4 Tricks for Working in a Small Floral Design Studio Space
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, space is a beautiful thing as a floral designer. If you rent or own studio space, it can be difficult to know how to make the most of what you have. Others, like myself, have to utilize whatever limited area is available in their homes. Here are four things I’ve learned for making the most of small spaces for design.
Invest in tables and shelves
Utilize every surface
Design with intention
1. Invest in Tables and Shelves
When your space is limited, it’s vital to maximize as much of it as possible. Tables and shelves are crucial in making that a reality. These days, you can find just about any size shelf made of various materials, and they can be relatively inexpensive. All of my shelving has come from a family member (Yay for free things!) or a thrift store or yard sale. If you’re looking for something more uniform, try your local superstore or Ikea for cost-effective shelving. Look for shelving that is sturdy and can hold weight without tipping over. Ideally, you will be able to fit already created arrangements on your shelves, so look for shelving with deep and tall divisions. (To read a few tips on how to organize your shelves, click here.) Take advantage of space under tables as well—you can put shelves down there too! Speaking of tables, you’ll want to be sure you’ve selected tables that are at an appropriate height to prevent your back from suffering while you’re working. I invested in these, and they’ve been perfect. A few things to look for in a table: adjustable height, sleek and skinny design, and the ability to break down and store easily.
2. Utilize Every Surface
We used to live in a tiny two-bedroom duplex, and my “studio” was the living room plus the kitchen. Whenever I had a wedding, I moved all of the couches against the walls, cleared off the end tables, and took over our entire living space. (My husband was scarcely found during that wedding season. Ha!) Part of being a floral designer is having the ability to be flexible, adaptable, and resourceful! We do what we need to do to get things done. So use your kitchen table, the chairs, the counters, your end tables—even the floor (just watch where you step!). Look for ways to conserve space like packing vases/compotes in stackable boxes or placing buckets of flowers under the table while you work.
3. Design with Intention
Each event will typically have several elements for designing. When you’re processing your flowers, set aside buckets for each major group of arrangements: bridal party, ceremony arbor, reception centerpieces, etc. Then, create the arrangements that will use the most flowers first. That way, you can empty a few buckets and set those arrangements aside, getting them out of the way while you complete the remainder of the designs for the event. Tip: It’s helpful to stage the completed arrangements in a way that you’ll easily be able to pack them for transport.
4. Stay Organized
I’ll be honest—this one is tough for me. I tend to be pretty scatterbrained. I’ll start doing one thing, see something that reminds me of another task, start doing that one, get distracted, and... well, you get the picture. I’m not typically a planner and love to be spontaneous and fly by the seat of my pants. I’m also really good at procrastinating. Like, gold-medal good. Sometimes, these attributes make life fun and exciting, but when it comes to designing, they tend to lead to trouble. I’ve learned that being organized is not a bad thing, nor is it an abandonment of who I might be as a person. Instead, it’s a tool used to better the business and make the process more efficient.
Before you ever bring flowers into your small space, make sure it is clean and set up in a way that maximizes the space you have.
Make a list of all of the arrangements you need to make as well as a recipe for each. I like to list out each one so I can mark it off as I complete it (example: “bridesmaid, bridesmaid, bridesmaid” rather than “bridesmaid x3”).
Give yourself a timeline for each design. Be sure you include food and bathroom breaks!
Have your tools, apron, music, buckets, and whatever else you need to accomplish the task at hand ready for use.
Sweep between each set. This may sound counterintuitive since you’ll just be making a mess again, but a small space becomes a lot smaller when the floor is full of stems and blooms. It’ll freshen up the room and give you a little break as you prepare to get started on the next set of arrangements.
If you have a family, plan out your day/week in a way that makes things easier for you. Work while your child is napping, plan for crockpot meals, have your spouse do the cooking, get the rest of your cleaning done before the work begins, etc.
Remember, if you’re pursuing a dream and putting your heart into it, you can make anything happen—regardless of the circumstances or space available. Don’t be discouraged by the size of your workspace, but rather seek to make the most of it so that you’re able to serve your clients as best you can. You’ve got this!