• What's Hot, What's Not & What's Ahead in the Floral and Decor Scene

    FROM THE Fall 2016 ISSUE
  • What's Hot, What's Not & What's Ahead in the Floral and Decor Scene

    FROM THE Fall 2016 ISSUE

Kale. Copper. Moss. Lichen. Wood. Wheat. What do all these (seemingly) unconnected items have in common?

They’re all on tap for this year’s décor and floral trends and will be for at least the near future. How do we know? Five experts across Minnesota let us in on the secret, and we’re sharing it with you. 

It’s most plausible to think the beginning of the year is when trends pop up and the event industry blooms late, with patterns starting to crop up in the summer—a busy time for all planners.

Sydney Wolf, sales manager for Minneapolis-based metroConnections, a destination management company for corporate clients, finds that summer dictates what all planners will see throughout the year. “Summer is when we focus on redesigning and imitating a look,” says Wolf. “Each event season there is always something new, a new look that needs to be incorporated.” 


This past summer a woodsy, outdoorsy vibe was on the horizon that incorporated natural greenery, especially succulents. People can’t get enough of succulents.

“Succulents are super popular this summer,” says Wolf. “Kind of that outdoor vibe with a lot of wood.” This love of succulents stems from a greenery-like theme that all five experts overwhelmingly agree is in and here to stay. 

This greenery also includes garlands, flower walls, fruits, veggies (not only has kale taken over food trends, it’s now making itself known for décor), moss and twigs—very much a natural, woodland feel for everything. 

“I love the use of the different florals and different centerpieces, putting fruit and veggies in them,” Wolf says. “Looking at your décor and having the extra detail in everything, I love that detail.” 

Jennifer Braun, owner and CEO of Festivities in Minnetonka, has even seen rosemary, artichoke and wheat used as décor. 

“The floral trends we are seeing now are a more natural approach to floral design than what we have seen in previous years,” Braun says. “Designs are taking on a freer-flowing, textural and asymmetrical feel.”

Lauren Segelbaum, senior event specialist for Event Lab—a 20-year-old full-service design and décor company in Eden Prairie— can’t get enough of the greenery and its natural feel. “I love the simplicity of [the trend]. I love being able to keep it simple,” says Segelbaum. “It’s elegant, but it’s not very fussy and it makes a bold statement at the same time.”

The theme also lends a versatility for planners, an aspect Dyana Rasinski, co-owner of Petals & Beans—a floral and coffee shop in Nisswa—enjoys most about the trend. Her favorite part is the way in which it matches up with her store’s location in Nisswa. “Being a floral designer up in the Brainerd lakes area, it is a welcome change,” she says. “The best part is you can add certain design aspects to make this very casual or very chic.”

Rasinski notes that full, lush and seasonal blooms are following the greenery trend. “I call the popular bouquet arrangement look happening now bohemian chic,” says Rasinski. “It’s almost a throwback to the ‘70s era, very flowerchild-esque.”

And as if all of these planners haven’t convinced you that natural greenery is everywhere this season, Jennifer Bevan, special events manager for Bachman’s—the all-popular, 131-year-old, award-winning floral services company—agrees, saying the natural trend will remain popular at least through next spring and beyond.

“I think organic, natural is here to stay for quite a while,” says Bevan. “We’re planning next year’s weddings for the spring of 2017 and still seeing lots of greens and things.” 


At metroConnections, clients tend to be more corporate. For events, they look for décor that allows them to display their brand but in creative ways that aren’t overtly obvious. “The way we do business is a little different as it’s always within corporate boundaries, so we find ways to get creative,” says Wolf.

This year it’s finding ways to show off logos through floral, which Wolf says went away but is starting to blossom (pun intended) once more—staying in line with the greenery trend. A great way to do this is matching the logo’s color to the floral.

“It’s all about the logo,” she says. “It’s all about the brand and making it come to life.” Segelbaum doesn’t think branding is going away anytime soon—especially with social media now in the mix. 

“People like to see their logo. They like to see hashtags,” says Segelbaum. “I think identity is very important. We’re in the age of the selfie, so people like to see a part of themselves in their décor and in their events.”

Interestingly along that same line monograms seem to be popular—showing up on everything from invitations to monogrammed flowers and lights on the dance floor, according to Bevan.


Hands down, all planners agree a more natural, organic look is hot on the scene, but there’s more than just green on the horizon. 

And while everyone has large themes and pieces they agreed on such as full-on greenery, each expert noted different, smaller aspects they’ve seen within their own niche and client base over the past year. 

What we’re headed toward now are raw elements. Metals, copper and woods are being used more frequently, and an industrial sort of feel is becoming more common. 

“People like that warehouse look and want to bring it in through the décor,” says Segelbaum. “It’s very architectural but very raw at the same time.”

For Wolf, finding trends is all about scoping out the venue, something that has helped this year in finding the industrial, metal feel. 

“Using different mediums at events is becoming even more popular,” says Wolf. “Having many different things used in an event with metals and a lot of eye candy, if you will.” 

For Braun, it’s color blocking in arrangements, where only a small part of décor is in an accent color, but the rest of the design is one shade.

Segelbaum finds that lighting is still a big part of décor, in that people are constantly coming up with different ways to illuminate a room—something new is always waiting to be discovered. 

Another less exciting, but equally important trend, is the use of alternative seating, says Segelbaum. “People don’t want standard rounds with standard chairs,” she says. “They want a different chair; they want squares; they want longs; they want some banquet seating, some lounge seating. I don’t think that’s going away.”

And that isn’t just for social events, corporate events also are getting in on the musical chairs. “People are still challenging us to come up with alternative seating for their guests,” says Segelbaum. 

Braun has been seeing pops of this year’s Pantone colors—Rose Quartz and Serenity— pale pink and baby blue, respectively. Segelbaum also has seen Pantone colors—but not as much as last year when emerald was big. Corporate clients seem to be the ones incorporating the pink and blue colors into their events.

Themes are back in town. Just this year, Segelbaum has seen a Monte Carlo theme, a ‘70s theme, a Minnesota theme, Miami Maude—anything you can think of. “People are not opposed to the themes here,” says Segelbaum. “A couple years ago it was no theming, now it’s coming back a little.


Most everyone is used to that shabby chic look of mason jars, burlap and rustic wood. Well, time to say goodbye—it’s all in the rearview mirror. In a nutshell, shabby chic is gone and our experts aren’t looking back. 

“Certain trends have stuck around for a lot longer than maybe they should have,” Bevan says. “Shabby chic has been going on for years and it’s on its way out. It’s finally starting to wrap up.”

All other planners agree—they’re done with shabby chic.

While the big trend hitting the hay is the shabby chic look, smaller things also are fading away. Bacon lovers beware—the trend is gone, says Segelbaum. She also notes chevron lines are wrapping up. Minimalism is on its way out.  

Segelbaum says trends vary from client group to client group. Specifically, social clients and corporate clients see different trends at different times. “There are a lot of trends that are still present with certain clients but not so prevalent with others,” says Segelbaum. “Social clients catch up a little bit later than corporate.”

According to Braun, trends tend to last two to three years. With that schedule in mind, she believes artificially colored flowers and tightrounded bouquets are headed for the hills. 


Other trends on the cusp include the use of floral backdrops and suspended florals in a variety of different décor scenarios such as hanging flowers from chairs, according to Braun. She also cites using floral centerpieces on tables instead of candles, which have been popular in the past. 

Segelbaum predicts romance will come back soon—a lot of soft colors and a hint of elegance. She also is finding that retro things are coming back as she’s getting requests for ‘60s and ‘70s tunes.

Rasinski sees many clients on a budget, which helps dictate the trends of that season. Most clients will use whatever is simple and available at that moment—fresh and seasonal will always be popular. 


Trends can come and go, and once they hit full force, planners need to get on board—and fast. For inspiration, many turn to Pinterest.

Clients help with that, sending Wolf their Pinterest boards. The site has inspired a DIY vibe that helps give clients ideas and suggestions.

“We see people getting inspiration from so many types of things, and as trends change, the event industry follows suit,” says Wolf. “Clients are asking us to look at those ideas and have them come to life.”

And while Pinterest helps get the ball rolling, Wolf’s team also takes a more organic approach, finding inspiration in the world around them. With its surrounding nature and ample lakes, Minnesota is the perfect place to jump-start the event planning process. “Outdoor space is so prime in Minnesota, that we get a lot of inspiration from just watching everything that is going on and pulling different pieces from things,” she says.

Wolf also uses Minnesota’s venues for décor inspiration. Many, she says, stand alone so well, that her team simply steps back and takes a look around to see what part of the space it wants to accent. That might be a brick wall around the venue or a hanging chandelier.

“[Doing so] really sets the whole tone and vibe for your event,” Wolf says. “Pulling that out makes a more cohesive event, and we have such beautiful venues here it’s fun to get into them and get creative.”

Rasinski attends shows and visits floral wholesalers on a regular basis to get a feel for what’s popular. “I want each of my customers to know that I put 110 percent into their flowers,” says Rasinski.

Braun cites Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration, with a nod to the runways at fashion week when the time comes around. 

Segelbaum finds ideas in a different approach, heading to store windows such as Anthropologie and looking at how they display their products. Magazines are huge for her, and pop culture also helps her find a way to get started. “I think there are a lot of ways to get inspiration that might not be the normal avenue,” Segelbaum says. “It’s not just about reading your own trade magazines.”

And there you have it. Take note. Stock up on artichokes, metal, pomegranates, wheat grass and succulents and throw away your mason jars. Once done, you’ll be on the leading edge. 

Minnesota offers vibrant autumn color and provides a kaleidoscopic backdrop for your event.

New England often gets the most credit for its spectacular fall color, but many rank Minnesota in the top tier for seasonal beauty, making fall an ideal time for meetings anywhere in the state. From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Twin Cities and Rochester, there are a variety of venues with ideal seasonal settings that can cater to groups of all sizes. 



Experience Rochester MN appointed Angie Richards to the position of vice president of sales. She previously held the position of area director of sales for Avra Hospitality in Rochester, Minn. 

Richards will lead Experience Rochester MN’s sales team, which is responsible for the booking of meetings, conventions, and other events at Mayo Civic Center as well as group sales for the entire city.


Radisson Blu Mall of America promoted Kate Anastasi to director of sales and marketing. Anastasi has been with the Radisson Blu Mall of America team for eight years and has held many support and leadership roles within the sales team. She had most recently served as the assistant director of sales and marketing. Anastasi won the 2021 Radisson Blu Manager of the Year award.