Looking for how to bring the outdoors in? The past few years have seen lots of creative ideas for bringing more greenery indoors – particularly perfect for homes that might be lacking a modern garden, balcony, courtyard garden, roof garden, or any other type of outdoor space.
Aside from immediately adding a touch of nature and life to a space, plants are known to have air-purifying qualities, absorbing CO2 and releasing oxygen but also filtering out harmful and toxic chemicals emitted by microwaves, TVs and screens – and they're known to have calming effects on people too. Studies have even shown that simply seeing green lowers stress levels and increases alertness. So it's a win win all round.
So whether you go all out with an indoor garden, or keep things simple with a display shelf or wall of hanging plants, there are many good reasons behind bringing greenery indoors.
From lush and flowing living walls to having trees growing right through the middle of your home, we've been getting more and more creative with foliage.
In terms of trends, parlour palms, cheese plants, calatheas and string of pearls are all having a moment right now. Not to mention our on-going love affair with low maintenance succulents - great for those with busy lives or who lack green fingers.
The spaces below offer a number of cool and inspiring ideas for displaying your house plants and bringing the outdoors in – whether that's a big faux olive tree in your kitchen or a neat grid of mini succulents. There are numerous ways to create a more natural environment, even in an urban indoor setting.
So get on board with biophilic design (to give it its scientific name) and both you and your home will reap the rewards.
1. Turn a feature out of a light well
Ever thought of a light well not only as a light source but also as a connection to the outside? Here a tiny light-well garden connects with the bathroom space, creating a spa-like, luxe bathroom vibe.
2. Frame garden views with floor to ceiling windows
This ensuite bathroom offers intoxicating views, with a floor-to-ceiling glass window breaking down the barrier between indoors and out.
3. Consider carrying an indoor theme outdoors
Clad in zellige tiles, this kitchen dining area focuses on a cantilevered table that continues through the bifold window to the terrace outside.
4. Use real or artificial potted trees to create an indoor oasis
Tall potted trees transform this room into an indoor oasis.
5. Utilise tall ceiling height with an indoor tree
This kitchen blurs the line between indoors and out. The space is dominated by the jaw-dropping faux olive tree, which seems to have taken root within the Corian-clad island.
6. Create a boho look with a 'more is more' approach
Even more is more when it comes to indoor plants. Hang them high and include large ones in pots to create a true interior jungle. Monstera and ferns live inside if they have good sunlight and are kept moist.
To keep the look creative rather than confused, designer, Sera of London, artfully employs colour, with a dark ceiling to ground the space. Exposed brick and reclaimed wooden flooring create a handsome, earthy backdrop, that's perked up with plenty of plants.
7. Use moss to create a textured living wall
Handleless eucalyptus wood units and a living moss wall bring verdant rainforest styling to this kitchen.
8. Highlight garden vignettes through cleverly positioned windows
A floor-to-ceiling glass panel floods the space with natural light, and shows off the lush greenery outside.
9. Open up the ceiling completely to create an internal courtyard garden
The retractable roof – which opens on to the terrace outside the bedroom above – allows guests to dine alfresco when the weather allows. The mirrored door gives the impression of stepping into a secret garden.
10. Go wall-to-wall with a picture window
White walls and a vaulted ceiling give a serene quality to the living space. But the real stand-out feature is of course the view.
11. Incorporate the outdoor space
This master bedroom features a striking marble bath that’s half inside, half outside, with a glass wall nestled neatly into the marble.
12. Live in warmer climes? Consider an indoor/outdoor bathroom
This shower is outside in a light-well, with bathroom tiling that reaches all the way up to the top of this outdoor wall.
13. Create a peekaboo window
Two 'pavilion' structures connect via this glass box, which offers views into a lightwell that's dotted with aloe vera and boulders for a rustic look.
A low window fills this corridor with natural light, while keeping a sense of privacy. A glass window at the bottom gives a glimpse over the aloe vera and boulders on the other side. Large boulders that were originally found in the back garden were preserved and placed throughout the landscape.
14. Build around a mature tree to bring it inside
This Victorian meets New York loft-style home is full of surprises – including a large fig tree growing through the middle of it…
15. Create a glass framed corner just for appreciating green views
This home celebrates the beautiful blurring of lines between interior and exterior.
16. Bring living walls indoors
This living room boasts a lush living wall.
17. Hang trailing plants
Tumbling plants add lovely lush greenery to this minimlist's sun room.
18. Contrast fresh greenery against a darker scheme
This is a house that invites you to reach and touch, following a fingertip trail of rough concrete, strokeable fabrics, smooth metal and faceted glassware. And then there’s the greenery… The garden is creeping indoors, it’s like Eden in the making.
19. Faux or real – bring greenery into the bathroom
A tiny bathroom has been transformed into a functional shower room. The foliage is faux due to limited light.
20. Indoor garden
The family’s love of nature played a big role in the design here. In the heart of the house, a lush indoor garden almost screens a Damien Hirst painting. The bamboo will eventually soar through the double-height space.
21. Bring greenery into light wells
A Victorian-style spiral staircase in the light well leads up to a garden.
22. Decorate a bare wall with hanging plants
Hanging plants against the wall add to the relaxed, neutral scheme.
23. Put plants on display
Free-flowing foliage is contained within a structured grid in this urban version of a garden room.
A cool, modern way to display an 'indoor garden'. The copper box was a sterilising box for dental tools found in an antiques shop on the Isle of Wight. It was a lucky find and it fitted on that bookshelf perfectly.
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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