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Design
Interview with Aoyama Flower Market, London - Connecting People with Flowers & Plants
Aoyama Flower Market’s eye-catching display in Selfridges London. Image by Aoyama Flower Market.

“Research shows that environments with flowers and plants generally tend to improve well-being as well as its surroundings.”

– Daisaku Miyazaki

Having flowers in the space where I am have always had the power to bring a smile to my face. The change in mood is very subtle, but subconsciously lifts the atmosphere; it is like wearing your favourite outfit or hanging out with a good friend. As an architect who focuses on interior architecture work, my relationship with floral arrangements has slowly deepened as I learnt that a small but important finishing touch before handing over a completed project to a client is to have a floral arrangement fitting for the space on the day of the client’s move in. Aoyama Flower Market’s opening in London is a welcomed addition to specialist florists in the city, bringing Japanese sensibilities and the utmost care in their craft to UK customers.

Established in 1989, Aoyama Flower Market began its operations in Selfridges London, the United Kingdom after operating over 100 stores in Japan, then in Paris in 2015. With its concept of living with flowers every day, the Japanese florist promotes a lifestyle emphasising well-being through surrounding oneself with flowers and touches of greenery. Aoyama Flower Market’s presence in London is a beautiful reminder to invite a small part of nature into our lives, adding another must-stop location whenever one is visiting Selfridges. Joining this interview to share their insights are Daisaku Miyazaki and Ai Kovacevic who are based in Aoyama Flower Market’s shop in Selfridges London. Let’s hear more from Aoyama Flower Market’s London team.

Von Chua:

What is Aoyama Flower Market’s view of flowers and greenery in our lives?

Daisaku Miyazaki:

Human beings have lived in nature since ancient times with natural flowers and plants. It is originally what it should be, that human beings live with them.

Von Chua:

Can you elaborate on Aoyama Flower Market’s “Living With Flowers Every Day” concept?

Daisaku Miyazaki:

Living with flowers every day is about offering everyone who lives in an urban city an opportunity to connect with nature, as well as improve their surroundings. Our designs are carefully crafted by our florists with experience in bringing nature to one’s home. Our hope is to reach people’s hearts with flowers and plants.

Research shows that environments with flowers and plants generally tend to improve well-being as well as its surroundings. Our services reflect this best, allowing for constant re-fresh without the need to constantly change things around the home. It can be as simple as that.

Flowers also tend to carry symbolic meanings, uplifting the atmosphere, making it one of the best ways to send greetings to friends or loved ones. For that reason, we believe that flower for daily lives could enrich most people’s hearts. We hope Aoyama Flower Market can bring its own unique style and designs to UK homes and businesses.

Von Chua:

Aoyama Flower Market also cater to events, special occasions and home decorations. What is the process for clients who are looking to engage with Aoyama Flower Market for these services?

Ai Kovacevic:

We receive phone calls, WhatsApp and customers can also send us an email to contact us. We will then respond to get their requirements. If customers make a request, for example, for elaborate events such as weddings, we can also visit the wedding venue.

Von Chua:

For home decorations, if a client wants to decorate one space every week, from your experience, where is a good space to start?

Daisaku Miyazaki:

Every home decoration request can vary in size and style. For example, some customers may just need a small table arrangement on weekly basis, whilst others may go all-in on total decorations such as supplying by vases, including consideration of artificial ceilings to allow us to do our displays. We cater to all requests.

Von Chua:

For flowers in interior spaces, what are important elements that your team considers when planning a concept for a client?

Daisaku Miyazaki:

We consider three elements. Firstly, the size of a room. Secondly, where flowers are displayed as well as the height. Thirdly, the colour of the interior.

It is important to know the placement of flowers to consider if the arrangements are too big or too small. If not taken into consideration its placement, the end result will be less desirable. The second aspect to consider is the arrangement’s viewing angle and height. Flowers on the coffee table in a front room and flowers in the bathrooms are of different shapes and sizes. We make the arrangement on the coffee table to look beautiful from a seating person’s perspective on the sofa. The arrangement has to be a 360-degree style. As for the bathroom arrangement, it is made simple and front-facing as it generally tends to sit against a wall. The third element is the colour of the interiors – if the colour of the flowers doesn’t match the interior colours, we cannot relax.

“…if the colour of the flowers doesn’t match the interior colours, we cannot relax.”

– Daisaku Miyazaki

Von Chua:

When your team is styling a home, a retail shop or an office, are there any differences in your approach? What are they?

Ai Kovacevic:

The approach can vary drastically depending on what each customer wants and how much they are willing to spend on their decorations. Exotic flowers and other decorative items can vary in price. It is important to understand the limitations of what we have to work with for each job.

For offices, as flowers welcome guests, we make it as big and as gorgeous as possible. For a shop, it is important that the arrangement matches a brand image. We work hard to try to make creative possibilities within the brand guidelines.

Von Chua:

How important is the role of a vase?

Ai Kovacevic:

A vase is like clothes for humans. Matching flowers to a vase can complement a flower. Just like there are lots of co-ordination of clothes, we can express individually of flowers in our arrangements. At Aoyama Flower Market, we try to offer unique vase designs.

“Just like there are lots of co-ordination of clothes, we can express individually of flowers in our arrangements.”

– Ai Kovacevic

Von Chua:

If a client has their own vases, can you work with that as well?

Ai Kovacevic:

Yes, we can.

Von Chua:

I read that Aoyama Flower Market in London selects fresh flowers from across Japan. Is this true?

Ai Kovacevic:

We are able to source Japanese flowers, however, they are not the most practical solution for the day-to-day running of the business. We generally try to find a balance between locally grown and imported flowers.

Von Chua:

Aoyama Flower Market in London is located within Selfridges London, a high-end department store in the United Kingdom founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1908. Can you share why Aoyama Flower Market decided to open in Selfridges?  

Ai Kovacevic:

We were offered a great opportunity to showcase our brand and design in London’s finest department store – one we couldn’t turn down. We feel that our brand has something different to offer compared to local florists, as we try to bring a unique flavour to our décor and design. This is a challenge for us.

We are located next to Hermès in Selfridges London. This is the only Aoyama Flower Market shop in the world next to an Hermès store.

Von Chua:

Having operated 100 stores in Japan since 1989, then in Paris in 2015, and now in London, what are the similarities and differences between client’s requirements in Europe vs. Japan?

Ai Kovacevic:

There is a huge difference in the style of flowers that most customers expect as a standard bouquet in Japan. In Japan, bouquets are made smaller like 20cm and kept to their cuteness. Whilst in the UK, flowers are generally bigger, like 50cm. Size-wise, there is a big difference. We have some smaller bouquets in London as well.

The interview was conducted remotely on 23rd February 2021. With sincere thank you to Daisaku and Ai for carving their time and sharing their insights. Aoyama Flower Market is located in Selfridges London, easily reached via the entrance at the corner of Oxford Street and Duke Street. If you are in Selfridges and its vicinity, do not miss the chance to visit Aoyama Flower Market’s showcase in person to appreciate the beauty of the fresh flowers and luscious greens that they source and present beautifully. Thank you to Aoyama Flower Market’s London team for the opportunity to make this interview possible.  

Lastly, I want to share a quote by Lady Bird Johnson, the 36th First Lady of the United States who said:

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”

– Lady Bird Johnson

Interview conducted by Von Chua. First published on ADF Web Magazine on 01/03/2021. If you have any questions or would like to further discuss about the thoughtful use of flowers and plants in interior spaces, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at von@vonxarchitects.com

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