The popularity of plants and foliage has risen exponentially in recent years, with a visible surge in the natural decoration that greenery affords, indoors and outdoors - particularly in the design of hotels, restaurants, offices, designer homes and public spaces.
The reason for this is clear: as our urban jungles grow, we require the benefits of nature more than ever. Benefits which include a healthier body and mind, as well as a healthier planet for us and future generations to inhabit. We want the balance of being able to appreciate nature without having to go far to find it - especially in a time when most of us are confined to our homes and workplaces. Simply, we are craving more nature, more beauty, in our lives.
This growth in popularity has let the term ‘biophilic design’ become a new mantra known across designers and architects, which describes a concept used to increase user connectivity to the natural environment. This can either incorporate living plants within a bio-system, or an easier to maintain faux foliage complex. Both can have dramatic effects on an inhabitant’s sense of wellbeing and productivity.
Studies from Norway and the Netherlands have shown that indoor foliage decreases incidents of absenteeism and boosts engagement. In fact, one study conducted by the Agricultural University in Norway found that adding plants to offices resulted in decreased absentee rates of more than 60%. The Royal College of Agriculture in England also states that students are 70% more attentive in rooms containing plants, with similar results found when using deluxe faux foliage.
This isn’t just a trend, it’s a permanent change in our thinking. And this is made more obvious when we consider the increased use of greenery in design, on both a small- and large-scale level. As well as more indoor greenery, we are also seeing more urban and community gardens; more rooftop, balcony and windowsill gardens; more solariums and greenhouses. There are also green walls appearing inside and outside of banks, shops, offices and airports, and beehives and green roofs on public buildings. Hotels and restaurants have begun to cover walls and ceilings across their interiors, bars and restaurants with inviting foliage. Most dramatic of all, events are becoming transformed with incredible displays of wild canopies, elegant palms, feathered grass, hanging gardens, rainforest leaves, vines and flowers all integrated into their branding.
To reiterate: green is definitely in. It promotes sustainability and healthy living, and represents both peacefulness and adventure. It can easily transform any space, however mundane, into a beautiful garden or a tropical jungle, and is therefore perfect for every type of location, from shops and offices to bars and clubs. Whether real or faux foliage, plants can add character to a setting and make everyone there feel calmer and happier. Therefore a touch of greenery should be a priority to any business owner or event coordinator who is looking to update the design of their event or venue.