When was the last time you had a bath in the forest?
I Japan they bathe in the woods! So not literally with water and soap, but as an activity that lowers stress levels, increases focus and provides more well-being. The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku –forest bathing.
We recommend a trip to the forest bath with the whole company, but we also understand that it can be a logistical challenge to complete such an excursion several times a week. So what's the next-best thing? Bringing nature into the company by decorating with organic colors and materials! Something we have worked a lot with at Grape; so let's share some of our knowledge in this article.
A useful definition of organic materials
The most obvious organic materials are those that come directly from nature: wood, marble, metal, rubber, wool and cork. But organic materials are also the blending materials that are experienced as organic with a high content of natural materials: linoleum, felt, paper, wool upholstery, glass, Corian®, etc. And it is precisely how a material is experienced that is crucial in connection with design of environments that are to contribute to well-being and positive behavior.
Take inspiration in the lasting natural colorsVirtually all colors are found in nature; the subdued at one end of the scale and the furious at the other. The latter is always intended to deter enemies, look toxic or attract attention in connection with, for example, mating. We do not usually want to promote this kind of energy in a setting where calm and well-being are in focus.
So when we recommend seeking inspiration in the colors of nature, it is the muted, lasting shades we mean. Those we find in nature at all times of the year and in large areas. These are colors that calm the body and deactivate the emergency response, leaving room for creativity and focus.
Natural colors and organic materials = triple up!
When a decor has a high content of organic materials, the room feels more friendly and warm. On top of that, the acoustics get better because many of the organic materials are soft and porous in the surface, which absorbs sound waves. In this way, the organic materials can thus in two ways create the basis for a good framework for the desired behavior.
Complementing the organic materials with the nature-inspired colors enhances the feeling of being closer to nature. It gives a noticeable feeling of calm and well-being. In companies, it provides space for creative thinking and productive habits. In stores and restaurants, it provides a better and nicer experience, creating loyal customers and ambassadors.
It's not just usYou do not have to look around much before you see new devices where the organic materials are used and mixed with a round hand. And the colors are similarly also nicely calm and down to earth. Including some examples of how Norm.Architects has tuned in to the same tools.
Norm.ArchitectsLinda Korndal from Norm.Architects was recently interviewed for an article for Byggeri + Arkitektur. Linda said, among other things: "We work with a concept we call 'soft minimalism', which draws on a traditional Scandinavian modernism. It is not industrial and cool, like the modernism that was expressed in Central Europe, but rather warm, human and more tactile. We orient ourselves towards materials that are nice to the touch and that relate to the body.” Full article »
We have taken a look at Norm.Architects' fantastic projects and think spec. good about PRESENCE wine bar and restaurant in the picture above. Here, nature is to that extent invited inside. And the feeling of well-being is not to be mistaken. The fine lounge chairs are from Gubi and are sold here with us.More pictures »
Another exciting decor from Norm.Architects is Cofoco Italy in the picture above. It is lighter and brighter in expression than PRESENCE; but still with the materials and colors of nature as the focal point.
The organic elements of our solutions
Including examples of how different solutions from Grape include organic materials and nature-inspired colors.
molo’s softwall in natural brown kraft paper is almost a beacon for everything we believe in when it comes to organic materials, natural colors, soft shapes and good acoustics. If the brown shade gives a little too many flashbacks to the 70s, the softwall is also available in black.molo softwall »
With a content of as much as 70% wool, durable and functional Kvadrat Hallingdal 65 is our favorite upholstery for the Impact sofa. The soft woolen upholstery gives the sofa's embracing shapes extra organic look and feel. Perfect for contemplation and informal meetings.Grape Box sofa »
Grape Random wall cover in dark brown cork is the most organic product in our range. The pure natural material without additives, the deep brown color and the soft shapes contribute both warmth and good acoustics.Grape Random corkwall »
Grape Reception with front in laser-cut corrugated cardboard and table top in solid bamboo is 100% organic in the materials and expression. The places we have set it up, it has always seemed like a warm and friendly reception of visitors. Incidentally, the honest construction also acts as a good ice-breaker that can turn the talk towards sustainability and lasting solutions.Grape Reception »
Environment influences behavior
At Grape, we have yet to meet anyone who disagrees that environment influences behavior. That is why we are still working on creating solutions for interiors based on people, and how design can be used to create well-being and positive behavior.
To make it clear and concrete, we have identified five design elements that any good interior design should include: Organic materials, soft shapes, selected natural colors, good acoustic regulation and pleasant light. All our solutions contain at least one of these elements - most often several.
Come and feel the message on body and soul
We always experiment, play and try things out in our design studio on Rentemestervej, so feel free to call and announce your arrival. Our underbo Coffee Department is also experimenting; both with decor and coffee. So we also provide a cup of the industry's best coffee while we talk about decor that needs to be more than just functional.
Would you like to try forest bathing?Of course, the real forest bath gives more peace to body and soul than inviting nature inside. If you would like to try the real forest bath, the blog Effortless Outdoors has in their article How To Go Forest Bathing (+ why it makes you healthier & happier) carefully described how to approach it. Have fun.
Christian Nygaard, Designer & Partner, November 2017