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Deck the halls
WITH PLANS FOR a wintry overseas holiday not happening this year, houseproud homeowners are turning to professionals to create luxurious setups in their homes for Christmas. And florists who are taking on the jobs say that this year, clients are spending more than before.
Brenda Lee, founder of Fiore Dorato who recently decorated a client's penthouse at Ardmore Park says, ''Since they are unable to travel, clients are spending more time at home at this time of the year, and also spending more on their Christmas decorations.''
With more home entertainment expected, Ms Lee adds, ''clients want to have a more stunning tree which makes for great photos when they have their friends and family over.''
Ms Lee charges from about S$2,000 to decorate a six to seven-feet tall Christmas tree, and adds, ''the budget this year has gone up about 10 to 20 per cent more.''
Traditional red and gold colour themes have been often requested by her clients. ''There are also those who ask for a winter wonderland theme, so I put white, silver and gold ornaments together,'' says Ms Lee.
Award winning floral artist Harijanto Setiawan has also been extremely busy this festive season.
''While they can do up the homes themselves, clients hire us because we have that artistic eye and they want to learn from the expert to have a better understanding of how to add that wow factor to their homes,'' says Mr Setiawan, founder of Boenga Flowers.
He usually charges S$2,500 to do up a seven to eight feet tall tree. Apart from the popular silver and gold combination, this year, he has also introduced ''a girly mix of pink dried grass with silver baubles for those who want some variation.''
And it is not just Christmas trees that homeowners are splashing out on. Natalie Seng, marketing manager at This Humid House says, ''Response to our holiday collection of florals has been extremely good. Clients are not only getting them as gifts, but also for their own homes.''
One of their bestsellers is the Christmas Family Set, which retails for S$690 and comprises a collection of floral arrangements in brass vessels of varying heights, for a dramatic look.
While corporate work has been on the quiet side, Aude Giraud, founder of Ask A French Flowers has noticed how ''private clients are spending as much, if not more''.
Her Christmas wreaths, which retail for S$160, are ever popular, and while clients might just get only one in previous years, this year, they are picking up a few more. ''Christmas wreaths never go out of fashion and they are essential holiday pieces,'' says Ms Giraud.
She's also introduced a new item this year, Christmas Glass Domes, filled with dried and preserved flowers.
Wonderland Botanical's senior brand marketing manager Abigail Khor says, ''Our average order value for this Christmas has increased by over 60 per cent as compared to last year.'' While demand for the floral studio's Christmas wreaths has stayed the same, there has been greater interest in its tabletop arrangements, likely driven by more stay-home feasts this year. The florist has also partnered Italian gourmet store Da Paolo to launch a package of food and floral arrangements.
While most may still hanker for their winter holidays, they can at least be comforted with their merry Christmas homes and a feast to remember.