Post-Recession Optimism Brightens Fall Home & Garden Trends


Lighten up! That’s the buzz phrase for fall as a recovering economy fans a collective determination to put the bad news of recent years – from layoffs to natural disasters – behind us, says Roy Joulus, CEO of the award-winning, design-forward Greenbo, LLC.

“We’ll see an insistence on hope, optimism and joy in the simple things in life reflected in bright, happy colors and clean designs with strong lines,’’ says Joulus, whose innovative new railing flowerbox, Greenbo XL, won the prestigious international Red Dot Design Award for product design in 2012.

As a manufacturer of high-quality products for urban homes, Joulus says he and his team must forecast global style trends two to three years out. That’s why their new line of garden containers is made from sustainable and recyclable materials in uber-upbeat colors, with attached drainage trays that can be mixed and matched for custom color combos.

The Greenbo designers also see a growing demand for products whose form is as appealing as their function. That’s why the Greenbo XL railing planter is a flowerbox “that you don’t have to hide with flowers,’’ Joulus says.

“Consumers’ desire for sustainability and ‘green’ products is only going to continue to grow; in fact, that was one reason we launched our company in 2008 even though the global economy was tanking at the time,” says Joulus. “The interest in gardening will continue to grow, as will demand for high-grade products that can either be recycled or are made from recycled materials.”

The fall colors, which you’ll see in everything from fashion to furniture to the garden, include bright greens, deep fuschia, bright orange, fiery red, ochre yellow and violet. How can you brighten your garden with these colors? Joulus offers some tips:

• Forget terra cotta – use containers that offer a vivid pop of color. Colorful containers add a carefree, cheerful element to any garden – whether it’s a full yard, a patio, a balcony, or a cluster of plants indoors by a south-facing window. “Plastic containers require less watering than terra cotta or unglazed ceramic, but be sure to get a very high-grade plastic,” Joulus says. “Nothing looks worse than plastic that has faded and cracked, which will happen quickly when low-quality plastics are exposed to the elements.” Mix up the colors, just as you would wildflowers in a garden, or use all one color for more impact.”

• Coordinate plant color and pot color. Play with different combinations to see what you like. One extreme is the monochromatic approach – where container and plants are all the same color, although shades may vary. On the other end of the extreme, a “cottage garden” with a jumble of colors (polychrome) will work beautifully, too. You might try pairing containers and plants from opposite sides of the color wheel, such as red and green, violet and yellow, or blue and orange. Or use colors that reside side by side on the color wheel, such as salmon and violet or fuchsia and bright red.

• Create a pattern of repeating colors and textures. Containers and plants with different colors can create an eye-catching display when arranged so that each color repeats at a regular interval.  For instance: blue, purple, violet, green, blue, purple, violet, green. This technique is sometimes used with border plants, or plants in linear beds. The addition of colorful containers heightens the effect and adds to the options for placement. Create a repeating pattern on a railing, along a patio or even using hanging containers.

Roy Joulus is CEO of Greenbo, which was founded with a focus on simplicity, efficiency and innovation in creating urban agricultural products.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.