Expert Advice: Eliza Blank of The Sill.

For many of us, our offices are where we spend the bulk of our day — so why not strive to make our experience there as pleasant as possible?  Here, I’ll ask fellow creatives (who are experts in their fields) for tips on how to live happily, healthily, and heartily — at work.

Today: Eliza Blank of NYC plant design company The Sill on how to use nature to enliven an office, regardless of space, light, or the very brownest of thumbs.

 Eliza Blank.  Photos courtesy of thesill.com

Eliza Blank.  Photos courtesy of thesill.com

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1. Know the perks. Plant purchases are far from frivolous when it comes to furnishing a workspace.  “Plants have real, scientifically proven benefits,” Eliza says. “They reduce stress, and increase creativity and productivity in the workplace. They breathe with us and help purify the air. It’s even been said that looking at or touching plants has the same effects on humans as interacting with animals. And, even if you’re not particularly interested in the science of all this, there’s no denying that they’re just plain beautiful.”

 2. Find your match. “Like any relationship, the one you have with your plants should be mutually beneficial,” Eliza continues. “It’s important to find the right match. Start by considering your environment: what’s the light like? The air quality? Is it hot? Is it dry? And, of course, how often are you there? Will it make sense to choose something that needs to be watered every day?” For those answering that question with a big fat no, Eliza loves ZZ plants, snake plants, and philodendrons — all easily maintained and able to thrive in most any office environment.

 3.  Think outside the box (or pot, or planter). Plants shouldn’t feel like an afterthought — they should function as part of the design of a space,” Eliza tells us. “First, decide whether you want floor plants or tabletop or both, and then think about what accents and colors and accessories make sense for you.” Get creative: plants can be mounted on walls, clustered in corners, or arranged in a multitude of ceramic, glass, wood, or cement vessels (no need to settle for the plastic grow pots from the nursery). “Also, this is important: keep practicality in mind,” Eliza says. “Plants shouldn’t get in the way of desk space. And nix greenery in the kitchen — it attracts bugs!”

 Thanks, Eliza! Read more about The Sill (and shop its beautifully-stocked selection of plants and planters), here.