Yesterday Mr D very kindly took me to Columbia Road and we made a dawn raid on a few more house plants and some massive cut hydrangeas. Not that I really need any more house plants but my obsession has become such that he has taken to calling me “Greeny Fingers” as his latest nickname (founded on nothing I should add, I haven’t even proved I can keep any of these plants alive yet!)
So what’s the dream for someone who has a new-found biophilic obsession? Why, a hotel where three of the rooms have been “themed” by our green friends, and not just that but positively packed to the rafters so you can quite literally stay in an urban jungle for the next few weeks.
The venue for this initiative is Leman Locke, a short walk from Aldgate East station and is a collaboration between houseplant experts Thejoyofplants.co.uk and three people for whom plant creativity plays a huge role in their careers and passions: award-winning biophilic designer and architect Oliver Heath, This Morning’s Mr Plant Geek – Michael Perry, and creative designer and Founder of Grace & Thorn, Nik Southern.
At the hotel, three suites have been given over to the installation based around the themes of Productivity, Romance and Tranquility. Research from thejoyofplants.co.uk shows that 34% of people spend less than 17 minutes outside during the winter months, yet nature and natural elements have a huge impact on our mental health and well-being. I’m at the very start of my plant journey and even I’m wondering what I did without them for so long. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more mindful of smaller, joyful activities since falling ill, or whether it’s because they make the house feel so much more alive, but I couldn’t imagine being without plants now.
I was invited to pop along and check out the suites at Leman Locke one lovely evening and hear from the designers themselves about the inspiration behind their creation and what plants mean to them. It’s not just about plants on a coffee table either, the suites were stuffed full of plants hanging from the ceiling, plants as headboards, plants in the bathroom, basically the dream set up for me. If I could practically live in a house that was full of plants instead of anything else I’d be up for giving it a go.
Here’s a little bit more about each of the rooms which are available for guests to book and stay in until 10th November 2019 and I’m secretly hoping perhaps schemes like this become a bit more of a permanent fixture in future.
Room 1: Productivity Suite: Designed by Oliver Heath
Perfect for nomadic workers and business travellers, this suite is adorned with Boston ferns, peace lilies and snake plants – plants renowned for their productivity inducing properties. Guests will also be invited to enjoy a binaural beats audio experience; the latest audio ‘soundwave therapy’ designed to sharpen focus and stimulate creativity. The standard hotel mini bar is transformed into a plant-based fuel station, offering plant based ‘power snacks’ and a CBD oil shot.
Room 2: Romance Suite: Designed by Nik Southern
This heady romantic respite is a shrine to sensuality. Guests in the Romance Suite will be wowed by the bed’s botanical canopy, an ode to intimacy that cocoons couples in a lush green blend of cascading plants. Guests can enjoy the sensual sounds and visuals of the natural botanical world to excite the senses, whilst enjoying an exclusive love-boosting cocktail.
Room 3: Tranquil Suite: Designed by Mr Plant Geek – Michael Perry
This tranquil indoor jungle is packed with tropical plants; creating an oasis of calm in the city giving guests a forest-bathing experience without having to leave London. Featuring houseplants such as bromeliads and a variety of monsteras from deliciosa to obliqua, this suite harnesses the relaxing power of plants. Guests are invited to enjoy a fully immersive plant-bathing experience in the bathroom, a dedicated plant meditation space and a clean sleep zone containing the world’s most air purifying plants to bring guests the gift of deep sleep.
I can honestly tell you that I really couldn’t pick a favourite them from any of the suites, but what I did learn is that there’s really no such thing as too many plants (Pete will be overjoyed to hear me say this). I felt so calm in each of the spaces, even the Productivity suite. Somehow their presence focuses the mind and reminds you that there is something living and breathing in the same space.
So now I feel inspired and encouraged to create my own little plant mecca at home. I’m going to take on board some of the biophilic design elements from each of the suite creators and make sure that especially throughout these colder winter months my home becomes a green and healthy haven.
I was invited to preview the Leman Locke suites by Thejoyfplants.co.uk but under no obligation to share a blog post. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.