Posts Tagged ‘decor’

Norfolk Island Pine… a Living Christmas Tree

Norfolk Island Pine

Many people want to have a living Christmas tree in their home for the holidays but are unsure what is the best way to go about it.  Although there are companies that will bring you a tree and then pick it up later and replant it, they recommend only having the tree in the house for 7-10 days max (some say 4 days max) or it will have a poor chance of replanting.  That’s because the trees they supply are meant to live outdoors, not in your hot dry house.  Well, one solution is to use a tree that is suited to the indoors and still makes a fine specimen of a Christmas tree.  And that tree is the Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla).

This tree is not actually a pine but does produce small cones.  It comes from a small island near New Zealand where the mature trees can reach 200’ or more.  This is a tropical to semi-tropical tree and will not withstand the freezing cold of the Midwest and Northeast but will do quite happily in Florida or the Southern California region.  They are supremely suited to the interior environment where they can thrive in a high light position preferably by a window. Keep them evenly moist avoiding extreme dry or waterlogged soils. These trees can be kept indoors indefinitely or moved back outside when the holidays have come to a close.  Remember, if planted into the ground they can eventually reach great heights, so you may want to keep it in it’s container either indoors or out, until the next season arrives and decorate it all over again.

One thing to remember when decorating a Norfolk Island Pine, the branches are not quite as stiff as a real Pine so try to use lighter weight ornaments (maybe Bows or Origami stars) and mini-lights.  Tinsel seems to be a good way to add sparkle without weight, but what ever you do, do not use any flocking on a living tree.

A great alternative to cut or artificial tree, you can find the Norfolk Island Pine at most nurseries for what it might cost for a cut tree.

Even better, unless you are putting lights on the tree, it doesn’t need any flame retardant like a cut tree is legally required to have.

Have a safe and sensible Holidays with the Norfolk Island Pine, the Living Christmas Tree.

-Patrick, Interior Department

Checklist for the Holidays

As we see the weather change around us with the approaching season, the most noticeable reminder is the advertising and merchandising that was in most stores since even before Halloween.  But do take heed, the kind spirits of the advertising world have given you a forewarning: the Holiday season is at hand and you don’t want to be left out in the proverbial cold.

If you’re like me, when it comes to the Holidays it’s a “No Holds Barred” proposition, so planning ahead is key to making it all come off right. But fortunately, it’s not too late to add a Decorative Wreath or a Glistening Tree.  How about a tasteful Live Holiday Orchid Arrangement, done up with all the trimmings (and Poinsettias!).  Fortunately, there’s still time – Associated Group’s got your Holiday décor solutions, so let’s get that check list out and get going!

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My Favorite Things

Giant glitter mesh ornaments

As the Holidays approach and I go through the familiar rituals of the season (shopping, cooking, wrapping, drinking, and collapsing), I often stop to dwell in the thoughts and recollections of Holidays past. Those seemingly long forgotten memories instantly snap back to life as if they were happening that moment.  Many things can trigger such introspective reveries, like peeling Cathedral bells on Sunday morning, hot cider by a crackling fireplace, or that itchy Christmas sweater your mother made you wear.  This time it was a song… My Favorite Things.

Now I know the song was first featured in the musical “A Sound of Music”, but it has found quite a bit of popularity as a Holiday wish list of sorts.  With Rodgers and Hammerstein prescribing the antidote for a melancholy Christmas season – Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes.

Sounds a little uncomfortable but when it comes to Holiday imagery, it’s hard to beat.  But I have a few “favorite things” of my own:

Instead of Snowflakes how about Glitter… yes extra-large to enormous Glitter Mesh Ornaments, Characters, and Creatures to add that glint of luster to the occasion – on a grand scale.  They are stunning on the promenade but way too big for your nose and eyelashes!

Associated Group's Candy Cane Christmas Tree

And despite the appeal of Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels, this Candy Cane Conifer is sure to please the sweet tooth of Santa this year.  Better call your Dentist in January.

So when you are deep into the joys of the holidays and you realize that you seem to have misplaced your

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, fear not. Associated Group has ALL of your favorite things and MORE to brighten the season


When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don’t feel so bad. 

-Patrick, Interior Department

Décor is not only for your customers

Here at Associated Group, we have been providing holiday décor to a variety of clients for years. These clients include retail centers, hotels and casinos, and large office complexes to name a few. It was always our belief that the décor was selected for the exclusive benefit of those clients’ customers. Malls were utilizing décor to drive sales as were casinos to lure gamblers.

While this is true, there were other considerations in a client’s decision to acquire holiday decorations. A very large hotel casino client of ours in Las Vegas pointed out an interesting fact. She told us that an important factor in determining décor budgets was directed at employees. She further explained that team members work long hours during the holiday season, as do retail workers. Creating a festive atmosphere brings out the holiday spirit making for happy employees. We all know happy employees are more productive.

When determining the return on investing in “Decking the Halls”, do consider the impact on staff as well as customers. Should you decide holiday décor is a good investment, the company to call is Associated Group. Remember we can spin straw into gold!

-Laurie Resnick, President

Independence Day Decor

“O say can you see by the dawns early light….”    

This year we will celebrate independence day by adding dim light to our displays!

Tall candles and stands reflect elegance and provide beautiful dim light for any 4th of July celebration. To add a bit of sparkle to your decor try adding items such as glitter and acrylic rock. Here  is what our design team recommends. Show us your ideas!

Celebrate independence day with candles and stands on display!

-Carol Solis, Display Department


For the Love of Flowers

If diamonds are a girl’s best friend then flowers must be a girl’s new love.  What’s that you say? You’re having trouble following my logic?  Well, with flowers, like a new love, we are at first infatuated and captivated by the burgeoning beauty before us, but soon the newness gives way to tedium, mediocrity, and disillusionment and before long we are looking for the next new thing to get us back to that initial joyful feeling.

Yeah, despite how much we love them, flowers eventually fade away. So what is the solution for the lovelorn who would like to always to see their plants in bloom?  Why, it’s the Associated Group’s Blooming Plant Program.

Yes, besides keeping your green plants lush, healthy and beautiful, Associated Group also provides and maintains flowering plants for your home or office.  Everyone appreciated the simple elegance of a delicate Phalaenopsis Orchid or the warm glow of Pot Chrysanthemums in a sunny kitchen window, but who has the time to water them and head out to the nursery to pick up another batch before the first ones start looking bad.  Associated Group alleviates all of those hassles – we know how to care for blooming plants so that they will last for the full span of their useful life and we know when to replace them before they start declining (and make YOU look like the plant-killer!)

So what kind of blooming plant is right for you?  That just depends on the style of your décor, but without a doubt there is a blooming plant for every situation.

So let’s do a quick review of what’s available:

Orchid Flowers

Orchids- The Grand Master of blooming plants, Orchids are the breath-taking, show-stoppers that suggest extravagant elegance partly due to their reputation for being fussy and temperamental.  They are usually the focal point and center of attention in floral arrangements.  Although they grow in many parts of the world, their simple form lends itself well to Asian and Zen architecture and design. Continue reading

Clear as Glass

There is so much décor to learn about, put together and show off, so, why not change your décor as the seasons and holidays change around you? A simple way to create holiday spirit in any atmosphere is through the use of clear glass. Glass jars, urns, bubble balls, and cylinders lend themselves to be filled with all types of holiday and seasonal décor. Try using groupings of glass jars and urns in different designs and sizes to add height and variety. A beautiful mix can be created by placing jars filled with iridescent tones, such as shiny ornaments, next to jars filled with subtle tones such as a sea shells. Other items such as candies, fruits, dried berries, branches and glitter are great jar fillers as well!

It’s a simple idea that works really great in any atmosphere. So simple it’s as clear as glass!
-Carol Solis, Display Department

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