By George Reader
When planning holiday décor for commercial facilities, a good place to start is with a definitive timeline, budget, theme, and placement plan that will enhance the building and provide a festive atmosphere for employees and visitors. When making any kind of holiday plan, decorating included, the earlier it is put on the list the better. Many businesses want a festive look by Thanksgiving, so as early in the year as possible is a good time to start thinking about how and where you plan to decorate the facility for the holiday season.
Facility managers (fms) involved in this process will want to start thinking about holiday decorating in January or February 2014 for the 2015 holiday season. Definitely don’t put it off past springtime. If custom decorations—such as company logos turned into ornaments—are desired, planning needs to be done even earlier.
One avenue to pursue in getting decorations in place is purchasing them and keeping them stored year after year. However, when considering it may take thousands of strands of holiday lights and several wreaths, trees, and other holiday decorations, renting them can turn out to be the best option—and the best value. After the first year, decorations may begin to look dated and eventually they will become damaged and worn which costs money to repair or replace. A rental agreement with a firm that specializes in interior holiday décor means the decorations are refurbished as needed, there will be no storage concerns, and it may be easier on the fm and the budget.
Achieving The Right Look
Once the timeline and budget have been worked out, it is time to think about the theme. A good start here is to get a sense of the building employees and owners. Would they prefer holiday but a non-Christmas theme? If so, then one solution might be bare branch trees in containers that would offer a winter theme and could still be decorated with ornaments and lights.
There are some dynamic variables of color themes that can fit into any interior so facilities should not feel compelled to stay with traditional red and green. For example, take a company that has a lobby with a high-tech look, with walls and décor in gray, silver, and white. They may may want a holiday feel but not traditional, so a dramatic and modern color scheme of red, silver, and black can be striking and festive.
And speaking of tradition, poinsettias aren’t the only holiday plant available. Live bromeliads are showy, hold up well all season, and aren’t overused like poinsettias.
Adding To The Festive Appeal
Scenting may be another consideration when it comes to holiday décor. Provided either through an HVAC system or in a scenting cube placed within a holiday scene, scenting mechanisms can add to the festive atmosphere with a whiff of gingerbread, peppermint, pumpkin latte, or pine.
The next step is location. Holiday decorations will have the most impact in highly traveled locations such as building entrances, cafeterias, and common areas. Fms should notice square footage of the space as well as height restrictions to see if there are areas that could function as a focal point for decoration. A composition in the middle of the space creates a depth of experience as occupants walk through the area to their destination. Check to see how many outlets are available for lights and if there will be space for props such as nutcrackers, snow people, or packages.
As with most things today, when it comes to decorating, less really is more. An effective design can provide as much pop for the money as having the holidays dripping from every corner of the building.
Top 5 Considerations For Holiday Décor
• Should you buy or rent?
• Work from a budget
• What is the message the organization wants to convey? Is it a traditional or a more tailored message that showcases the building or business?
• Timeline: The earlier the better for more decoration options
• Consider what is important to employees and leadership of the building. Do they want a holiday but non-Christmas experience?
Remember: a timeline, budget, theme, and placement plan are the tools needed to provide beautiful, festive and building appropriate holiday décor. Happy holidays!
Reader is a designer/consultant for Ambius. The company offers a full spectrum of services to enhance the interior space for the hospitality, healthcare, retail and commercial industries with services including ambient scenting, interior landscaping, holiday décor, decorative wall art, and flower deliveries to businesses in 18 countries.