Moss Wall Art

CAPID‘s Michelle Chiang interviews Kevin Urquhart of Emerald Coast Plantscapes;
We know adding plants to an interior space can add to visual interest and make the space livelier. In recent years, living walls have become popular. However, maintenance for live plants on vertical surfaces can be an inconvenience. I have found something that would add greenery and interest to walls and does not require light or water! Emerald Coast Plantscapes now offers custom wall art made with real moss preserved.

I asked my friend Kevin Urquhart, owner of Emerald Coast Plantscapes for more details about this new product:

M (Michelle): Since it is preserved, I assume it doesn’t attract bugs, right? 
K (Kevin): It will not attract bugs. Bugs are attracted to live plants for one of two reasons: 1) they eat the actual plant, or 2) Gnats gather when there is excessive moisture so they can breed and lay their larva. In the case of the preserved moss we use this is not an issue.
M: How about dust? Can it be vacuumed?
K: To dust I would recommend a light feather duster or condensed air held at a distance, like the kind used for electronics.
M: Are there any spaces you would NOT recommend? Restaurants? Hotels? Medical facilities? Classrooms? Are there loose pieces that can fall off?
K: If you were to use it in a restaurant I would recommend placing it as far as possible away from the kitchen as there is usually a lot of grease in the air that sticks to everything then dust sticks to the grease and creates a real mess. Other than that, the only thing I would keep it away from is direct sunlight as this could fade the color quickly. There are loose pieces that could fall if the moss is bumped or rubbed up against.
M: Anything you want to add?
K: Each piece is custom made; shape size etc. We have made them as small as 2’x2’ or we can cover an entire wall. The frames are made to our specifications by a local cabinet maker and we can custom color the frames. Each piece takes on a character of its own making no two pieces are exactly alike. We have just completed a project with a piece measuring 2’ X 7’ in which we placed the client’s metal logo right into the moss.
We can add many elements to the moss such as manzanita branches, driftwood, preserved leaves etc.
We love this new form of creative expression in botanical art. As popular as live vertical wall plantings have become, we have found there are many problems associate with living wall plants. Problems such as expensive installation, maintenance issues with watering and plants outgrowing their space creating high replacement costs. So with the preserved moss you still get a very unique botanical expression with more versatility and less cost and less upkeep.

“We are very excited about the uniqueness of the moss art and the high level of interest we are receiving for custom pieces. Of course, we are also very engaged in delivering the life, warmth and beauty of live plants and services to offices from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica.”

Kevin can be reached at:

What is the One Thing You Wish Clients Knew?

CAPID asked their members:  What is the one thing designers wish clients knew?


That we spent years in school to get a degree, that we spend countless hours on research and that it may appear that it only takes a few hours to design their space but in reality it has taken years of experience, trials and mistakes that make it look easy. – Debby Thomas

Clients try to save money by working only with an architect. Architects and engineers can create the structure, the walls and all that pertains to that …but it’s Interior Designers that look at those plans and incorporate how the space will be used. How the kitchen is used, appliances, bathrooms, family room/tv and reflective light in all of the spaces. It’s huge. I could go on but clients need to know hiring an architect is not a One Stop Shop – Elizabeth Ribons

From my experience, clients tend to think if they do part of the work themselves they can save themselves money. The truth is it ends up costing more because I have to mess with a process I already know works and I have to spend time holding the clients’ hands and most likely redo what they have done. – Michelle Chiang

A great TEAM creates a stunning home!
If they only knew how many more options, what to avoid and visualizing the overall project.  – Genoveve Serge

I hope clients can feel our commitment, our dedication and truly that we are not only giving them our talent, our best professional guidance, but also our Heart and Soul. We care.
To the designer, to know that the client puts their trust in them, to give them their best; well then I believe the client should understand that they will get their best and how meaningful that is to the designer.
When the Designer has earned that trust he or she will do everything with in their ability to make it a pleasant and great experience, and have a project they both can be proud of. – Kathy Jarvis

I always remember what a colleague shared with me as inspiration one day when she was President of CAPID. “As good designers we are well trained and have inherent creativity. But beyond that we need to be organized, innovative, self disciplined, detail oriented, flexible, and dependable. It helps to have drive, a discerning eye, integrity, management and planning skills, listening skills, professionalism, and a thick skin. We strive to be a strong communicator, negotiator, mathematician, team player, problem solver, teacher, accountant, constant learner, mediator, salesperson, contractor, and when appropriate, a marriage counselor.” Do clients have any idea what is required to be good at what we do?? How many things we are expected to know? I’d also like them to know we are on their side; that we want to create spaces that in the most personal, functioning, flattering way reflect their lifestyles and personalities while working within their budget. And yes, trust is essential to getting the best outcome possible. – Mary Crane

I felt being the mediator between husband and wife was often one of the many challenges in the design process. Then there was always the challenge of having to depend on the manufacturers and workrooms to produce what you ordered in a timely manner. The client depends on you for this and when things are late or come in damaged you are the one that takes on the task of keeping everyone calm and confident! Not an easy task and not the fun part but so fulfilling when the job is completed and everyone is thrilled and happy. Making their personal space beautiful and functional. Form and function. – Bonnie Roberts

There are so many environmentally friendly options for building materials and furnishings out there that meet all budgets and design styles.  It is so important to bring items into your home that aid in a positive, healthy lifestyle.  Hire a designer that is knowledgeable in environmentally friendly design that will take your indoor air quality in to consideration when sourcing products.  – Alicia Paley


CAPID ~ “Your Local Source for Exceptional Design “

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