In this article we’re looking at the advantages of mixing real and artificial plants in biophilic interiors.
Green Envee recently collaborated with Scotscape – a well-respected interior design company – on a project for H&M. The brief was to create a beautiful and relaxing indoor space for their flagship café in White City and I think you’ll agree that looking at these photographs, the project was a great success.
Biophillia is the new buzzword in interior design circles. It’s all about harnessing the power of nature to help people feel more settled, calmer and better able to concentrate. Offices are using biophilic design to try to reduce sick leave and encourage creativity and productivity. I’d like to see it being used more in hospitals and private healthcare facilities.
As I see it, there are two reasons for using plants indoors. One is for their ability to clean the air, the other is for the colour green.
Plants for colour therapy
Colour therapy has been around for over 4,000 years. The Romans and the Ancient Greeks both used various coloured elements for healing. Apparently we can also find evidence of colour being used as therapy in ancient Chinese texts.
If you think about it, colour therapy is something we all do subconsciously throughout our lives. The clothes we wear, the shades we use in our homes and even the colour of our cars, our business logos and our websites are about manipulating the way we feel or the way others see us.
Colour therapists believe that colour enters our body through our eyes in the form of energy. That energy can, and does, affect our mood.
Green is the most balanced colour. Colour theory associates green with success, intelligence, competence and security. Little wonder then that, given the opportunity, humans like to surround ourselves with green plants and nature.
The thing about green plants, is that they are only green when they are happy with their surroundings and in good health. If they are too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry or have the wrong lighting – they rapidly turn to a sickly yellow and then brown.
Keeping green plants looking good
Modern day interiors are not always the best places to keep plants alive. For starters, there is often a lack of natural sunlight. The temperature and humidity are optimised for humans and it’s easy to forget to feed and water them.
This artificial green wall really makes a difference to the look and feel of this corridor. It’s realistic, yet weighs hardly anything and doesn’t need any sophisticated irrigation systems.
No need for structural alterations and minimal maintenance.
Having said that, some species of plant will thrive indoors all year round. The amazing spider plant is one, so is the money plant (Crassula Ovata). However the beautiful ferns and jungle-like plants that look lovely and lush are a bit more fussy about their surroundings.
The H&M project in White City used a combination of living plants and faux foliage. We chose to use living plants that would either
a) thrive long term in the café environment or
b) be relatively simple to replace if and when they lose their condition. Where the design called for lush foliage but it was clear that living plants would flounder, the design team opted for artificial plants instead.
Good quality modern artificial plants are incredibly true-to-life. Even if you touch them you can’t always be sure that they are not the real thing. Fake foliage will surround you with the colour green, lifting your spirits and helping you to relax and focus.
These trailing artificial plants make a fabulous visual statement and infuse the space with a sense of luxury. Suspended in this way,they’re not taking up valuable desk space.
Artificial plants don’t give off pollen or attract bugs so they’re pretty innocuous too.
Designing interiors with plants for colour
If you need an invigorating pop of colour, go for flowers or leaves in shades of red (for imagination and daring), orange (for friendliness and confidence), yellow (warmth, clarity, optimisim), purple (sophistication and glamour) or blue (trust, sincerity). Fake flowers don’t produce pollen so they won’t affect hayfever sufferers.
And when you really want to make a statement, try hanging plants from the ceiling or using artificial trees indoors.
In the 21st century, indoor plant displays are only limited by your imagination. Green Envee can create bespoke planting schemes to meet your every need. From indoor green walls to office interiors, from trees to tiny planters.
Call us today to discuss your ideas or book one of our lunch and learn sessions so that your whole team can be inspired.