L'intérieur BOTANIQUE

Green is not a passing fad: nature has had a positive effect on us for time immemorial. It calms, soothes and offers plenty of room for new ideas. So what should you do? Simply bring nature home.

Japanese-Italian company Green Wise quite literally took nature home during Salone del Mobile design week in Milan. Inspired by the Japanese hakoniwa – a miniature garden – they came up with Your Little Garden of Wellbeing, an indoor garden with a gravel path meandering through it, complete with trees and bushes, to help forget the stress of everyday life. The Bosco Interno is hence the speciality of the green design studio: with islands of earth and greenery, the forest feeling is integrated into the home or work environment. This way nature comes a step closer to you, including the positive effects: a feeling of tranquillity and relaxation.
Judith Baehner from Het Groenlab dedicated a book to it: Botanical Buildings, plants + architecture. The book features beautiful examples like the Hotel Jakarta in Amsterdam, which deftly hides a subtropical garden. An enormous palm tree just manages to keep from piercing the glass roof. Such a hidden inner garden is being increasingly included in the floor plans of new buildings. Italian company Floora, for example, makes raised floors with recesses for built-in planters. This allows every tile to be replaced by a tuft of green.

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Secret garden


Want to recreate this at home? That may be a bit difficult if you don’t have vast spaces at your disposal like hotels and offices. But don’t be deterred: start with an eye-catcher of a plant, for example. After the palm tree, Monstera and Bird of Paradise, the Ficus (also known as the fig tree) is the plant of the moment. We’re all familiar with palm tree wallpaper. But what about an exciting alternative like the Extinct Animals wallpaper by Dutch design brand Moooi? Here you can search endlessly for mythical creatures through an enchanted forest of exotic foliage.
Nowadays you don’t even need a garden or balcony to grow your own vegetables and fruit. ‘Vertical farming’ and ‘indoor agriculture’ are well-known terms in big cities. Empty office buildings and factories are perfect venues for gardening at heights with the help of growing lamps. You can get some inspiration at Duurzame Kost in Eindhoven, the largest circular indoor farm in Western Europe. At home you can get started with indoor gardening with Home Forest by Mother. This is a handy vertical system for growing with the help of so-called hydropods and LED growing lamps. And speaking of light, even the sun can shine inside. Lighting designer Marjan van Aubel came up with the Sunne solar lamp, a beautiful orange-purple light bar that absorbs light and simulates the setting sun.

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Natural materials


During the last Dutch Design Week it stood pontifically on the Ketelhuisplein in Eindhoven: The Exploded View Beyond Building by Biobased Creations. A house built entirely of natural, circular materials. Incorporating the superlatives of nature into your home: building your house out of nature. This means textiles made from algae, seaweed tiles, hemp panels, isolated walls made from mycelium and lots of cork, wood and reed. What still sounds like something for the distant future for one person is something to purchase and take home now for another. Take the Totomoxtle wallpaper by Mexican designer Fernando Laposse, for example. He makes beautiful inlaid plywood for the wall from maize leaves – varying in colour from beige, brown to purple. Wallpaper brand Organoid goes a step further: they make deliciously smelling wallpaper from nature’s waste flows. How? By adding cornflower petals, daisies and rose petals. You not only see the flowers in the wallpaper, you smell them as well. You almost don't’ need to go outside anymore.

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