The best place to start when designing Christmas Installations

Recently on Instagram we posted that; ‘the best thing about being a florist in London’ was… wait for it…. ‘the interiors’. We’d like to slightly change that if we may to: ‘the best thing about being a florist in London?…. ‘the interiors AND the buildings’ because, especially at this time of year, we get to work at some amazing places!

You see, at Christmas time, we look at these buildings through festive eyes and have the honour, bestowed upon us by our fabulous clients, of creating Christmas installations, trees, wreaths, garlands and sparkly arches that celebrate, respect and complement a building’s past. At Hybrid, we take this very seriously indeed!

We have decorated the likes of Merchant Taylor’s Hall, which has seen 671 Christmases already, The Brewery on Chiswell Street (260 Christmases), The Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden (243 Christmases) and The W in Leicester Square (8 Christmases), not to mention many other amazing buildings over the City of London, the West End and Canary Wharf.  Our clients include the city’s top law firms, finance companies, media companies and brands including Coca-Cola, Groupon and Bupa.  We have been asked to create everything, from luxurious classics to scandi-cosy and wild and wacky.

Working in these fabulous buildings gives us unique insight in to their history and design, we have discovered hidden secret passages and we get to see the rooms behind the scenes that not many people have the privilege of viewing.  Unsurprisingly, we sometimes develop strong feelings of attachment towards ‘our’ buildings. Of course, we know that these building don’t strictly belong to us per-se, its just that as we visit them at all times of the day and night; whether to install weekly floral designs or to decorate them with amazing party installations, we feel we have some claim over them.

At Christmas, we work tirelessly to discover new ways of bringing joy and merriment to our festive creations. This year we have marveled at the beauty and variation of fir cones and the stunning variety of dried flowers which can make the most Christmassy of designs. Each year we offer different designs that will complement the buildings they adorn, not only because our clients wish to inspire and impress their visitors with something different, but because we are always influenced by the history of a building.

The magnificent Post Building on Museum Street in Central London, WC1 is both stunning and impressive, it stands on the site of the original Royal Mail Sorting Office and therein lay our inspiration for this brand new beautiful space’s first ever Christmas installation.  Our brief was to add a dose of Christmas sparkle to the setting, to create an installation which is both impressive and elegant, and to tailor our designs to the story of the building.  For us, a perfect Christmas design brief!

And so we set to work, with a palette of pure white, metallic and deep reds incorporating lots of wintry elements. Inspired by birch trees, we kept designs elegant and natural yet chic; we enhanced the metallics found in the interior design of the space with a deep burgundy to add warmth and tradition.  We chose mirrored glass vases to echo the pattern of birch bark whilst natural birch trees, fir cones and dried flowers brought the outdoors in.  Glossy deep red berries and luxury reflective and matt baubles gave contrast and texture.

And then, for the fun bit!  We have a thing for brown paper and so wrapped parcels in un-waxed recyclable paper and tied them with classic red, white and green twine, we sourced perfect traditional hessian postal sacks and tied them with red velvet ribbon in giant bows. Our amazingly talented friend, Sarah wrote in glorious calligraphy personalising our letters to Santa, and to cap it off, we used traditional sealing wax to seal them with a ‘P’ for Post Building.

All this seems a while back now as we set it up at the beginning of December! We were touched by the amount of passers-by who stopped and noticed the twinkly atmosphere we had created and then looked again at the little postal touches and smiled as we explained how the Christmas story here was inspired by the history of ‘our’ building in London.

Photos by another great friend; photographer, Michael Ciancia