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Natural Fit: A Holistic Yoga and Wellness Studio

04 Aug, 2021

When the members of Natural Fit Gym walk through the doors, they are met with a peaceful and welcoming reception area; beautiful hanging pendant lights, a cluster of occasional chairs, fresh blooms. An instant feeling of calm sets in as you decompress and make your way through to the gym space. Olly and Beth set out to create an inspiring space that challenged the typical ‘gym’ setting with it unexpectedly becoming a source of pride as people comment on the ‘feel’ of the space, often unable to pinpoint ‘what’ it is beyond a positive energy that keeps them coming back.

01 — How did you come together to start Natural Fit?

We met whilst volunteering at our children’s Year 7 School Camp in the Kaimai’s. It was here that we realised how similar our backgrounds were, sharing a passion for learning and helping people take control of their health. Olly has been in the fitness industry for 25 years, focusing his practice on exercise therapy, ‘mind and body’. I (Beth) started my fitness career in Canada, initially in ‘corporate fitness’, then in hospitals and then moving onto becoming an educator in schools. Teaming up has allowed us to merge the worlds of fitness, health and learning mindful movement.

02 — What was the vision for your brand new gym?

A traditional gym can be intimidating to walk into. Our goal was to create a space that was calm, warm and inviting. Our name ‘Natural Fit’ represents where our inspiration comes from. We wanted natural tones, materials and design to help put our members in the clear headspace that comes from being in nature. Our mezzanine is a great example of where the flooring helped create the calm natural look we were looking for. Originally it was a harsh space on a cold, concrete slab, with an open ceiling showing industrial pipes and wires. But with the addition of the vinyl plank ‘wooden’ flooring, a wooden feature wall, some well-placed pot plants, lighting and art, the space has transformed into a tranquil environment that our members absolutely love.

03 — Why was it important to create a design led experience for your clients?

In the fitness industry, it is quite common to enter a space where the design and layout is considered only for where equipment is placed and where classes can be facilitated. At Natural Fit we are more than a room full of fancy machines. The environment has been designed to support a calm internal state and positive mindset. The entrance, gym floor, studio and facilities were all designed with exactly this in mind.

04 — How did you come to select the flooring?

We wanted a natural look product whilst keeping budget in mind as we had large spaces to cover. Working in consultation with Kathrine McDonald Interior Design, we found a ‘wood’ look vinyl plank from Flooring Xtra. Being a busy commercial space, durability, not showing dust and dirt, being easy to clean and holding up to wet weather at the front door and wet wheelchairs that come in were all priorities alongside the neutral, natural look of the floor. In the morning, light cascades through the large windows in the reception area onto the floor which looks simply magnificent.

Who: Natural Fit
Where: Mount Maunganui, Bay of Plenty
Instagram: @naturalfitnz
Photographer: Olivia Pitcher

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