The deep, instinctive need for shelter and security remains with us still, even though we live in houses and work in cities. Studies have shown that people choose to sit among the shelter of indoor plants. There seems to be an instinctive need to seek refuge surrounded by foliage.
Shelter under the shade of a tall tree. Tall palms such as Adonidia (Veitchia merrillii) or the Alexander palm (Archontophoenix alexandrae) lend themselves perfectly to providing a place to shelter. Tall trunks raise graceful, arching fronds above the heads of those seated beneath. Ficus trees or black olives can be used in and around sofas and benches in lounges, breakout spaces, atriums and reception areas and are especially useful in places where relaxation is sought.
Create an indoor arbour or pergola. Trailing or climbing plants can be trained around a structure such as an arbour or pergola to recreate the style of a Mediterranean courtyard. These can be used in large, open indoor spaces such as atriums or reception areas.
Green walls or hedges. In places where large trees or bulky plants are impractical a green wall will be of great benefit. We know from observational studies that people choose to sit next to, or in front of, plants. Green walls are obvious natural space dividers.
Providing shelter and refuge with plants is relatively easy to achieve and can be very beneficial in spaces such as break-out areas, lounges and staff restaurants. Plant displays can help create spaces that help to reduce stress, create privacy and aid relaxation.
Noise reduction - absorb sound, especially at high frequencies.
Wellbeing benefits - negative moods reduced by up to 50%, stress and blood pressure reduced, fatigue reduced by 38%.
Interior plants have been used as natural sign posts in many buildings - they can guide people or highlight specific parts of a building, such as exits or merchandise.
Explore the use of interior plants as part of a sustainable building management system.