5 Surefire Strategies for Designing Indoor Living Walls

Living Wall Made from Florafelt Vertical Garden Planters
Photo by Plants On Walls

If you want to enjoy a living wall year-round and you don’t live in a warm climate, you’ll need to build it indoors where cold weather won’t kill your plants.

Deciding where to put your new garden, how to display it, and your overall design strategy is your next challenge.

Before you start drilling holes all over the house, consider these five surefire ways of designing indoor living walls.

For most people installing their first living wall, I recommend the Florafelt Vertical Garden System because it’s so easy to install and care for. And Florafelt comes in customizable panels you can cut into whatever dimensions and shapes you want, making them incredibly versatile.

Give a tropical jungle vibe to tight spaces

Serene vertical garden planters filled with tropical plants in Sarava Cafe, Wilton Manors, Florida
Living wall design and image by Tru Vine Design

Designer Jeffrey Allis mounted Florafelt vertical garden planters around the small bar and right up to the front window of Sarava Cafe in Wilton Manors, Florida. Small and medium-sized philodendrons with bold, graphic leaf patterns in various shades of green and yellow give the small multi-functional space a tropical jungle-like vibe.

Soften the harshness of industrial, minimalist or modern Spaces

Living wall garden above bright, airy modern dining area
Living wall design and image by Planted Design

This lush wall garden–perched above a small modern dining set–is brimming with bright green and yellow pothos plants that bring a cozy, organic feel to the modern space that might otherwise feel sterile. Punches of dark purple leaves break up the subdued color palette.

Add a pop of color to a forgotten corner

Colorful floor to ceiling green wall inside stairwell
Living wall design and image by Jennifer L. Hawn

This stairwell wall was plain white before designer Jennifer L. Hawn installed Florafelt vertical garden planters and filled them with bright red and green-leaved perennials, adding a pop of visual interest to the forgotten space.  In addition to the red-heavy color palette, this design is unique in one other important way:  It’s not just plants. Look closely and you can see the plants are mixed in with the homeowner’s collection of folk art decorative masks. Hawn took advantage of a totally-cool-but-under-appreciated feature of Florafelt vertical garden kits: They can easily be cut and customized to fit in–or around–whatever amount of space you are working with.

Heighten the sense of scale in rooms with high ceilings

Living Wall Vertical Garden in Emeryville Public Market
Green wall design by Brandon Pruett. Image by Living Green

This 40-foot wide vertical garden flanks the enormous dining room of the Emeryville Public Market, allowing you to see the immense scale of the room. Stuffed with 3,800 plants, the vertical garden contains ornamental plants with delicate, soft leaves–like staghorn ferns, wart ferns, and maidenhair ferns. The contrasting bands of light green and dark green give the design a natural look–as if it was designed by mother nature herself.

Create a dramatic backdrop

Florafelt vertical garden planters filled with philodendrons, bromeliads and perennials in the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco
Living wall design by Chris Bribach. Image by Plants On Walls

Vertical garden designer Chris Bribach planted an astounding variety of species in this living wall backdrop at the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco, California, but the composition doesn’t look cluttered or over-designed–it looks like a rainforest overtook a wall. The schefflera, bromeliads, philodendron and air plants near the top of the wall appear to be growing up–or breaking out of– the garden, giving it a beautiful three-dimensional effect that resembles the vertical garden designs of Patrick Blanc.

Make a plan, but don’t be afraid to revise it

Compared to many DIY home improvement projects, designing and installing an indoor living wall is relatively easy. It doesn’t require lots of special knowledge or expensive tools. But it does take time, money. and attention to detail.

Spend some time planning the project before you start making any purchases. Even if you are 100 percent certain about where you want to put your new living wall, spend some time considering other possible locations. Home decorating is like life. Often my instincts turn out to be wrong, but I only realize I’ve made a mistake after some reflection. Allow yourself to change plans if you

Home decorating is like life. Often your instincts turn out to be wrong, but you only realize your mistake after some reflections, so allow yourself to revise your design plan if you realize it’s important.

What is your living wall design plan?

This is just one approach to planning an indoor living wall, but there are many others. What’s yours?

Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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