The follies of nature and well-being collide with the green walls of the house


Tarik Adiguzelli lives in a historic discount shed in Jersey City Heights, New Jersey that doesn’t get much sun.

To add a much needed touch of green life to his dark home, Mr Adiguzelli added a wellness wall, a growing trend in luxury homes. Imagine an imposing 12 foot structure of moss, plants and greenery installed by a landscape architect firm.

“I wanted to add more vibrant colors to the living room to brighten up the space, while working with the limitations of the lack of sunlight,” he said. “I don’t think most people have seen such a large living wall in a residential space, so when they walk in they immediately stop and stare at it for a minute.”

The new circular room on its wall, from a Hoboken Naturalist-based furniture and design company, was a worthwhile investment. “Overall, this color was added to liven up the space I was really hoping for and created a realistic artistic piece that complements the entire living room,” said Mr. Adiguzelli, who directs a post-production photography. studio.

He is not alone. Now, wellness walls are used in homes across the luxury spectrum. It’s a durable version of a wall art piece and shows a creative mix of ivy, flowers, plants, succulents, moss, and grass.

Courtesy of the naturalist

A booming trend amid the pandemic

The wave of wellness sparked by the pandemic has spurred the trend. “The pandemic has accelerated wellness trends, which has consequently shifted the attention of the architecture and design industry,” said Keng-Fu Lo, Taiwan-based architect and general manager of Chain10 Architecture & Interior. “Now people are focusing on all forms of health, like ventilation, filtering pollution and lowering carbon dioxide levels,” he said. “This change means a greater focus on bringing the environment indoors, connecting with vegetation outdoors, and providing functions that improve quality of life. “

Naturalist, who created the piece for Mr. Adiguzelli, is a company that contributes to the development of well-being in homes and hotels.

“More often than not, we get requests for wall gardens and moss walls, which is the literal translation of what it is,” said Kara Kelly, CEO of Naturalist. “I’m sure we’ll see more.”

Although the company was founded in 2012, there has been an increase in custom orders. “They’re starting to get more popular because of this wellness surge,” she said.

What sets many wellness walls apart from other forms of biophilic design, a concept that brings nature into the built environment, is that designs are not actually alive. The plants are preserved.

At Naturalist, the plants are grown and harvested in Scandinavia and are stored in Istanbul. The roots of the plants are soaked in a stabilizing solution, which means that the walls do not need soil, sun or watering.

“These walls are not forever,” Ms. Kelly said. There is a five year warranty and then the browning begins and they start to look duller. “It is a real plant that no longer lives; it is a long process of decomposition.

A little greenery for your home office These wellness walls are not only for homes, but also for apartments. Working project by project, the custom pieces vary in size from 1 x 1 foot wall pieces to 4 x 6 feet or larger pieces. There are many requests for people working from home who want some greenery in the background of their work-related video calls.

“Since the pandemic we’ve had residential inquiries from wealthy people who work from home and maybe had a wall garden in their office, and now they want to bring this into their home because they think it’s a really cool concept, ”said Kelly, who usually works with interior designers.

“The market is not yet saturated with it, in terms of working directly with a consumer. I think everyone should have a wall garden in their house, it’s a wonderful piece of greenery.

Another company creating wellness walls is based in Catlett, Va., USA, which often calls them green walls, whether they are framed pieces that hang directly on the wall of a home or business. They create both preserved green walls and living walls that require watering and sunlight, including entire walls, floor to ceiling, lined with plants. They create artistic patterns with every wall, from wave-like patterns to round shapes, creating three-dimensional shapes along stairwells, in rooms, or around square pillars.

“An increase in wellness has greatly improved our industry,” said Megan Ross, Director of Design and Sales. “It’s inspiring to see people wanting to change their health and air quality by planting plants. The health benefits are enormous.

A round wall garden

Courtesy of the naturalist

Over the past five years, Ms. Ross has seen an increase in residential demands for living wellness walls. She cited the high number of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), harmful chemicals that are emitted by new furniture and cleaning products and are harmful to our health with long term effects. “Our residential customers want to make this change, they want a clean and safe environment for their families,” she said. “We don’t expect this slowdown anytime soon. “

As more and more types of plants are introduced and popularized, more aesthetic choices and possibilities for creativity are offered. With so many available, selecting plant species for a living green wall is a complicated but necessary process as each can offer different benefits.

What once served as a niche group of customers is slowly growing into the mainstream, Mr. Lo said, especially as people increasingly take an interest in issues such as environmental sustainability. “People have always loved nature, but as climate change has become more severe, more clients and architects are incorporating these principles into every part of the design; inside and out, ”he said.

Hidden health benefits

Courtesy of US Factories

It’s more than just creating a cleaner or more inspiring environment that will lead to better health, productivity and natural air. A study conducted earlier this year at the University of Plymouth in England found that walls covered in greenery can help insulate heat loss.

“Energy costs are increasing all over the world, so these types of designs also tend to benefit the customer in terms of lower cooling / heating costs,” he said. “It’s not very well integrated into apartment buildings, which is the next area I see it moving into.”

Even the preserved green walls offer benefits for the well-being.

“Vertical greenery offers more than sustainability benefits; it has the ability to closely connect people with nature and help with mental health, ”Mr. Lo said.

“Green walls provide a substantial and spiritual connection to nature, which is lacking in our modern cities and as we spend more and more time indoors. ”


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