Oakland Green Interiors Bringing the Outdoors In Across the City

by Kelsey Lawrence, Columbus Underground

These dark, colder months can be tough on many people’s mental health. With less daylight and access to greenery, it’s no surprise when moods tend to shift in a negative direction. Local plant shop Oakland Green Interiors is combating this common phenomenon by creating biophilic installations for businesses in Columbus and surrounding areas.

The term biophilia is composed of ancient Greek words “life” (bio) and “love” (philia); it means love of life. Coined by German philosopher Erich Fromm in the 1960s, it refers to the innately human desire to connect with nature and other living beings. This concept is the driving force behind biophilic design, which uses natural materials like plants to maintain a connection to nature within a built environment.

Oakland Green Interiors, a division of Oakland Nursery, is a huge proponent of biophilic design. Operating out of a warehouse in the Clintonville area, they create elaborate plants displays around the city. From living walls to holiday installations, they specialize in bringing the outdoors in.

“It’s more than a concept. Numerous studies support humans’ need for plants,” explains Genevieve Mills, director of Oakland Green Interiors. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact plants have on my clients, it’s amazing. We breathe life into people’s spaces.”

Operating alongside Oakland Nursery, their experience with plants goes back to the 1940s when the nursery was established. In 2020, the division formerly known as Oakland Interiorscapes underwent a rebrand to create Oakland Green Interiors. Shortly after this rebrand, they discovered a newfound power in their work.

“When 2020 hit, people were looking for ways to get out when they had to stay in,” explains Mills. “People were looking to plants to cope with the suffocating feeling of lockdown. That’s when we witnessed the power that nature and greenery have on people’s mental well-being.”

One of the most popular projects the company is working on is a living wall in the Huntington Center Downtown. One of the largest living walls in the country, it is over 2,000 square feet in size and comprises over 8,500 plants. While installed by another company, Oakland Interiors has been tasked with upkeep and are gradually rehabbing the installation.

With the holidays, Columbusites will be seeing even more of Oakland’s work around town.

“You have to love Christmas,” Mills jokes when talking about their yearly workload. Christmas is perhaps the company’s largest project of the year. They design hundreds of holiday displays for local businesses and residents, attracting viewers from all over the country.

The design process starts as early as July and goes through the holiday season.

When asked about one of her favorite projects, Mills notes their work with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The company designs and displays large silver trees with colorful ball ornaments.

“The kids and families get so excited each year, they really look forward to it,” she says. “To be able to do something nice for these families and the kids by doing what I love makes everything worth it.”

For more information, visit www.oaklandgreeninteriors.com.

Original article: https://columbusunderground.com/oakland-green-interiors-bringing-the-outdoors-in-across-the-city-kl1/

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