We don’t question the feeling of well-being that comes with taking a walk in the woods or sitting in the garden under a tree. It’s instinctive. Being surrounded by the natural world helps us to relax, breathe, and become more connected with our senses and feelings. Plants fulfil an ancient, profound need. Love of living things, or biophilia, named in 1984 by Dr. Ed Wilson, a Harvard biologist, describes our natural human affinity for nature. This primal psychological phenomenon crosses all cultural and geographic lines. Further study by Dr. Stephen Kellert asserts that this intrinsic connection plays a central role in our capacity to think, feel, communicate, create and find meaning in life.
I spoke with Nicolas Rousseau, president and general manager of ByNature, a company that specializes in biophilic design. I was standing in front of a living wall that his company had built in the centre of a busy interior design show. “Plants bring much to our lives,” he said. “We instantly feel at peace with plants surrounding us.” I didn’t need much persuasion. I was rooted to the spot as the lush living plants worked their magic.
“We need plants in our concrete urban environment,” he noted. I think we all agree. Architects, designers, artists and city planners are taking note of the importance esthetically and physically of green space. Today, commercial buildings, offices, shopping malls and public spaces are locking into the growing trend. And what about our own homes? Rousseau’s company has easy-care solutions to creating living walls that can be built in a hallway, living room, kitchen, anywhere inside. Go large or small with ByNature’s fine product line, which provides a choice of installation methods. Build a wall or a picture, choose a new light fixture that is filled with plants, include a living bench and table. Their designs are inspiring.
The most affordable of ByNature’s designs uses Felt Pockets to create green walls and vertical gardens of any shape or size by combining multiple pockets together.
The collection of preserved plants include ferns and mosses that provide a green wall or framed work of art that has the same benefits as a living wall with zero maintenance. Preserved with eco-friendly care, the preserved products last for years. The arrangements are mounted on drywall.
Bynature has a line of living lights that are stunning. Inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Babylon Light is a multifunctional pendant designed by Ryan Taylor from Object Interface. It provides downlighting up to 180 degrees horizontally, and is a highlight situated above tables, work surfaces and transitional areas. Succulents, ground coverings and air plants are ideal for planting in the light. Taylor has also designed a well-light planter and hemisphere planter “for those who love plants but not the clutter of flower pots.”
It can be a big step moving from a potted fern and a row of fresh herbs growing along the windowsill, to a wall filled with an abundance of fresh or preserved plants. But it appears that this is exactly what your inner nature craves.