Bringing the outdoors in
It may be growing off of the back of one of last year’s inescapable fads of hygge (The Scandinavian cosy life-style attitude) but being in touch with the natural world, either at home or in the work place has never been more on point. We are seeing more offices and communal spaces embracing Mother Nature and utilising wood, stone and plant life to the fullest with stunning effect and finish.
Hygge, for those of you that have been living under a rock (…get it) for the past year or so, is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, as cosy, charming or special. Yep, turns out the Scandinavians aren’t as cold as the places they inhabit and us soft Brits have fallen for this movement.
All over we are seeing Stone being favoured, and although it would be a stretch to call Granite, Slate, Marble or Sandstone cosy, there is no doubt that when used in an office space the environment is instantly transformed to a more welcoming natural world from that of the sterile corporate space a lot of us enter every day. Stone is unsurprisingly being harnessed for tiling, (floor and wall) and not only does it look great but it is also easy to manage. Granite is the hardest and densest natural stone, which helps maintain its lustre and resist staining for longer than processed materials.
'Adding elements of Nature to office spaces can induce valued changes in cognition and emotion, which may impact positively on stress levels, health and well-being.' Perhaps this explains the rise of popularity in natural materials; wood offers warmth and a tactile quality that evokes calm. Employers are increasingly decorating their spaces holistically to best benefit the mental health of their workers and although not 100% true to form we have seen a rise in the number of consumers buying wood-effect tiles. Unlike traditional wooden flooring that is high maintenance and susceptible to everyday nicks, scratches, cracking and warping, ceramic tiles are easy to clean and long lasting and won’t damage during normal day-to-day use. A wood effect wall makes a bold statement in the workplace as well as offering a feature that you want to reach out and touch.
It will also be interesting to see if office spaces will continue to embrace the living wall craze, which has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. The benefits of this choice in the workplace are numerous; living walls metabolize harmful toxins while releasing oxygen into the workplace air, much like office plants but on a larger scale. These stunning installations can also help reduce energy costs. Interior and exterior living green walls function to cool the air in the warmer summer months by a process known as “evapotranspiration.” The winter months see the added advantage of building insulation thus reducing energy costs for heating the building.
From pot plants to stone cladding, nature in the office has never been more fashionable. The timeless quality of materials that are sourced from the world around us means your space will look great for years to come and with the numerous benefits to health and the environment is it easy to see why we are looking outwards for inspiration.