If you are an avid indoor gardener whose plantation is constantly growing, you might want to consider plant-friendly modular shelving. This system by Melbourne-based designer Alex O’Connell, called Cross-It, can be just the thing. The shelf is comprised of 600h x 600w x 200d boards with circular cut-outs to accept flower pots. You can create different configurations by alternating the pot segments with the pain ones, customizing the unit to the storage needs you have. The assembly process is easy and does not require tools or adhesives. Simply slot in cross-stitch the boards together. The product ships flat.
Leading a sustainable life is a noble aspiration, but a tricky one to have if you’re living in a small apartment. Take compost, for example. Aside from being a messy process, it requires space we don’t always have. Luckily, designers do think about these things and come up with ideas. Here is one from London based design student Fanny M.E. Nilsson – a portable waste processor that turns your food leftovers into a liquid fertilizer. The piece, aptly called Re-Feed, is no bigger than a toaster. The idea is to throw the leftover food into the machine, close the lid, push a button and walk away. No fiddling with soil, no sacrificing units of space for bulky containers. “Inspired by lacking food waste recycling infrastructures in flats and high-rise housing in central London, the Re-Feed provides a simple alternative to sending waste to landfill or composting.,” – says Nilsson. When the fertilizer is ready – it can be fed to a plant through the convenient nuzzle. Re-Feed is fitted with the rechargeable battery, so it can be easily moved to any room. The piece is only a concept at this point. Can’t wait to see it produced.
Among many delights of this year’s Maison et Objet Fair I would like to mention this unusual inflatable planter by ArtTerre. The piece is called Green Pillow and acts as a flexible houseplant container, equally suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Once inflated, it becomes a plant cushion. You can put it on the sofa or the floor, it is waterproof and can even float. So, you can freely scatter these planter pillows around any surfaces. The item can hold pots of up to 13cm in diameter.
The Grass Lamp by Marko Vuvkovic made me look. In the attempt to introduce natural elements to a home interior, the designer combined lighting with greenery in one elegant object. The piece is made from PVC plastic and incorporates space for a small planter. The lighting source located directly above it provides enough illumination for the grass to grow. Available as a floor lamp or a pendant.
A lot has been said about space limitations we face with urban gardening. But even if you have it all figured out with vertical systems and compact planter designs, there is still one more item you need to find room for – a watering can. It needs to be easy to store while holding enough water for your indoor jungle. This watering can by Japanese designer Kazuya Washio might just fit the bill. Called Bloccon (‘block’ + ‘icon’), the piece has a square lego-like shape, which allows us to fit it in tight spaces. You can even put it between your books! It is ergonomic too. The spout designed to produce controlled and steady flow of water. And its compact handle makes it easy to rotate while reaching those high up vertical planters. The product comes in a variety of colors and can be purchased here.
Indoor gardening in a tiny city apartment is mostly a victory of hope over reality. The counter and windowsill real estate is just too scarce. That is why designers try to help us, urban folks, to build vertically and elevate our plants and our gardening spirit. This smart concept by Emanuela Stocco, called Orto Novo, is a soaring example. The system is comprised of interlocking modules that can make up a structure as high and wide as your space would allow. The planters, placed inside the loops, hold the system together. Made from powder coated aluminum, Orto Novo can come in a variety of colors.
Cara De Planta is a modular vertical garden system comprised of series of waterproof pockets. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces (assuming you are lucky enough to have both), these modular segments are easy to install. And because they are stain and drip free – there is no worry that they can mess up your designer wall paint. Each pocket can expand to allow maximum space for roots to develop; and thanks to the clever flap – you can combine different plants in one unit. Finally, with the fully incorporated air-pruning system, even an inexperienced gardener can be confident that Cara De Planta will yield results.
Even in the absence of space and green thumb, there is still hope for growing an urban herb garden. This planter, created by two Dutch designers Nathan Wierink and Tineke Beunders is completely fool-proof. It can be attached right to the window via suction cups. The pots are transparent to allow maximum sunlight. What a clever idea!
Domenic Fiorello‘s Plant Pods are a great way to grow and display your succulents without cluttering any horizontal surfaces in your home. Stylish and minimalistic, these planters can be purchased in groups and create various combinations on the wall. Designed specifically for small plants like cacti, these shelves can be a great solution for someone who has no space or gardening talent for more elaborate greenery. Plant Pods are made of white oak and ABS plastic.
Dual function can be a useful thing. It can also be a fun thing. And in some cases it can be utterly adorable. Take this chair from Martín Azúa. Called Inner Life, it is designed to ‘harbor life of both vegetal and animalistic character.’ This project is a continuation of Azúa’s long-term research dedicated to visualizing the natural origin of everything that surrounds us. With the Inner Life chair he claims an integration of natural processes in everyday life, life inside objects…