Designing a Floral Designer Studio

Katie of Noonan Designs has a great question for all of us regarding setting up floral studios..

Question #4
I’m opening a floral studio here in San Luis Obispo, California. I’m over the moon about it, but there’s also a million things running through my mind, and questions on layout and practicality. Since I’ve been working out of the home since I opened my business, it would be awesome to hear what shop veterans have to say about opening a studio.
Floral shop owners- if you were to open your shop today or re-design your studio what are the key things, or top 5 elements you would build into the design?

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Last January, we moved from a tiny spot to a 1500sf retail spot. Things I would recommend you think about include storage space (lots and lots of shelving/storage space), a dedicated ribbon area, and easy-clean floors (concrete is great). One thing I wish I’d investigated better was the airflow in the room. My primary processing area gets the most heat in the winter while the rest of the shop is freezing.
Althea of Rose of Sharon Floral Designs, Arkansas

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Wheels!!! On your trashcan, on your cooler shelves, on your flat surface workspaces(tables, cabinets, islands) A layout that makes sense for your space. A floor sink.
Margaret Burnette, Texas

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Your sinks can never be big enough! I put in sinks that I thought were overkill, but it turns out, its awesome to have a ton of sink-room!
Kelsey of Crabapple Floral, North Dakota

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SPACE to design in a MUST!! when I opened my studio I was limited, but that’s ok. I put in 3 work stations and they are not huge BUT they work for me. Put up shelves and ribbon holders and places to to keep tape, paints, etc at hand and eye level as I have grown my inventory my space has gotten so much smaller. BUT I would not trade it for the world.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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We moved into a real studio this past June and the key elements are – walk in cooler, roll up door that you can back your truck into for loading, drain in the floor, plentiful and sturdy storage shelving, good water pressure and very high ceilings. I keep meaning to buy a full length mirror to look at bouquets as I’m making them – I keep running into the bathroom for a peak!
Susan of Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events, California

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Easy flow is essential in any workspace. I have found ‘zones’ for different types of tasks are helpful- i.e. processing floral product and
washing/drying buckets happen in one area; while ribbons, labeling and finishing touches on product happen in another. I have a mix of
containers on display to give me ideas for upcoming event work as I work with seasonal product throughout the year, and to remind me what I have stored away in inventory. I also place miscellaneous like items into large tupperware containers so they can be easily accessed when needed.
A spot in a workspace with natural light and a simple background is a plus to have as well, to snap shots of work for portfolio or social media posts.

I prefer a clean work space, with little clutter. I believe that we are lucky to work with such beauty in our day to day, and that having a tidy space allows us to be inspired rather than distracted by our surroundings!
Tess of July Floral Design, Washington

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I would love a bigger cooler, more table space and a hot water tank! Other than that, I love my studio.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

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After 7 years in my first retail location, we moved to a bigger space and I really had a chance to mold the way operations would flow in my new space. I think this is personal for each shop owner depending on what you’d like to focus on.
For my top 5 must haves:
I had the dream of a flower room for customers to walk into and experience which came to life when I stumbled upon a used walk in cooler with windows that is the focal point of my shop.
I also wanted to have the design area in the front of the store so that customers could watch us design (also helps to be present for walk-ins even when you’re busy designing). I still think my design area could be bigger.
I never had a private office or consultation area before, so that was something I also paid a lot of attention to. I love my office and so do my clients, its really cozy and relaxed while still feeling very stylish and fun.
Other things to consider are of course window display and foot traffic outside, its really what brings people in, and then creating paths and displays through the store.
Plumbing was one thing that became too expensive in the end to make my life easier. I wished for a sink next to my design area but settled for one in the back of the store.
Amy of Crimson & Clover Floral Design, Maryland

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Is your studio open for retail business on a daily basis or just by appointment?Will you have regular hours?
Will the studio be making daily deliveries, or will your studio be for weddings and events only?
If you will be having a studio with regular hours where people can come in and buy flowers daily, one thing I would
do is consider the layout of the sales area and the work area.
I have a retail studio that is open to the public on a daily basis~ when I am there, I am not married to regular retail hours.
I do weddings and events but also daily orders and delivery.
My studio is adorable, and a good working environment, which is all blended into one. I wanted my customers to be able to be
a part of the work area, I even have a couple of bar stools where they can have a seat while I make their design. They love this!
You have to be ok with the fact that your work area is viewed at all times and keeping it super neat (and safe) is sometimes
difficult, especially when you just received your flower shipment and flowers are everywhere.
It is hard sometimes to keep it perfect for the customers….its a working studio….
If this is something that you think may be hard to do, I would strongly suggest making the work area a little hidden from the
view and traffic.
My consultation area is in a separate room, which is nice.
My work area was a kitchen area, complete with cabinets and sink and counters. Looks clean and sleek. I love having the cabinets to store my vases from view, and also have shelves that show the vases neatly stocked. I have big drawers that store my ribbon~ I am not a fan of a messy ribbon rack, it never looks nice. Love having them handy when I need them and hidden when I don’t.
Hope this helps!
Dore of Stems, Colorado

flower shop layout

Stems Flower Shop

layout of a flower shop

Stems Flower Shop

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Thank you to everyone that participated!

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Comments

  1. This comes at the perfect time for me since my husband is just putting the first nails in to build me a studio in our shop. YES a HUGE sink. thank you for the ideas.

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