Interview with Tracey Forbes, Design Director, 442 Design

In this exclusive interview we talk with Tracey Forbes, Design Director of Edinburgh based, interior design consultancy, 442 Design with whom Benholm Group have collaborated with by providing bespoke planting solutions for multiple projects. We find out what it’s like to work with Benholm on a new project, how the industry is changing its view on biophilic design and how 442 Design are choosing to lead the way with planting solutions.

Tell us why you believe it’s so important to include planting in interior design?

Now more than ever, we are seeing a real increase in biophilic design within the office and retail sector. No one can argue against the benefits of nature for improving mental and physical health and it needs to be at the heart of our building systems – not just a nice to have – it’s our job at 442 Design to filter this into our projects.

How have Benholm Group been able to assist you in including planting into your designs?

We have working with Benholm numerous times in the past, most notably on a stunning, lush, vibrant green wall inside Arsenal FC’s offices. We were able to use this project as a showpiece to demonstrate to clients how we can effectively bring the outdoors-indoors, to create real impact with plants; this was the springboard for us to bring Benholm in on new projects.

Tell us about creating the new ‘Botanics shop’ for Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

The new shop is located in the heart of the garden itself, so it was really important to include vibrant planting in our design – artificial plants just wouldn’t cut it! Nature was the real USP of this project and it was important that any planting we included highlighted this. That’s why Benholm’s Nordik Moss was so good – its preserved so would continue to looking fresh and green, but it doesn’t need any irrigation, so it was the perfect solution for the signage and LED screen panels that we created. The moss was the ideal background to blend technology into nature and it really made the signage stand out, whilst staying on-brand.

What do Benholm offer you that our competitors couldn’t?

Planting is so important to help inject energy and vibrancy into an interior, but sometimes clients can be nervous about including living plants in their interiors due to concerns over budget, longevity and freshness, but Benholm were able offer a wide range of choice for both living and artificial planting, plus their expertise, installation and maintenance options are excellent. We choose Benholm to work with time and time again as they are responsive, flexible and have a great range of planting options to suit any budget.

“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

Your team took part in one of our CPD training days – what was this like?

Excellent. It was a fun day and something a little different for our team – they all enjoyed it! Benholm take a real partnership approach; their in-depth knowledge feeds my team and adds another skill to include in our schemes. The training offered us a backstory and helped us to specify the right plants in the right environment, it really opened our eyes to the possibilities of plants. I’d like to do more days like that to see more planting options and to be updated on key trends.

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