Indoor greenery is finding a place in interior design and architecture, now more than ever before. As populations grow, and urbanization continues to be a stark reality, cities will continue to transform into endless concrete landscapes. An unintended consequence of this will be an extreme reduction in outdoor greenery. Urban architects and city-based builders have always been challenged by space restrictions in cities. Thus, the incorporation of greenery in apartments and commercial buildings is mostly limited to the token indoor plants or creepers. However, in the last few years, many innovative indoor greenery solutions are coming to the fore, owing to the demand by city dwellers. These options are not just aesthetically appealing but highly functional and require low maintenance. Here are some easy ideas for indoor greenery which any designer or architect can incorporate into their plans.
Vertical gardens are shrubs & plants that use the vertical structure as a base to grow out of. The garden unit might be free-standing or use an actual wall to support the growth medium. While vertical gardens use the principle of hydroponics to grow, their function is more of an aesthetic nature. Largely used by architects at hotel lobbies, airports, and residential lobbies; their popularity has now seen adaptation at homes and small offices too. Designers use professionally cultivated vertical gardens walls instead of vanilla painted walls to make a specific area stand out.
Gurgaon based WeDecor8 is one such firm specializing in installing vertical gardens for clients and over the years their growing business has been a testament to the growing demand. Similarly, Mumbai based Vertvista Eco Solutions specializes in green walls and green facades which are eye-catching solutions that bring a piece of nature into concrete structures. Sometimes, a vertical garden can just be rows of closely linked mini-pots, holding snake plants and money plants. All in all, it is a great space-saving idea that serves its purpose well.
There has been a rising demand for green roofs & balconies, especially in medium-sized apartments in the city. While artificial lawns have been in use for a while, all-natural lawns are seeing new adapters in India. Ideally, green roofs and balcony lawns need to be planned & executed by experts. The process is complex as cultivating a lawn can add substantial weight to a roof or balcony, and one needs to ensure it is perfectly water-proofed.
Bangalore based Natura- Urban Plantscaping is one such company that specializes in balcony and terrace lawns. The company sets up green terraces with leak-proof systems such as the synthetic drain system and the capillary action drain system. Delivering customized projects, their approximate lead time is 25 days. Green balconies help create a mini-garden for those homeowners, who are restricted due to limits of city living.
Terrariums are an effective way to literally bring a whole garden into one’s living room. They are mini-gardens set in glass bowls that bring a sense of freshness to a décor. While a good do-it-yourself project, setting one up is best left to the experts. Over the last few years, quite a few terrarium sellers have emerged online. LiveTrends Design Group, a foreign player in India offers a range of luxury terrariums which are a step above the regular indoor plants.
MyBageecha is another e-commerce company that offers terrarium kits that fit every budget. One may not fit a money plant or a peace lily in there, but there is definitely space for a variety of other colorful plants. Apart from plants, a terrarium is lined with stones and interesting miniature elements; so, a designer can always choose a theme that fits his or her décor.
For those who do not want to dedicate a whole wall to a vertical garden, moss frames are an effective way to introduce greenery that can be restricted to space on a wall. Such frames are available in a variety of sizes and layouts. The moss is of a preserved variety, which gives an appearance of freshness but does not need upkeep or sunlight.
Unlike what may appear, these frames do not attract insects or rodents. Many companies sell customized moss frames-some of the popular sellers in India include MyBageecha. Another company called Greenopia helps designers and architects come up with their own designs and provides them moss of various kinds, as raw material.
Traditionally, not used for decorating or for indoor greenery; functional gardening is soon becoming a part of urban households. While not decorative in nature, there are many people who would want to plant herbs and tomatoes instead of peace lily or a snake plant. An effective way to do this is through hydroponics which is growing plants on a vertical growth medium through careful management of all parameters- medium, water, nutrients, light, and temperature.
There are companies like Urban Kissan which sell hydroponic or aquaponics kits. They also provide training on how to use it to grow vegetables in space-challenged apartments. An unintended benefit of such systems is, of course, the indoor greenery.
As one can see, there are multiple ways in which architects and designers can incorporate indoor greenery into their projects. The home décor world has come a long way from crudely planted money plants and probably bonsais, though the latter is still in demand widely. Designers in consultation with homeowners can plan their indoor greenery element by choosing one or a mix of the above solutions. There can probably never be, too much indoor greenery.