A Guide to Interior Green Design

When envisioning a green, vibrant interior, many people immediately think of potted plants. While these can add a refreshing touch to any space, relying solely on potted plants has its limitations.

In apartments or smaller homes, floor space is at a premium. Every piece of furniture and decor needs to be carefully considered to avoid clutter. Potted plants can take up valuable floor space that might otherwise be used for functional purposes. Potted plants also require frequent watering and fertilizing because the soil can dry out and deplete nutrients faster. The challenge is that not everyone has the time (or patience) to maintain potted plants, as the upkeep requires regular watering, pruning, fertilizing, and monitoring for pests and diseases. Busy schedules, travel, or other responsibilities can make it difficult to provide the consistent care that healthy plants need. 

Fortunately, there are myriad other ways to bring green design indoors that can overcome these limitations while offering many unique benefits.

Beyond Potted Plants: Creative Alternatives

Green Ceilings and Hanging Installations

Transforming the ceiling into a green canvas is a captivating alternative to traditional plant displays. Green ceilings and hanging installations can make a dramatic impact without taking up any valuable floor space. These designs range from simple hanging planters to elaborate installations of cascading plants.

Hanging planters at Terrex store

For those seeking a low-maintenance option, air plants are a perfect choice. These plants absorb moisture and nutrients from the air, needing only occasional misting or soaking. They can be displayed in unique ways, such as mounted on walls or suspended from the ceiling, adding a touch of green without the fuss of soil and pots. These types of installations not only save space but also draw the eye upwards, adding dimension and interest to the room.

Water Features

Incorporating water features is another unique way to introduce the tranquillity of nature into your interior design. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, water features like fountains or small indoor waterfalls offer practical benefits such as noise dampening. They are also generally lower maintenance than living plants and provide a soothing audible element through the sound of trickling water. 

Indoor water feature

Living Walls

Living walls, also known as green walls, are vertical gardens that can be geoponic (soil-based) or hydroponic (water-based). Each method has its own unique advantages: geoponic systems can support a wider variety of plants and hydroponic living walls often require less maintenance and can be optimized for air purification.

Living walls also serve as a natural sound barrier, primarily due to the density and texture of their foliage, which absorbs and deflects sound waves. The leaves and other plant matter in the wall create a multi-layered structure that disrupts the path of sound, reducing its intensity as it travels.

Indoor living wall in office space

Natural Materials and Organic Shapes

Incorporating natural materials like wood and embracing organic shapes in furniture and decor can also enhance the natural design aesthetic. These elements contribute to the growing trend of “organic modern” design, which blends sleek, modern design with the warmth and texture of natural materials such as clay, stone, and wood. This approach not only brings a touch of nature indoors but can also be more cost-effective than some of the other options previously listed.

The Benefits of Green Design

Embracing green design or biophilic design in interiors goes beyond just aesthetics; it offers numerous benefits for occupants. Research has shown that integrating natural elements into interior spaces can improve occupant well-being by creating a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere. The presence of plants and natural features has been linked to decreased stress levels, increased productivity, and overall enhanced enjoyment of the space. A research paper entitled “Economic Benefits of Biophilic Design: A Holistic Approach to Enhancing Productivity and Well-being In The Workplace”, discusses the advantages of integrating biophilic design principles into our workplaces and improving overall quality of productivity.

Biophilic design office, wood design

Whether through innovative plant installations, natural materials, or soothing water features, green design offers endless possibilities to transform our interiors into serene spaces.