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:
Another, by the Italian designer Luca Nichetto, is a table made of saucers for capturing plants' excess water:
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.
[Images via Offecct]