Not only are houseplants on trend at the moment they boost health and wellbeing too, as they have a positive impact on customers and employees and therefore your bottom line.
Unfortunately, the Inapub team know next to nothing about houseplants (as proved by their inability to even keep the office cactus alive – RIP Kurt), so we asked Jackie Cooper the green-fingered expert at Ambius, a company that specialises in "workplace plant design", for her advice...
As your beer garden filled up over the summer, it may not have occurred to you that people's desire for a drink outdoors is actually more scientific than you may think. It is linked to the term "biophilia", which is humanity's inherent need to connect with nature and living organisms.
This goes beyond having the odd plant around, it's about stimulating people's senses – what they see, feel, smell and hear – in an environment that feels natural and open. According to our own research, in which we surveyed over 1,000 office workers last year, 40 per cent of Brits spend a mere 15 minutes outside in an average day, so finding ways to foster this connection for your customers could have a real impact.
That's why publicans should consider the ways they can "bring the beer garden in", to create a more welcoming, natural environment throughout their establishment, all year round. This is especially the case for those pubs with no outdoor space, where the opportunity to connect with nature can be limited.
The benefits of biophilia can also stretch to employees. Any landlord will probably know that happy team members who do their job with a smile on their face will inevitably provide a better overall experience for customers. Whereas unhappy and unmotivated staff members are more likely to leave customers with a bad impression. Investing in a more positive, natural-feeling indoor space could help improve your employees' sense of wellbeing and in turn the customer experience that they deliver.
Of course, this doesn't mean that the interior design of the classic British pub needs a complete overhaul, as there are ways to bring elements of the outdoors inside, even to the most traditional pub. Introducing more plants is a simple, cost-effective place to start.
While aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-maintain, the benefits of indoor plants don't end there. Studies have shown that plants can reduce stress and anxiety and have air-purifying capabilities, especially indoors where the air is often more polluted than outside.
For maximum benefit, pub owners and managers should also think about incorporating these elements in a way that reflects how they are seen in the natural environment. By, for example, arranging plants of varying heights and textures in a sporadic way, to keep with the random way that plants tend to grow in nature.
Try to use natural materials in your interior, as well. Wood is one of the most popular biophilic construction materials and through chairs and tables, is an easy material to play with in your indoor space.
Reclaimed wood has become a popular choice thanks to its authentic and "rustic" appearance. The same applies to flooring, where the incorporation of reclaimed wood, or even interesting textures like indoor grass, will stimulate your customers› and employees› senses.
Image by Mike Goad from Pixabay
Going green (or coral pink)
One of the most effective ways to bring the outside in and to revamp a pub – and one that is often forgotten about – is colour.
Painting the walls is a simple way to make a noticeable change, without needing to overhaul the entire decor.
Selecting natural colours such as green and blue might seem obvious, but there are more original choices. For example, this year's Pantone Colour Institute's "Colour of the Year" is "Living Coral" – chosen for its "animating and life-affirming" hue which "energises and enlivens with a softer edge". This could be a great option for a pub looking to lift the spirits of those inside.
Four easy-to-look-after indoor plants for your pub:
Like catnip for Instagrammers, succulents are currently desperately fashionable and a doddle to look after, needing little water. For inside, aloe and kalanchoe are good.
- Snake plant
Or Sansevieria trifasciata, if you will (also commonly known as "mother-in-law's tongue" but we'll gloss over that). Said to be hard to kill – in fact one of the few things that might do it in is too much watering.
- Peace lily
A lover of shade and not too much water, this plant also has the advantage of year-round flowers, if cared for properly.
Keep your aspidistra flying by positioning it out of direct sunlight and giving it just the occasional watering.