Interior design is an art form, requiring creativity and instinct. Every now and then, though, research is published that can give the job even more merit – especially when this research is about improving the mental health and overall wellbeing of clients who spend time in the spaces you design.
If you're currently working on designing or decorating a commercial office space, check out this research by Human Spaces and the University of Melbourne.
Research report: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace
A report released by the company Human Spaces looked at how biophillic design, or any design that uses organic elements such as plants or natural light, has a direct impact on the health of employees.
To do the international research, 7,600 office workers were surveyed. These workers were based in 16 countries around the globe. The findings showed that, around the world, 47 per cent of offices have no natural light, and 58 per cent don't have any live plants.
What's even more interesting is that people who worked in warm, welcoming, green environments had 15 per cent higher well-being, 15 per cent more creativity and 6 per cent more productivity than those working in concrete jungles.
The results from this report match up with another study done by the University of Melbourne, which found that glancing at a rooftop garden for a mere 40 seconds can boost productivity levels and improve the concentration of workers, when compared to participants who look at concrete cityscapes. While it's not possible to always give your clients amazing views of greenery, your design plan can definitely help bring biophillic elements into the office decor.
How you can use this research in your interior design
Make use of windows and natural light by arranging your floor plan around these areas so that many people can sit nearby, basking in the glow. Paint the walls in light hues that can reflect and bounce this light around the office, such as Resene Eighth Spanish White or Resene Half Alabaster.
If unfortunately the space you're working with doesn't have much natural light, install plenty of light fixtures to brighten up the mood. These days, metallic light bulbs are all the rage, so using copper or brass around lights can add a contemporary feel as well as help reflect the light around the room. Adding yellow features can help, too, touches of Resene Wild Thing or Resene Turbo are go-to happy, sunny colours.
Allocate areas for indoor plants, or create built-in hanging gardens along the walls. To bring out the green shades of these leaves, add accents of rich green tones by painting table legs with Resene Bingo.
In case you can't rely on sunlight to grow plants in certain offices, give the workers a soothing landscape to look at by printing the view that you might expect outside onto customised wallpaper with Resene WallPrint.
The more greenery you include in your office design, the better the creativity and productivity for your clients. Give them an area to nurture their ideas and help them grow by crafting a 'brainstorm' room – just paint an entire wall either in Resene Write-on Wall Paint or Resene Blackboard Paint so staff can doodle, plan or record meetings directly on the walls.
Not only is this a practical solution, it also provides a minimalist, industrial chic look – in fact, the Inside Out office did exactly that and they won the Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior Office Colour Maestro Award.
We all spend so much time working, that making the space work well for workers can benefit both them and their employers.