How to Transform Your Workspace with Plants

Breather and The Sill show us how they transformed a workspace with plants and turned it into a green urban oasis.

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“The Oasis” at 55 West 19th Street in Manhattan. Photo by Kate Glicksberg.

See ya later, sad office plant! In celebration of spring, Breather, an on-demand workspace network (we’ve featured them here and here), has partnered with The Sill, NYC’s leading plant design company. Together, they’ve turned an existing Breather unit into “The Oasis” — “a space for Breather members to immerse themselves in a room overflowing with productivity-enhancing greenery,” said Dave Haber, Breather’s VP of growth and marketing.

The space, before the transformation. Image courtesy of Breather.

The space, located at 55 West 19th Street in Manhattan, was already a popular location where Breather users would host meetings, work privately, or just relax. Now, it’s attracting even more attention as an urban botantical sanctuary.

“We’re constantly exploring new ideas around workspaces that promote focus and productivity, and it is overwhelmingly clear that having living plants present in a workspace improves our ability to maintain attention, and boosts productivity and well-being,” said Haber. He added that their goal for The Oasis was to create a place where users “can breathe in some fresh air, and hopefully experience a great day of focus and overall well-being.”

Wanna see it in person? The Oasis can be booked through the end of April via the Breather app, starting at $66 per hour. And below, we’ve peppered Haber with more questions about how you can (and why you should!) incorporate some of the same ideas into your own space.

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Photo by Kate Glicksberg.

What gave Breather the idea to create The Oasis?

Breather founder and CEO, Julien Smith, and The Sill founder and CEO, Eliza Blank, first connected around the idea and brainstormed about how the two brands could come together to create an immersive experience focused on the importance of living plants in “The Ideal Workspace”. In that spirit — and in celebration of the first day of spring — we’ve partnered with The Sill to create The Oasis.

Photo by Kate Glicksberg.
Photo by Kate Glicksberg.

What kind of feedback are you getting from users of the space?

Our members have told us that the room is beautiful and unlike anything they’ve ever experienced.  Customers that used the space for meetings or getting work done told us that they had a productive and focused work session. The plants provided by The Sill create an environment that left visitors feeling relaxed, recharged, and maybe a little more Zen.

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Photo by Kate Glicksberg.

Do you try to incorporate plant life in other Breathers?

Yes, in fact, in addition to the traditional elements of an ideal workspace — WiFi, whiteboards, notebooks and pencils, etc. — every Breather space has living plants within the room.

Do you have plans to execute any other themed spaces in NYC or other cities, and/or to work again with The Sill to create another Oasis?

This was the first themed room partnership we’ve executed and, as we’ve enjoyed a great wealth of positive feedback from The Oasis, and general excitement around the Breather brand, we are definitely exploring potential future partnerships.

The Oasis will be available to Breather users through the end of April. Photo by Kate Glicksberg.
The Oasis will be available to Breather users through the end of April. Photo by Kate Glicksberg.

What tips do you have for our readers who want to incorporate plants in their own spaces?

If you’re going to be a first-time plant-owner, we recommend you start small with easy-to-care-for plants that can survive in a variety of situations. Succulents are a great place to start: they’re low-maintenance and survive indoors, yet still provide the positive boost in mood accompanied by surrounding yourself with living plants. Amy Johnson, our location designer, recommends the following seven plants of all shapes and sizes that are easy to maintain and will complement interior spaces of various use and scale:

  1. Fiddle leaf fig
  2. ZZ plant
  3. White bird of paradise
  4. Braided ficus
  5. Monstera
  6. Bird’s nest fern
  7. The spiky Mother-in-law’s Tongue
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