Southwest Austin firm works to transform plants into living walls, gifts, works of art

Articulture Designs LLC operates a boutique and studio at 6405 Manchaca Road.

Articulture Designs LLC operates a boutique and studio at 6405 Manchaca Road.

Articulture Designs LLC Smaller arrangements in vessels like this one cost $16.50.[/caption]

Plants might not come to many people’s minds right away when considering an artist’s medium. But for Monique Capanelli, principal and design director of local business Articulture Designs LLC, plants are a vital component in her works of art.

At the business’s Manchaca Road boutique, which opened in January, she also operates a studio filled with plants, tools and vessels awaiting hosts. Visitors to the showroom can see examples of living walls and furniture, as well as purchase ready-to-gift arrangements, terrariums, and larger displays for their home or business.

She said she chose Southwest Austin for the studio because that is where she lives with her husband, Dante Dominick, Articulture’s business manager and marketing director

“I just love the vibe [of Southwest Austin], and it resonates with me,” she said.

She grew up in Northern California where she and her family went on camping trips, and she grew to love nature. She moved to Austin as a teenager and worked for area botanical design firms before deciding it was finally time to launch her own venture, she said. Capanelli started Articulture in her home in 2009, creating designs that incorporated succulents, air plants, cacti and flowers.

“My creativity and love for nature came together,” she said.

Designs start at $15 for small arrangements. Articulture also offers decor for events such as weddings. The business offers delivery all over Austin as well as shipping to clients throughout the U.S., she said.

“Plant lovers are attracted to our approach, but I think [our customer is] anyone who wants something different and something maybe a little fun and whimsical,” she said.

Sometime in 2017, Capanelli hopes to offer movie nights and a supper club in the garden behind the Articulture studio, she said.

The business also aims to expand in the future, she said, adding she is looking toward Central Austin for a potential second boutique location.

Articulture Designs LLC One of Capanelli’s specialties is living walls, which are large-scale installations of plants that cover a wall and give the appearance of it being alive.[/caption]

Living walls

One of Capanelli’s specialties is living walls, which are large-scale installations of plants that cover a wall and give the appearance of it being alive.

Articulture’s living walls and other installations can be found throughout the city of Austin, such as at the moss wall at the Whole Foods Market location in The Domain. Articulture can give instructions on how to care for the plants or have staff service the works.

Keeping it green

The Manchaca boutique is energy-efficient and currently collects 1,500 gallons of rainwater that is used for upkeep of plants, principal and design director Monique Capanelli said. The company is planning to expand that to 5,000 gallons and add solar panels in 2017.

Articulture is also a zero-waste facility, which means in everyday operations as well as events, it must reuse, recycle and compost 100 percent of waste produced.

Events and classes

Articulture Designs hosts classes, such as yoga, and rents the venue out for parties and events, including weddings.

  • Oct. 15: Craft Cocktails in the Garden: Attendees can learn about fine spirits, craft cocktails, local plants and creative mixology from food and drink expert Claudia Alarcon. 4:30-6:30 p.m. $35

  • Oct. 20: Plant a Pumpkin: Visitors can create a twist on Halloween decorations with a one-of-a-kind pumpkin planter. Materials, refreshment and design and technique guidance are included. 7-8:30 p.m. $65

  • Nov. 19: Make a Mini Living Wall: Class participants make miniature living walls featuring a variety of plants. 3:30 p.m. $55 and up

By Kelli Weldon
Kelli joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter and has been covering Southwest Austin news since July 2012. She was promoted to editor of the Southwest Austin edition in April 2015. In addition to covering local businesses, neighborhood development, events, transportation and education, she is also the beat reporter covering the Travis County Commissioners Court.


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