Case Study: Plant Design Meets ADA Standards

Design by Casey Shmaltz

Live plants help non-profit meet ADA standards.

Plant Interscapes works with organizations to not only add live plants and containers to look great, but meet their bottom line.

Benefits of plants in the work place

For property managers, live plants increase productivity and the well being for their tenants. Office plants not only add to the aesthetics of the environment, but lowers workplace stress. Hotel plants actually increase revenue per guest.

Plants have many great benefits for the workplace in all types of environments. In addition, plants help organizations meet building standards like in this next case.

Case Study: Avenida Guadalupe meets ADA standards

live plants improve multi-tenant building standards

In this case, I collaborated with the building architect to ensure the plant design matched with the interior architecture features of sharp, geometric shapes.

The orange color of the crotons highlight the interior paint colors with a pop of orange and yellow.

In the end, the design needed to be approved by the appropriate agencies to ensure meeting ADA (Americans with Disabilities) standards. The non-profit had ADA standard issues with their staircase. I put a design together that created a safety barrier for vision-impaired visitors by using our earth walls, while displaying colorful crotons that matched the interior décor.

The multiplicity of plants are endless – – functionality, beauty, and even for safety purposes!

Need help getting your building ready for inspection or just want to revitalize? Get a free plant design when you submit a photo of your space!


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Workhorses and Zebras: Office Plant Design Made Simple

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By Mike Senneff

In every area of life, we have the ordinary—the base…and then we have the extraordinary—the distinctive.

It could be in how we dress.  For men, plain trousers, complementing shirt and then pop it with a colorful tie or blazer. For women, a beautiful dress, matching top and then pop it with jewelry.

For chefs, we know it’s all about presentation. We have the courses plated, but served dish will always have that special garnish to top it off.

And in interior design, it’s often a neutral base, complementary hues, and then that 10% pop of color.

The base is the workhorse. It substantially gets the job done. In dress, culinary plating, design and all things visual, the workhorse is the background.

And then comes the zebra — that unique element that distinctly stands out. It’s that pop that gets our attention. In a field of buckskin horses, what stands out? Where would your eye be drawn?  To the zebra of course. That striped, dramatic and unique member of the horse family.

This concept applies to horticultural design as well — both interior and exterior.

We have our workhorse background plants, those that fill the space. These plants may have height and breadth, which provides an interesting texture and coverage, but they don’t provide that unique attraction.

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They don’t provide that focal point; the spot your eye is drawn over any aspect of the background.

Then comes the attraction. The extraordinarily unique and dramatic specimens or floral elements. It’s the intended focal point. It’s the zebra.

This plant or arrangement is Intentionally selected to be that spot your eye is drawn. It may be a plant with distinctive and interesting branching habits, or it could be colorful flowering plants, those that capture draw attention. It could even be a unique decorative container or combination of other dramatic elements such as rock or cut class. But its purpose is clear — I am special, look at me!

benefits of plants in the office

We couldn’t design with all zebras, nor could we design with all workhorses.  It would be too homogenous and not provide the intended visual interest.

So next time you’re dressing, cooking, painting, or designing with plants, consider the base and consider the dramatic—that place of interest, the focal point.  And place a zebra or two.


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Why We Really Need Plants in the Workplace

By Mike Senneff

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What’s new in the realm of interior plant design?  We’ve actually come a long way!

History of interior plant design in the workplace

We can arguably say that contemporary use of interior plants in the building environment goes back decades, even before the 1960’s.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, indoor plants were originally used for purely aesthetic purposes.  We were spending more time at work, and wanted our spaces to reflect nature.

We not only wanted nature in our workplace, but also at home and near the places we relax.

Fern bars were hung in baskets and Ficus trees were added to the office. Wicker baskets, greenery and all elements of natural surrounding indoors was considered cool and aesthetically pleasing.

At that time, commercial use of indoor plants was equally cool. We had atriums, ceramics and plants everywhere. Whenever it came to an empty corner in a building lobby, design was easy. Adding plants in a group of three always did the trick.

Workplace plants included a tall element plant, medium height filler and a lower focal point of either interesting variegation or a pop of seasonal color. Plants were everywhere!

The 1990’s and early 2000’s ushered change.  No longer were plants cool, but a trend that had been around for a while.

Contemporary building lobby design became contemporary, austere and cold.  Interior atriums gave way to hard stone materials, statuary and art.

No longer were plants an important part of design finish out.  If there were any botanicals in the interior space, they were often relegated to a small color bowl or orchid arrangement.

Then we got real again. We realized what we wanted and what we needed. We realized as humans, we have an innate and natural affinity for life and for nature.

As our cities became more built, as our lives became more urbanized, as we spent more time indoors than ever before in human history, we began to realize we need a connection with nature.

We need plants.

This truth is known as Biophilia.  It refers to the innate and uncompromising requirement for humans to seek nature.

Where do you go on vacation, or where do you go when you need some down-time?

Most of us look to the outdoors.  It could be a visit to the mountains, oceans, deserts or forests.  We crave nature.  Often an after-work walk, a weekend hike or outdoor barbeque will satisfy that craving.

When we’re around nature, it grounds us.

Interior Plant Design Today

So now we’re recognizing plants in the building environment are not all about aesthetics, but about a need.  Maybe they always were, but we didn’t know why.  Now we know it’s because of our biophilic need.

Offices, banks and other commercial buildings rely on interior plants to humanize the work environment.  International research has consistently proven indoor plants help us reduce stress, allow greater creativity and make us more productive while indoors.  And our indoor hours are only increasing.

Plants are now an integral part of contemporary building spaces.  Whether as dynamic freestanding focal points, fascinating living walls or expansive of roof-top gardens—plants are needed for our own health.

Design your building environment with plants.  Plants work!


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Custom Plant Design Creates Productive Building Environment

Hotel Lobby Plants

By Casey Schmaltz

Would you rather have a fresh, green, vibrant and living commercial space or cold, bare and empty?

What type of building environment are you operating in?

The description evokes an emotional response just reading it.

Imagine involving all your tenants’ senses the moment they enter the building. Plants create an interactive environment with the largest impact for the investment.

Visual Experience

People are drawn to an environment when plants are present. Effective plant design can convey your ideal image and brand message.

Appearance and condition of the property is a top category of evaluation among tenants. The atmosphere communicates upscale, modern and established.

It influences prospective tenants to think, “This is a great place to office.” Visitors want to return to conduct daily business.

Custom plant design gives you a competitive edge and helps increase your bottom line.

Long-term Occupancy

Time spent between work and personal time has become fluid.

Employees spend more hours in their work environment conducting personal business and engaging on social media. They look for a space that offers a place of relaxation and privacy.

Plants accomplish both of these things and are considered an added benefit employers can extend to their staff in your building.

Increased Productivity

Tenants who work in plant-filled areas experience less workplace stress and increased productivity.

Studies conducted by Washington State University showed a full 12% increase including faster response times compared to those who worked without plants.

Being connected with nature raises comfort levels and facilitates teamwork.

Green Building

Plants reduce operating and maintenance costs by balancing the building internal temperature and humidity. They reduce levels of carbon dioxide, dust, pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene and nitrogen oxide. The wellness benefits are proven, and they help Property Managers meet LEED standards too.

Connecting with nature at its roots (yeah…we meant that) allows for healthier, happier tenants and guests.

This is what interior landscaping is all about. It utilizes the power of plants to achieve the goals of building owners and managers.

Ready to experience the benefits?


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How Live Plants can Enhance the Hotel Guest Experience

By Cathy Lathrop Sutherland

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Every hotel has an ambience that is created by the room’s decor, furniture, and color scheme. The colors, tones, textures, and embellishments all tell a story and actually send a message about the hotel to guests and employees.

How does your hotel space make guests feel?

Whether the message your hotel communicates is luxury, trendy, boutique, or relaxation, the aesthetics is a major part of the guest experience.

The ability to convey the right feeling can come in many forms from adding art or even moving the furniture around. But there is one addition that is not often utilized to its full potential — live plants.

Benefits of Live Plants in Hotels

Aesthetics

Live plants contribute to the distinct style and feel hotel managers try to convey in their hotel. Like other types of hotel decor, plants and their corresponding vessels can significantly alter the look and feel of a space.

Plants can be used in various ways. They can be the center of attention like a large scale green wall or tall palm trees. Plants can also be used to compliment a small area like in the corner of a sitting area in the lobby or on the welcome desk.

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In addition, adding plants is an economical way to impact and add style to the common areas of the hotel. The feel of the hotel space can be significantly enhanced by the types and sizes of plants and their corresponding vessels, as well as intentional placement.

As much as any other decor item, plants contribute to the overall look and feel of the hotel and the message or tone it’s trying to evoke. Plants and containers come in many sizes, shapes, and colors that will compliment and enhance the rest of the space.

Revenue Per Guest

Guests perceive a hotel space with live, well-cared for plants as more welcoming, relaxed and upscale. In addition, guests are more willing to stay longer and spend more when live plants are in the space.

Increasing occupancy rates is the name of the game for hotel general managers. While many factors can contribute to increased occupancy, studies show that live plants are economical, beautiful contributors. Learn more about increasing occupancy rates

Ready to make the best investment for your hotel?


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Plants Improve Occupancy, Retention Rates

Ren Worth Porte Cache

Why Plants and the Hospitality Industry Make Excellent Roommates

By Brenda Morgan

The hospitality industry is a highly competitive and an ever-evolving market which is all about FIRST IMPRESSION.

Guests want to feel welcomed upon arrival in every sense, therefore, success in the hotel industry is all about having the right look and feel. The appearance and design of a hotel while fundamental are critical to the overall guest experience.

Hotel general managers and owners are finding new ways to improve the aesthetics of their hotels, and one visual component that is increasing in popularity is the addition of live plants, appealing containers and other interior landscaping features from earth walls to living walls, which all add style, decadence and comfort.

Live plants in the reception area create a central focal point in a lobby and are also seen synonymous with luxury. Impressive indoor plants add ambiance to a room and help guests feel more at home and relaxed.

Plant Increase Revenue Per Guest

In addition to aesthetics, extensive research has shown that all plants can have numerous beneficial qualities including reducing stress, improving humidity levels, reducing background noise as well as improving employee productivity.

Because they create a relaxing mood and calm, they actually increase revenue per guest. Guests want to stay longer and return again and again, thus increasing repetitive business and increased occupancy.

The Opryland Hotel (Nashville, TN) enjoys occupancy rates of over 85% each year, which is well above a national average of 68% (Trends).

According to a scientific case study performed by Michael Evans, former associate professor of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the VA Polytechnic Institute, the hotel’s highest occupancy rate is due to the largest investment in indoor gardens in the country.

Currently, there are 12 acres of indoor space with approximately 18,000 indoor plants (and 600 species) valued at well over $1 million. The rooms overlooking the gardens are the first to be reserved and command a higher premium price of at least $50 over rooms that do not offer the garden.

While this is one example, various studies continue to show that live plants can improve occupancy for hotels by as much as 17%!

Interior plants are an excellent design statement and a proven long term investment.  As soon as a guest walks on premises and into the hotel lobby, live plants and foliage will surround them with beauty and provide an overall pleasing first impression.





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Fill Your Vendor List with Quality Business Partners

By Jacob Rodriguez

Hotel Lobby Plants

As a property manager, you work with many vendors from an assortment of industries with varying personality types to ensure your properties look great and remain profitable.

Working with vendors is probably not the most exciting part of your job, but they are important to your business. You need them and they need you.

So how can you save yourself the headache, disappointment, wasted time, uncomfortable conversations, and put simply ineffective working relationships?

Your vendors are not just suppliers. They are business partners that either help keep your business running smoothly or hinder your productivity and become an obstacle that slows you down.

Consider these questions when choosing a great business partner:

  • Do they care about your business and your growth?
  • Are they in it to help you provide better service and/or products to your customers, or are they in it for themselves and the money?
  • Does their product or service solve your problems? – They may have a great elevator pitch, but if they can’t truly solve the problem that you are faced with, they are not a good business partner.
  • Do your values align with theirs?  – What are their core values and do they align with yours? This is so important, and will determine whether the time you spend will be productive, valuable, and enjoyable or ineffective and painful. They don’t need to be perfectly in line, but if you believe in treating your employees well, you should do business with those that treat their employees well.
  • Are they easy to do business with?  Do they invoice the way that you want them to, and do you know who to call when you need something? Are they flexible to work with you and your processes, or do their processes create a headache for you?
  • Do you find value in what they provide?

Ultimately, your business partners should be one that saves your time, money and helps you to grow your business and achieve your purpose.

At Plant Interscapes, we love working with property managers and hotel managers that care about their environment and are always looking for innovative ways to revitalize and refresh a space. Our designers love to work with the client (unless otherwise informed) to produce a design that looks beautiful and works to benefit the environment at hand.


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Plants Benefit Business, Increase Occupancy Rates

By Jonathan Senneff

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What if I told you there is something out there that has the ability to make you happier, healthier, more productive, creative, and optimistic. In addition, it will increase your overall wellbeing while making you less susceptible to illness and depression.

Can you believe this something exists?

What if this same remedy also has a unique application in the business world with the ability to reduce absenteeism, increase tenant occupancy and retention, increase retail spending, enhance the perceived value of retail product and service offers, absorb noise and save energy, all the while improving indoor air quality.

Do want this something?

Chances are you are quite familiar with what I am describing and don’t even know it.

PLANTS. And they WORK.

The benefits are exponential. Plants are the most cost effective means to enhancing your environment’s physical appearance and occupant’s physiological state. Moreover, they have an immense impact on the chemical makeup of the air we breathe.

On average, people now spend 80-90% of their life indoors in artificial environments. This new modern lifestyle presents us with new problems within our indoor situations to consider concerning our health and wellbeing.

The study of these positive or negative effects our environment has on us is called environmental psychology, and conclusions of these studies have clearly shown that the environment in which we commonly operate have significant effects on our sense of well-being, emotion stability and stress limits.

Why or how does the natural environment have this effect on us?

We are innately connected to nature as it is the true constant in a world in which we have altered to suit our modern needs. This biophilic connection is often overlooked in our modern society and the results of ignoring our dire need to retreat to nature should be considered as a need and not a want.

Healthy indoor plants are the greenest way to ensuring a productive environment from an aesthetical and health benefit standpoint. All these associate benefits are only realized if you have indoor plants that are living and thriving. A professional interior landscaper has the tools and expertise needed to ensure you are maximizing your benefits and caring for your investment.

hotel lobby plants

Seasonscapes 2014 Holiday Installations

Enjoy some highlights and a couple lowlights of a few 2014 Christmas Holiday installations by our Seasonscapes crews over the past 8 weeks.  We are proud and thankful for the many opportunities to bring joy Christmas spirit throughout Texas!  Have a Merry Christmas and may God bless.

Hotel Lobby Plants and Their Effect on Guest Health

Hotel Valencia HolidayWhen you’re looking for ways to improve the guest experience, hotel lobby plants may not be at the top of your list. But they should be. Guests might not talk about how great the plants looked, but that’s okay. One of the best things about the benefits of hotel lobby plants is that their impact is felt in subtle ways most guests won’t even notice.

For instance, walking into a lobby full of lush, thriving plant life provides guests with an atmosphere of fresh, clean air. This can be a sharp contrast to city air that is contaminated with car exhaust, industrial pollution, and cigarette smoke. That lungful of pristine oxygen leads to feelings of relaxation and happiness. Best of all, guests have no idea what’s causing this newfound repose—they just know they started feeling great as soon as they entered your hotel.

Once you install air-cleaning hotel lobby plants, you may find that guests are spending more time in your hotel lobby. They’re watching TV, taking advantage of the WiFi, working, or enjoying a beverage while they bask in all that clean air your plants have provided. Guests may also notice how the temperature and humidity is so perfect and comfortable—without ever realizing your hotel lobby plants affected that as well.

The covert benefits of plants are their own reward. Other strategies for increasing guest spending involve more obvious benefits such as sale pricing, improved amenities, or the customer service provided by staff. However, a portion of your client base will always be skeptical of overt attempts to win their business. With plants, the impact is subtle but powerful.

In addition to providing more breathable air, plants reduce ambient noise and can provide pleasing scents without artificial chemicals. The right plants can even make a headache go away! What other amenity can promise that?

Working with a plant care specialist or reputable vendor can help you select hotel lobby plants that can provide these benefits and more—allowing you to have a positive impact on the experience and health of your guests. For further details or assistance, contact Plant Interscapes at 1-888-284-2257.