27 November 2023

Trends

Vertical gardens for elevated aesthetics

Vertical gardens integrate sustainability into interior and exterior designs

Vertical gardens are one of the most versatile - and impressive - elements used in the design of spaces. Living walls integrate nature into our everyday surroundings, both indoors and out.

Vertical gardens are true biophilic design elements, lending aesthetic value to the structure they adorn. They also come with benefits to the environment and your health. These pieces can completely transform the look of a room. We'll explore their full potential in our next post.

Vertical garden installed in a Noken bathroom.

Vertical garden installed in a Noken bathroom.

What is a vertical garden?

With vertical gardens, the plants and foliage are planted on a wall, rather than at ground level. These installations are designed for walls, façades or other structures, transforming flat surfaces into aesthetically appealing living walls or surfaces.

Structure installed on a ceramic tile base (Liston Oxford Cognac and Verbier Silver by Porcelanosa) in the offices at Agora Construcciones. Photos: Javier Muñoz. See the project in full on the website.

Structure installed on a ceramic tile base (Liston Oxford Cognac and Verbier Silver by Porcelanosa) in the offices at Agora Construcciones.
Photos: Javier Muñoz. See the project in full on the website.

You can choose from a number of types, with designs varying according to the setting, purpose and your own décor tastes. Some vertical gardens incorporate special bags or panels containing soil to grow the plants. Others use hydroponics or aeroponics; systems that provide vegetation with nutrients - without the need for soil. You can also install features such as automated watering systems, integrated lighting and monitoring technology to optimise growth and maintenance.

Ornamental plants, herbs, flowers or even vegetables can be blended together in the structure. The layout will depend on the intention behind the design as well as the location.

Vertical gardens: a design element

With a striking and unique aesthetic, vertical gardens can turn any space into a captivating visual experience.

Similarly, vertical garden design is not limited to a single style. They can be adapted to numerous architectural styles, from minimalist to eclectic. They're installed anywhere from offices to homes and commercial settings, proving their worth as an innovative way of integrating nature into urban environments.

Vertical garden on Green Silk Calacatta by XTONE®.

Vertical garden on Green Silk Calacatta by XTONE®.

Green walls act as natural filters, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to improve air quality. They also provide a habitat for birds and beneficial insects, making a positive contribution to preserving biodiversity in urban areas. Integrating sustainability into interior and exterior design is a prerequisite nowadays, and vertical gardens are an elegant and effective solution.

What to combine with your vertical garden

When you're choosing other elements for your vertical garden scheme, think about the setting, the purpose of the space and your aesthetic preferences. Here are some ideas for blending these structures seamlessly into your space:

(1) Vertical garden on Monarch María natural wood by L'Antic Colonial. (2) Installation at the Porcelanosa store in Valencia. (3) Vertical garden at the Upper Sarrià offices, installed on Bottega Caliza ceramic tiles by Porcelanosa. (4) Vertical garden proposal for a Butech façade made with KRION®.

When you're choosing other elements for your vertical garden scheme, think about the setting, the purpose of the space and your aesthetic preferences. Here are some ideas for blending these structures seamlessly into your space:

  • Natural wood. It's the perfect material to use to frame or support a vertical garden. Wood lends a warm, earthy feel to the space, complementing the freshness of the plants. For a more rustic look, you could opt for untreated wood; or for durability, go for treated wood such as parquet flooring by L'Antic Colonial.
  • Natural stone. Natural stone works perfectly, whether as a base for the installation or for the surrounding decorative elements. You could use stone planters or rocks as a border, or build a low wall to highlight the contrast between the hard material and the softness of the plants. L'Antic Colonial offers a wide range of natural stone, with solutions that can be tailored to any project.
  • Ceramic tiles. This material lends a traditional, handcrafted feel that works well with the natural aesthetic. You can use collections by Porcelanosa and XTONE to bolster the creativity and functionality of a vertical garden.
  • KRION®. Porcelanosa's solid surface is easy to match with natural elements and boasts a high, eco-friendly mineral content. The physical and technical features of KRION® make it a sustainable choice for vertical gardens as part of a biophilic design scheme.

Artificial vertical gardens, an alternative

Artificial vertical gardens give you the chance to enjoy the beauty of vegetation without being limited by natural light or demanding maintenance. With ever-more realistic and sophisticated designs, here are some aspects to consider:

Vertical garden on Viola Mate Calacatta Alluslate by KRION®.
Vertical garden on Viola Mate Calacatta Alluslate by KRION®.

  • Lasting materials. They make artificial vertical gardens feasible for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

  • Variety of plants and styles. They can incorporate a wide variety of plants, from ferns and mosses to flowers, grasses and herbs.

  • Low maintenance. One of the key benefits of vertical gardens is their low maintenance. You don't need to worry about adequate sunlight, pruning or watering.

  • Reduced allergens. They're the perfect choice for anyone allergic to certain plant types. These plants are synthetic, eliminating the risk of pollen or allergens that come with natural vegetation.

  • Fast installation. Artificial vertical gardens are generally quicker and easier to install than natural vertical gardens. This makes it easy to add greenery to diverse environments.

Artificial vertical gardens offer numerous advantages. But many professionals still prefer the authenticity and environmental benefits of natural vertical gardens. The one you choose will depend on your own personal preferences, specific needs and the positioning of the installation.

Design at new heights

As well as making an aesthetic statement, vertical gardens demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and wellness. With their capacity to improve quality of life and construct winning schemes, these elements have become a go-to tool for contemporary architects and interior designers.

Vertical garden on Glem White Nature XTONE®.

Vertical garden on Glem White Nature XTONE®.

You can see one example of this transformative power in the showroom created by Ramón Esteve for Porcelanosa. A biophilic design made up of open-plan rooms connected by neutral tones and areas of vegetation, brimming with natural light.

In short, we're moving towards a future where architecture and the environment coexist in harmony. In this sense, vertical gardens provide that connection to the land. It shows how nature can flourish at new heights, even in urban environments.

Head to your nearest PORCELANOSA store to find out about the materials you need to create your vertical garden.

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