Garden wall design: a step towards a healthier home

in Biophilic Design

Indoor air quality is a fundamental aspect of healthy interiors and it becomes even more relevant if you consider that we spend on average 90% of our time indoors!

Cleaning products, paints, insulating materials, plywood and combustion are just some of the sources of harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in indoor spaces, which cause real indoor air pollution.

How to restore better indoor air quality?
Sure we need to pay attention to the products we use, but nature can also help. As we discussed in a previous article, there exist plants and flowers that are particularly good at absorbing VOCs. Their effect grows with the number of plants in the space, so the more the better. But this is not to say that every empty corner should be stuffed with plants!

Vertical gardens are an amazing solution to introduce a lot of plants in a space without cluttering it. Plus, they create a beautiful feature wall!

So let’s get inspired with some gorgeous vertical garden designs!

Modern bathroom with a garden wall design next to the bathtub.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Musa Studio (opened in a new window/tab)

Biophilic design & vertical gardens

Incorporating greenery in biophilic design does not mean just adding a couple of plants here and here. Instead, plants need to be an integral part of the design and recreate the feeling of a natural environment.

Clustering many plants together, a living wall resembles a window looking into a lush garden. And as such, it can also be a great alternative to a real outdoor view.

Garden walls are suitable for any room (provided that the actual plants are chosen to fit the interior’s conditions). And they can also serve other purposes besides cleaning the air. Think about a vertical herb garden for instance!

Garden wall design with herb plants.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Wandbegrünung (opened in a new window/tab)
Garden wall design covering the balustrade of a staircase.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Pulltab Design (opened in a new window/tab) (via Contemporist) (opened in a new window/tab)

Installing & maintaining garden walls

There exist several ways of creating a vertical garden.
Let's start with the most sophisticated. Professional solutions consist of panels that are secured to the wall with a metal frame and also include an automatic irrigation system. These are best for big-scale or hard-to-reach installations. And being quite heavy, they need a wall that can bear their weight.

Modern bathroom with a garden wall design all around the vanity wall.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Joel Sander Architect (opened in a new window/tab)
Full wall garden wall design in a modern conversation area.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Sundar Italia (opened in a new window/tab)

On the other side of the spectrum are moss walls.
Here, the moss is treated with a special stabilization process that reduces maintenance to practically zero. Moss walls don’t need pruning or watering and survive for years only with air humidity.

In short, moss walls are one of the easiest ways to introduce and maintain a living wall. And they come in a number of designs: from full-moss panels, to mixed moss-&-plants options, to articulated shapes creating real living artworks!

Full-height garden wall design in a modern apartment.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Sundar Italia (opened in a new window/tab)
Moss artworks.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Greenstems (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)

Living walls can also be created with specific wall planters, that are mounted on the wall like a picture frame and are backed with a waterproof layer to insulate the wall from excessive moisture.
Some of them have integrated pots for the plants and a system of sloped channels to ensure even irrigation and prevent water stagnation. Others are made out of felt, which allows constant air circulation and distributes water evenly throughout the panel.

Garden wall design on a kitchen wall.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Western Living Canada (Photo by Artin Ahmadi) (opened in a new window/tab)
Garden wall design as a hanging artwork in a dining area.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Living Green (opened in a new window/tab)
Garden wall design as a hanging artwork.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Florafelt (opened in a new window/tab)

More hand-crafted solutions – like wall-hung containers or draping plants – are also invaluable options to create a living wall without committing to any specific solution!

Small garden wall design installations.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Vive Studio (opened in a new window/tab)

 
Overall, living walls enrich the space with a lush biophilic feature, and they’re not necessarily expensive or high maintenance. A great way to add life, health and wellbeing to any interior!

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Comments

Don't be shy, let me know what you think!

On airbnb cleaning sydney said:
Whoah, this is so refreshing. I love how the ideas work on the greeny side for the wall. Perfect and really helpful blog.
On Silvia - DforDesign said:
Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!! Needless to say, I fully agree!

Vertical gardens are a great idea to include greenery in an unusual way, and they make such a huge statement!

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