Improving Office Life With Chic Furniture That Integrates Plants

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[Images via Offecct]

From our friends at Fast Company, "bridging the fuzzy border between design and business."

There are countless reasons why your indoor office should look more like the great outdoors. Research has shown that vegetation can purify the air, improve employee productivity, and create a natural sound barrier between you and your neighbor's interminable sniffling. Unfortunately, a single, sad little cactus on the receptionist's desk isn't going to cut it.So the Swedish manufacturer Offecct has created a way for people to easily and stylishly usher mother nature into the workplace: Oasis, a collection of ultra-modern furniture, including pedestals, trays, and even sofas, designed explicitly to display plants.

Okay, we realize how absurd that sounds: Furniture... for plants??? Will they get their own time sheets, too? But for companies serious about creating a healthy indoor environment, distributing plants around the office is a legitimate problem. Most places only have so many window sills and alcoves and tabletops that can accommodate pots, and even then, you have to worry about water damage -- nobody wants the Amaryllis to leak all over the Eames.

Offecct's collection seems to have all the bases covered: One piece, designed by Stockholm-based Front, is a planter raised up on coltish legs that doubles as a room divider:

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Another, by the Italian designer Luca Nichetto, is a table made of saucers for capturing plants' excess water:

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Our favorite, though, comes from the mind of French architect and designer Jean-Marie Massaud. "Green Island" (below) is a low-slung divan with a cutout for a big pot. Stick a palm in there, and the thing transforms into an chic little oasis -- a place for harried employees to sit and relax under a shady tree, smack dab in the middle of the workroom. Offecct says in their press materials that the focus of the collection "is to add value through a planned use of vegetation in public." We'll interpret that to mean that for a fleeting moment, a working stiff might forget that she has 50 emails in her inbox and an angry client on the line and instead find herself transported magically into a Corona commercial.

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-by Suzanne LaBarre. More images at Fast Company

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