Creating a garden-style living room brings the benefits of outdoor landscaping into the home. It can also evoke the ambiance of wide open spaces or a cozy grotto, depending on the room you’re working with and the garden style you choose to imitate. This design style also makes most of decorating with greenery, putting the beauty and indoor air quality benefits of houseplants at center stage. While a garden-style living room is a lovely design option for anyone, it’s especially useful for condo and apartment dwellers who may not have any yard or garden space of their own.
Start out by deciding what kind of ambiance you want to establish. What kind of garden do you want to create in your living room? A formal French garden will require very different materials than a Japanese Zen or an English cottage garden. Draw up a rough plan that evokes your garden style of choice and includes all the features that are important to you. The rest of this article will discuss key design elements in creating a garden-style living room.
The first design element is the room itself. The space that you have to work with will define the garden you create. While you can create a garden-style living room in many different kinds of spaces, one necessity is light. Most rooms have enough ambient light to keep houseplants happy. However, if your living room has no windows at all, or is located in a basement, be warned that there aren’t many houseplant species that will thrive in those conditions. This doesn’t necessarily prevent you from having the garden dÃ?Â©cor you’ve always wanted. There are still a few species that work well in low or artificial lighting conditions, such as English ivy, and you can also create a garden feel without using plants at all.
The first elements of your room that you want to address are the walls and the floor. If you’re willing to spend the time and the money, you can change your flooring to reflect the look you want to achieve. Hardwood or tile floors work well in most designs since they’re materials that are commonly used on decks and patios. However, the sky’s the limit on how creative you want to be: green or earth tone carpeting, mosaics, painted cement, or even Astroturf are all garden-style flooring possibilities. In rooms with a lot of light, you could even consider having some of the floor space taken up by greenery in plastic or terra cotta planters.
While you can stay with more traditional wall treatments, it’s possible to get very imaginative with this design element as well. One way to go is to paint a landscape on your walls of the garden you want to bring into your living room. Not only is this beautiful, is also gives your room a wonderful sense of outdoor space. Garden and plant patterns, in either paint or wallpaper, are also good wall treatment options.
Once you have the floor and wall treatments settled, it’s time to bring in the little design details that will bring your garden-style living room to life. Houseplants are a must, as long as the lighting conditions are adequate to allow them to thrive. Not only do they add a nice authentic touch, they’ll clean up the air inside your home as well. For more information on the plants with the most indoor air quality benefits and how to care for them, see “Top Ten Houseplants for Controlling Indoor Air Pollution”. For tips on keeping your new houseplants happy, take a look at “Keeping Your Indoor Plants Alive”. Finally, for those of you convinced you’d never be able to keep anything but mold alive, check out the aptly titled article “Plants You Can’t Kill: Low-Maintenance Houseplants for a Black Thumb”.
Plants aren’t the only design touches that will make your living room into a beautiful indoor garden. Most outdoor garden furnishings, like statuary, bird baths or furniture are suitable for indoor use as well. Stone cairns, stream rock pillars held together by a metal rod, are another piece of popular garden dÃ?Â©cor that easily make the transition indoors. Other stone or cairn pieces like candleholders, vases, lamps or even welcome mats also bring an earthy and grounded look to a room. A good piece for a romantic grotto style garden living room is a light and ivy garland: twine twinkle lights and “silk” ivy vines together and drape them off wall hooks or trellises you’ve brought indoors.
Appropriate window treatments can really bring a design theme together. Choose curtains or shades that will go well with the garden type you’ve chosen. White semi-transparent curtains mimic the look of an elegant canopy or sunshade; they also provide privacy while letting in a lot of light. Bamboo or wood slatted blinds look a lot nicer than their vinyl cousins and are a good compliment to a Zen or tropical garden theme.
Sound is another important design element. Fountains of any size will provide the peaceful sound of flowing water. Though smaller desk-size fountains are the easiest to install and the least expensive to buy, fountains of almost any size are available that are suitable for indoor use. Sounds of the great outdoors are available on CD as well – you can find anything from the sound of ocean waves to birdsong.
When you create your new living room look, please remember – this is just a list of tips and pointers. Your design possibilities are only limited by your creativity and the garden-style you want to achieve.