Access to nature is increasingly critical for employee mental health and overall wellbeing. Within the last decade, workplace design has embraced bringing the outdoor environment indoors using light, natural materials, organic textures, views of nature, access to outdoor spaces such as patios or terraces, and the integration of plants in containers and living walls. Indoor environments mimicking the outdoors will give employees greater confidence that their well-being is not at risk.
According to The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace White Paper, a healthy workplace was formerly perceived as a benefit but is now a necessity. Access to fresh air, light, nature, and any other option to give employees the confidence that their work environment is safe will be the primary driver in a return-to-work strategy. Here are some tips to help you integrate nature into the office with plants.
Designing With Palms
The use of indoor palm trees in home decoration is one of the most striking trends for nature lovers. It is a perfect complement to create harmony and elegance within a home. Thanks to the deep green leaves and thin trunks, these plants are striking and convey warmth in areas that may otherwise look neglected.
It is important to keep in mind that not all types of palm trees can be indoor plants. Most palms need bright, indirect light in the home. If placed too close to windows the fronds can become sunburned or too chilly in the winter months. Palms prefer warmth and humidity (think of replicating the areas they originate from). This can be achieved by misting or by using a humidifier.
If you favor modern and colorful decor, use palm trees with vibrant design elements. For example, if you have white walls, plant the tree in a bright or contrasting planter to bring in an additional color. To create a more tropical feel, introduce other varieties of plants to create layering, and take advantage of planter colors like yellow, red, and blue. If your home has darker tones, be sure to incorporate accessories that reflect light, such as a white planter, to make that palm really pop!
Designing With Orchids
Exotic, refreshing, and gorgeous, orchids are easily one of the most luxurious flowers. Bringing them inside your home is a wonderful way to integrate organic beauty. Place them in a variety of containers or vases and accent with moss, other plants, or even rocks and crystal accessories really help orchids shine.
Different Ways to Style Draceanas
Dracaena Reflexa performs well as a houseplant, tolerating infrequent watering. It prefers bright, filtered light without direct sun exposure. It can be enjoyed as a specimen or accent plant or even pruned to create a border.
The plant can be grown in virtually any form, with the most popular being bush, straight cane, staggered cane, tree form, and custom character forms. We often use reflexas for height and added texture in any space, as the leaves grow in a whorl pattern around the branches. It makes an excellent focal point!
The leaves can be variegated with yellow or crème colors. If you notice discoloration or droopy leaves, that usually means it is being overwatered!
Add a large Dracaena marginata to empty corners and sparse rooms in your home for visual interest. For more contrast, place them against a lighter backdrop. Smaller specimens add a fun texture to tabletops and mantles.
Designing With Ficus Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig)
Interior design bloggers are enamored with the fiddle leaf fig; in the background of many a stylish photoshoot, you will spot its rounded, dinner-plate leaves flopping in many directions. Though they are not actually fiddlers by trade, fiddle leaf fig plants have an artistic temperament. They love bright, indirect light and humidity. Fiddle leaf figs thrive in places like sunny Florida (always look at where a plant comes from and try to mimic their environment), but can also do well indoors given the right elements.
A Ficus lyrata is such a statement plant that designers have been drawn to for years, making it a very trendy tree everyone has to get their hands on. The large leaves provide a fun texture to any space and they adapt well to almost any style, from Boho Chic to Modern, Eclectic, and even Minimalist. Place your lyrata in a corner of the room where it can anchor the space. Avoid drafty windows and vent spaces as well as heat sources—these can stress the drama queens! Add one to your bedroom to elevate your relaxation or to your office space for improved concentration.
Designing With a Moss or Living Wall
Because of its strong association with nature, the color green often symbolizes tranquility, health, and freshness. Thus, it is an emotionally calming color—it reinforces our human connection to nature and our inner selves. Ultimately, green takes us back to the place we are always subconsciously searching for: serenity, peace of mind, those quiet moments we cherish in our lives. A perfect way to incorporate green into the office is through a moss wall or a living wall.
A moss wall or living wall can help transform those dull office walls, adding color and life without the permanency of paint. You can place one in the break room to create a spot for relaxation or in a high foot traffic area to bring energy and vitality to employees passing by. You can even use them as mobile walls to separate meeting spaces.
The colors that paint the world around us have been proven to influence our mood and our behaviors. We are so deeply connected to color—the design of an environment can not only affect our emotions, it can completely alter them. The power of plants is the perfect way to create an office environment that stimulates the mind and senses!