Living design


This week, we’ve been thinking about how plants can be incorporated into retail design. It’s particularly relevant for food & drink retailing where they can play a role in underpinning the freshness of the offer.

A short walk around Sherlock’s home city of Brighton, for example, throws up some varied examples of where plants are being used in order to break up, freshen up and generally enhance retail environments:

(1) Itsu

The Asian-inspired eatery chain, Itsu, has used magenta orchids to complement its brand colour palette. Their striking image catches the eyes of passers-by whilst their elegant, clean form is a nod to Itsu’s ethos of simple but tasty food, and clean eating. In fact,s it’s something that Itsu itself draws attention to on the signs next t the orchids: “Itsu orchids are fresh & beautiful (a bit like our food…)”

(2) Workshop

Independent homeware store Workshop has installed a sales counter complete with living plants. The calming, green shades work well within the space, which makes extensive use of natural colour tones and wood.

(3) Waterstones

Waterstones’s Brighton store has a terrarium café. These living microcosms provide a bridge between the shelves of books and the café’s tables. They also offer a miniature world for children to gaze into whilst their parents are resting their feet for a few minutes with a coffee.

We think plants have legs… well, in terms of their potential for incorporation into retail spaces anyway: fresh herbs can add scent, flowers can add colour and trees can hide a multitude of structural sins. Note to retailers: plant away!

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