Why the green wall trend is here to stay and how to install one in your home

Bringing life, oxygen and style to the walls within our homes – green walls are here to stay

Plant walls can be used in a variety of ways in the home.

What looks like a modern-day innovative design was actually an idea created way back in 1938. Living walls were patented by Stanley Hart White around 75 years ago, and were later popularised by the French botanist Patrick Blanc, who is now credited as the godfather of green walls. Grown vertically as opposed to horizontally, living or green walls work inside the home and out. They are defined by walls that are covered with vertical vegetation and that have a built-in irrigation system. While most of us know the benefits of bringing more nature into the home, read on to find out why a green wall is a trend with many benefits:

Requires limited space

If you don’t have a large garden, then vertical gardening is ideal. Since the plant pots are fixed to walls, living walls rarely take up any floor space. Apart from enriching the beauty of the apartment, they also add life to your living space. For the indoors, moss walls can be a great addition for bringing in some greenery that requires little maintenance.

Small plant walls can also be added to decorate your bathroom space
Install them in your bedroom, living room, or even the bathroom!
Image credits|@livingwallsofficial

Improves air quality indoors

The issues with pollution and air quality affect the indoors as much as it does the outdoors. Plants are great natural air purifiers- a NASA experiment conducted in 1989 found that indoor plants can scrub the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene. Certain plants, like the English hydrangea, Peace Lily, Devils Ivy, and Chrysanthemums, significantly reduce germs and toxins in the home.

A plant wall behind a sofa in a living room
Houseplants help remove toxins in the air. Image credits|@mr_plant_whisperer

Benefits your mental and physical health

Research shows that green walls positively impact how people feel. The relationship between humans and plants is known as Biophilia. It is a natural phenomenon by which people tend to feel calm and pleasant when around living organisms. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with indoor plants (such as touching and smelling) can reduce physiological and psychological stress. While regular exposure to the colour green or viewing images of green spaces can improve health and wellbeing by reducing blood pressure, muscle tension, fear, stress, anger, and sadness.

Doua Benhida, marketing manager at Dubai-based sustainable business solutions company One Modern World tells us that apart from looking great, green walls also add positivity to the space it’s in.

“Green walls are naturally beautiful and everyone seems to enjoy seeing and being around it, the same way one would feel when in nature. It provides a sense of quiet, plus, it can even serve as a noise cancellation – that’s also why a lot of companies have it in their offices and buildings. Having it at home would bring those benefits, along with the fact it’s a unique design to have, and sustainable as it does not require any water and is generally very low maintenance for many years.”

Saves energy

Plant walls can help to reduce temperatures indoors because they act as climate control. If they’re installed on a building’s exterior, they can help to reduce the sunlight that directly lands on the structure’s walls. This means that less energy will be required to keep the interiors cooler. Apart from this, green walls also help provide a natural environment and nesting space for wildlife. During the wintertime, the plant walls act as insulation, trapping heat and helping to reduce the consumption of electricity.

Green panels behind a sofa set in a living room
Panels of green make a design statement. Image credit |@livingwallsofficial

You can grow food

According to horticulturist Ryan McQuerry from Outside In, edible green walls are a good method to grow your own organic produce while adding a beautiful touch to your living space. “People are increasingly worried about where their food comes from, how it is grown and the types of sprays used. As a result, more and more people are starting to grow their own vegetables and herbs. Edible green walls are a way to grow organic produce in a place where space is tight.”

Green walls can spice up your workspace
Looking to grow your own little plant jungle? Image credit| @livingwallsofficial

Requires minimal maintenance

One of the main benefits of a green wall is the fact it requires little to no maintenance. Dou says this is its greatest advantage. People wishing to install green walls in their living/office spaces should also consider the reasons behind installing the systems.

“The best advantage about these plants is they do not require any sort of maintenance: no water, no sun, no electricity. They provide a unique sense of calm, and even noise cancellation. Individuals or corporate that would want to install a Green Wall in their houses or offices have to consider the size and the design of it more than anything – They would also need to think of their motives behind it: is it purely aesthetics? Or do they want to provide a sense of relaxation,  or use it for noise cancellation purposes ?”

A large plant wall in an office space
Spruce your homes or offices with the green touch. Image credit|@livingwallsofficial

A fresh and artistic look

Living walls can help to create a design statement. They help to bring a fresh feel to the environment- whether that’s your home or office – they can add a dramatic, yet natural touch helping elevate the aesthetic look of the space. Adding plant walls to living rooms, hallways or kitchens gives spaces that don’t have much in the way of decor a much-needed pop of colour and life.

Green walls add a fresh look to your homes and require less maintenance. Image credits| @livingwalls

Things to consider before installing a green wall in your home

Decide where you want to install the wall

Whether indoors or outdoors, choose wall(s) that will be easy to build and maintain. Make sure the wall gets enough sunlight while considering other requirements like water availability and humidity levels. For outdoor walls, Ryan suggests choosing a climbing plant that can attach itself to the wall or frame as it grows. This helps create a “green facade” and cover the wall over time. Do keep in mind that climbers can take years to grow completely.

Plant pots hung above railings in a living space
Choose a wall where you can easily build and maintain the system. Image credits| @normanleigh

Choose what goes where

One of Ryan’s tips is to pick the right plants. Certain plants do well indoors, while some others need ‘grow lights’. Watering plants is also equally important- too little or too much water can both damage their growth.

Consult with a vertical garden specialist

It’s recommended to consult with a garden specialist to help you decide which plants would best suit your needs and lifestyle. Approaching a professional designer or landscape company is the right way to go, especially if you’re looking to install an integrated wall system, which involves irrigation and fertilising systems. “Green walls are wonderful in homes, as a natural design element for a living room but also for a home office as a movable room divider,” says Doua.

A large integrated green walll system
It is easier to install integrated walls if you have professionals do it. Image credits| @livinggreewalls

“Some considerations should be made like the size of the house if it should be on the wall or freestanding and of course,  the placement and size of it. It is quite adaptable in terms of where you can put it, but yes, anyone can have it. It’s also custom-made from a wide selection of different plants, so it really is up to the creativity of the person to design their perfect version for their home. “

By Mabel Roy

Want more green content? Take a look at this lush garden in The Villa and meet a couple with a plant-filled apartment in Al Barari

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