Like it or not, video meetings are here to stay. While you can set a virtual background in some of the video conferencing applications, wouldn’t it be more enjoyable for you to work (and live) in an environment that makes you feel comfortable and more productive?
While many are reallocating vacation budgets toward home improvement projects right now to install custom built-ins for home offices or distraction-free study areas for their children, (have you noticed the hashtag #showmeyourbooks on Twitter?) I’m going to focus on a simpler way to get your home camera ready while adding color and texture to any space, reduce noise pollution, plus boost your mood and productivity – using plants!
Greenery for Wellness
If you follow KitchAnn Style regularly, then you know that I’ve touched on the topic of bringing the outdoors inside and using Biophillic design as a tool that allows me as a designer to create inviting and connective environments.
Plants help purify the air by releasing moisture vapor, which increases the humidity of the air around them. With plants letting out roughly 97% of the water they take in, studies show that their presence indoors can decrease the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.
Use Plants to Add Color and Texture
Not only do houseplants literally breathe in household pollutants, but they also figuratively breathe life into a room. Uncluttered neutral backgrounds are great for video conferencing but they can be a little bland. For added color and texture, place a potted plant a bit off center of the frame. No one wants a plant to appear to be growing from their head! Also, avoid full frames as the focus on the speaker gets distracted.
Take Advantage of Corners
If an empty corner is the best place for you to work from home (WFH) or set up for a video conference, consider adding either a floor plant or hanging plants to make your small area feel more complete without having to add furniture. An added benefit is the sound absorption the plant(s) will provide.
Re-imagine What You Have
If you can’t relate to having a large Palm or Fiddle Leaf Fig and prefer your Hygge succulents, don’t fret. We’re more productive (15% more according to studies) in spaces we feel comfortable in. Large clear planters are a great way to showcase the full beauty of small plants. Create your own masterpiece or follow the tutorial from HonestlyWTF to make your tiny plants stand out. I think the project itself looks very relaxing. You’re sure to get rave reviews on your next video chat when you showcase your new arrangements.
Large Space/Low Maintenance
Moss walls aren’t actually that new: more than a thousand years ago, Zen monks in Japan allegedly planted moss on their walls and temple gardens to create a feeling of tranquility and expansiveness. For many of them, moss was an important element that facilitated a communion with nature, a break from everyday reality and facilitated meditation. Today it can have a similar effect: help you get rid of the stress of everyday life and serve as a low maintenance backdrop for your WFH meetings.
Blooming plants have all of the health and aromatherapy benefits of green plants while also giving you an extra pop of color that can really set your room off. Consider skipping the trip to the local nursery or floral shop and trim a branch directly from your yard. Don’t limit yourself to taking fresh cuttings exclusively in spring and summer. Fall is just around the corner and the foliage is most striking when placed in a clear glass vase.
The whole idea of caring for something can be really beneficial right now in the era of COVID. There’s something about just being able to watch a living plant grow and the vibrancy of it. I think we respond to that whether we’re aware of it or not. I know I take great joy in watching the growth of the pup sprouting from my Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant).
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