As our Nordik Moss walls are created using a range of preserved natural moss products, they do not require to be regularly sprayed or watered as a living green wall would. 

3. What maintenance do moss walls require?    

In addition to their flexibility for design and sound absorption qualities; another main benefit of a moss wall versus a living wall is the minimal maintenance they require. Provided physical damage is avoided, they should effortlessly retain their distinctive look for years after installation. In the unlikely event that a Nordik Moss Wall ever needs a little refurbishment, or if it does get damaged, we can provide a speedy one-off repair service.    

Whilst many customers choose not to have a formal maintenance arrangement, a regular six-monthly minimal maintenance visit is advised to ensure it stays looking great.   

 

4. What is the typical lifespan of a moss wall? 

Provided the moss is not subject to physical damage or a drastic change in conditions in which it is kept, a moss wall should last indefinitely and many of our original installations continue to delight our clients to the present day.  

5. What colours of moss are available? 

Nordik moss is a honeydew colour in its natural state but can be coloured to create unique focal points that will delight and inspire.  

 

6. Are there different types of preserved moss? 

We responsibly source a variety of preserved moss types such as reindeer moss, bun moss and forest moss for our green walls. Their different textures allow us to create detailed patterns, words, or logos, on flat, contoured or 3D surfaces. 

7. Do moss walls have a smell?    

A recently installed Nordik Moss wall may give off a natural, earthy smell similar to the comforting scents of the forests they are sourced from. Normally this will only be noticeable at close range and should only last a few weeks after installation.  It is rare that any smell is noticeable unless it is in a small, enclosed space.  

 

8. Do they attract pests? 

No. Moss walls are made up of preserved rather than live plants, so they do not need to be fed or watered. Insects are attracted to the moisture and soil in plants, neither of which are found on our moss walls, making them an unattractive place for insects to live.   

9. Where can a moss wall be installed? 

Moss walls can be used to great effect in office reception areas and meeting rooms, in public spaces such as waiting areas and hallways, and in commercial buildings, such as shopping centres, hotels, restaurants, and showrooms, as well as in high-end residential projects. Moss walls are lightweight and can normally be hung on any type of wall.  

Preserved moss is not suitable for exterior use.   

They should be located away from heat sources such as radiators or areas where they would be subject to extreme direct sunlight. Whilst this shouldn’t affect the moss wall visually, excessive heat can cause the moss to become dry and brittle making it more susceptible to accidental damage.  Moss walls are not suitable for wet or very humid areas such as pool-sides and saunas as this can cause the moss to sweat making the colours run or fade. Care should be taken in high traffic areas or where they are likely to be brushed against as it is a natural product and can be damaged.

 

10. Do you provide a design service for your moss walls?

Yes. Whether you have a specific design in mind, or just like the idea of a moss wall but are unsure how this should be executed, our team will provide expert advice and suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.  

11. How long does it take to install a moss wall?    

The length of time it takes us to install a moss wall will depend on the specification and complexity of the design. Most installations are carried out within four or five weeks from order, and we will endeavour to complete your order within the timescales you need. From your very first contact with our design consultants, until installation of your Nordik Moss wall and beyond, our friendly team will maintain a consistent line of contact with you so that you know what to expect throughout.  

Click here to see a gallery of our Moss Walls and living walls in action. If you have a design you would like to bring to life or would like to pick the brains of our creative team, get in touch for a free quotation today.   

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What is the difference between rental, purchase, and maintenance?

At Benholm, we offer an extensive selection of real and artificial plants which either can be rented or purchased. Rented plants include a maintenance contract to ensure your plants look as vibrant and healthy as the day they were installed. This contract is also available for purchased plants, and whether you’ve rented or purchased plants from us, there is no difference in the maintenance service we provide.  

Incorporating greenery into interior spaces has become an increasingly important consideration for organisations of all sizes and office plant rental is on the rise. There is now a range of options available to rent, purchase and maintain plants, so it’s important to fully understand these to ensure you make an informed decision for your business or space. 

Within this article there are no right or wrong answers, and there are various incentives for both purchasing and renting, but it will highlight the key considerations to make so that you can choose what’s best for you with confidence. 

Expert advice 

We recognise that plants are really a science in their own right and therefore selecting the right plants to use in your premises and their maintenance requirements could be daunting. Our creative and reliable team of consultants take away this stress and give honest advice on which plants to use for both practical and decorative purposes. As a family run business with almost thirty years of experience; we have built a diverse portfolio of work and testimonials which have helped the companies we work with stand out from their competitors and deliver memorable experiences. This expert advice together with our fully maintained rental or purchase and maintenance options, will give you the peace of mind and allow you to focus on what matters most to your business. 

Initial outlay 

Purchasing plants outright rather than renting often makes most sense for those working with a Capex budget, and a one-time transaction can be appealing when allocated funds to use for a new or refurbished space. Whilst your initial outlay will obviously be more than renting, purchasing can often prove to be less expensive over the long term. Another benefit to purchasing plants is that they then belong to you giving you the flexibility to do what you like with them.

Flexibility

When you rent our plant displays, we retain the ownership of them, and this can provide you with flexibility in a number of different ways. Although negotiable, our rental agreements typically last a minimum of three years which can significantly reduce the up-front cost of installing plants in your premises. Rental is normally invoiced quarterly in advance and the price you agree also remains fixed throughout the minimum term of the contract making it easier for budget management. We also appreciate that a company’s branding, space, and objectives can change so we are always happy to discuss altering your existing design to meet your business needs, whilst also keeping up to date with the latest trends. If you need to change your premises during the term; we will normally move the plants for you to ensure they are transported safely to your new location and the plants are properly protected from any adverse weather. Should you wish to cancel your plant contract you can do so at any time after the minimum term by providing us with the standard cancellation notice.  

 

Live Plants Maintenance 

Whether you’ve rented or bought plants from us, there is no difference in the maintenance services we offer. A dedicated Benholm technician will typically only need to visit your premises every four weeks, made possible by our watering reservoir technique, but this is not set in stone and the frequency of our visits is also influenced by the needs of your plants. During our maintenance visits, we are happy to answer any questions you may have, and you can expect us to carry out a full inspection of your plants. We will also clean, feed, prune and water the plants according to their specific requirements and replace any dead, ailing or even overgrown plants at no extra cost. Should you need help or have any questions or regarding your office plants maintenance beyond our regular visits, our friendly team can be contacted for advice or to arrange a visit via email or telephone

Purchase and rental of artificial plants

We offer a wide range of incredibly realistic artificial plants which can be both purchased and rented. Our artificial rental plants also come with a maintenance contract as they do still require a degree of care. Maintenance of artificial plants are usually less costly than live plants maintenance, and our visits will be less frequent – usually on a quarterly, six monthly or even annual basis. During our maintenance visits we will dust the plants, inspect for any signs of damage, rearrange the foliage and we can include a replacement program for the plants if required.

 

What you need to do

From our first contact and throughout our relationship with you, we aim to make the process of installing and having plants in your premises as seamless and enjoyable as possible. All we ask is to be mindful of the temperature of the building which hosts our plants. Most of our indoor plants are tropical plants, so it is critical that the temperature never drops below 10-12 degrees centigrade. This is an important consideration for restaurant plant hire and office plant hire, where premises may have seasonal closure or remain unused for long periods of time during holidays.

We also strongly recommend that the maintenance of live plants is left strictly to ourselves and not attempted by anyone else.  It is our pleasure to take care of this for you so, sit back, relax, and enjoy your plants! 

Sustainability 

When your rented plants are no longer required or are being updated we take a sustainable approach and the plants, containers and growing medium are all reused or repurposed if possible and any plant waste is composted.  

In conclusion… 

Having looked at the various benefits of both renting and purchasing plants, and the importance of a having a maintenance contract, we hope you now have a better understanding of what is most suitable for your organisation or project. Whether you choose to buy or rent from us, our team will take care of the installation of your plants minimising any disruption to your business. We are bursting with ideas on how to transform your space, regardless of the setting. From office plants to restaurant planting, we can offer creative solutions that increase footfall, and inspires employees and customers alike. Once your desired aesthetic has been achieved, our maintenance team will continue to ensure they live a long and healthy life. Lean on our expertise, so you can focus on yours. 

We work with companies of all sizes throughout the UK. To talk to our team and find out more information or get a free tailored quote, call us on 01324 861 300. 

Download our free Corporate plant displays brochure.