“In a world of constant change and streaming technology, I find solace in the forest where a tree remains a tree” - Angie Weiland-Crosby
Over the past three to four years, there’s been a surge in the use of living walls, also known as plant walls or green walls. These modern applications cultivate a feeling of well-being in any space. While popular, most versions of these walls need care and maintenance, requiring real soils, air, light and water. Here are some of the types of these walls seen today.
While succulents require less water than most plants, they still require some maintenance. Overall, the succulent walls are a popular choice today, especially with decorative styles such as desert-boho. With the use of a variety of succulents, colourful wallscapes can be aesthetically pleasing installations.
Moss walls are the next easiest to maintain as they don’t need air, soil, and light. They can be misted regularly to keep them fresh, and they are both customisable and can be used in any shape or wall size. Moss creations can also be combined with sign fabrications for a contrasted look.
The precise definition for this kind of product is ‘art’. Living walls create value and attract attention to external and internal areas, no matter how big or small the plant installation is. A wide variety of plant material can be used including, natural moss, stylised moss, or even preserved plant materials such as grasses, ferns, eucalyptus, branches, bark and air plants. These types of plants give a sense of well being and have been proven to increase productivity in a working environment.
This type of “living wall” fully eliminates all care and maintenance while achieving a similar look. With the artificial plants, this type of wall is meant to be viewed from 5-10 feet away. Dusting is required for preserving the look, and they are more affordable than succulent or moss walls.
What Are Some Reasons to Install a Living Wall?
- They enhance a space
As more and more people began working from home, they started to notice and pay attention to their backgrounds while on video calls with family, friends and co-workers. In most cases, their backgrounds were boring, plain white walls, framed prints or the typical bookcase. Changing up the background to a living wall freshened up the scene and transformed the otherwise dull background to something unique.
“I think there has always been some sort of draw for humans to be closer to nature,” said Brian Boehm, Sr. Director of Supply Chain and Technical Services. “Everyone loves having plants and landscaping around their home, so offering a unique take on indoor living plants by hanging them from the wall not only presents a fresh, new look for interior decor, it creates a calming sense of being one with nature while inside a space.”
- Noise Control
Living walls can even be used to control noise. For instance, large spaces that have issues with echoes and reverberations can be toned down with squares of living wall sections mounted sporadically on opposing surfaces.
- Creative Branding
Now that this trend has really taken off, many interior decorators and architects are using living walls in new build outs and renovations but on a much larger scale. New hotels now have living walls that are 10-20 feet wide by 2-3 stories tall in their lobby. Airports incorporate them into their main thoroughfares and lounges. New car dealerships, shopping centres, salons, restaurants and bars are all incorporating living walls in one way or another, especially to emphasise their logo, which is usually formed out of faux neon. Moss is sometimes used to create dimensional letters or incorporate into a branded piece behind a front desk space in an office.
- Bring People Together
These innovative walls are probably best known for being incredible backdrops for selfies. Whether Living Walls include living plants, moss or succulents, all of them do one thing very well: they bring the outside in.
“I don't see this trend going away anytime soon. Not only does it look great, but it can really transform a space. Large blank areas can easily be converted into visually pleasing areas,” said Brian Boehm.
“Living walls truly bring any space to life, and I’ve enjoyed watching this trend unfold over the last few years,” said Catherine Monson, CEO at FASTSIGNS and Chair of the International Franchise Association. “At FASTSIGNS, our franchisees provide their customers with signage, visual graphics and interior décor. Living Walls are an excellent example of the interior décor options our franchisees provide their customers.