Living in a city often means having minimal access to outdoor spaces; most local homeowners certainly don’t have a garden right around the corner. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t get our own fill of nature—by bringing the outdoors in! If you love the look of this contemporary style, read on for our top urban jungle ideas and plant-infused inspiration.
Lively work areas
Whether you work from home full-time or just temporarily, it’s good practice to decorate your desk and make working from home as pleasant as possible. If space allows it, place a few small planters on your desk to keep the atmosphere lively and green as you go about your workday.
Alternatively, infuse your home office with greenery by hanging plants from nearby shelves, using the windowsills or even placing them on the floor if you have enough square footage.
Having a plant-filled kitchen doesn’t mean that you need every other element in the room to be natural and earthy too, but it’s definitely an option. Pair your plants with wooden countertops and reclaimed shelving for that rustic look.
If you prefer taking the modern route, you’re in luck—plants go well with almost any colour palette and material. Just make sure to pay close attention to the pots and planters you choose, as those are the ones that can end up clashing with the surroundings.
Like bathrooms, bedrooms are spaces of relaxation and rest. Even if you’re not aiming for the urban jungle look, you’ll want to dot your bedroom with a few plants to make the space cosy and improve the air quality.
While most plants are fine for the bedroom and your choice should ultimately depend on your personal preference, try to stay away from plants with a strong scent, as they can end up giving you a headache when you’re exposed to them all night long.
The most straightforward place to grow plants and do some gardening in urban flats is right by a large window. Indoor balconies are often the only spaces in HDB flats and condos that will provide indoor plants with enough sunlight to keep them alive and growing.
Plus, the light filtering through the leaves makes for some exquisite shadows in the morning and during sunsets, adding another layer to the urban jungle aesthetic.
If you have the luxury of an outdoor balcony, you may be able to grow large plants that wouldn’t fare all that well indoors. You may even get to see some flowers in bloom if you pour enough care and patience into your little garden, which will make for a lovely display from the living area.
If you only have an indoor balcony, don’t despair—plenty of indoor plants will still grow happily towards the light. Many plants even prefer the shade over direct sunlight, so do your research and move your pots around until you find an arrangement that works for you.
To spice up the surroundings and make the most of your new indoor garden, round off the urban jungle look with a small lounging or dining nook.
Growing plants in the bathroom may seem intimidating with the high humidity and lack of sunlight, but lots of plants fare well in these conditions. They help to purify the air and add a charming sense of calm to the surroundings, turning the bathroom into a downright spa.
If your plants can handle the occasional splash of water, placing them in the shower or around the bathtub can make for an especially soothing ambience. Alternatively, move them out of the way when it’s time to bathe or consider faux plants for this corner of the room.
While many bathrooms are adorned with large, lush plants, you don’t have to go overboard if you are dealing with a small space or simply don’t feel up to the challenge of caring for so much greenery. Start by placing a succulent or another low-maintenance plant on the vanity and hanging a trailing plant from the wall. You can always add more later down the line!
Some of us like the look of plants but not so much the maintenance behind them. If that’s you, you may want to opt for an artificial green wall instead. Installing a green wall usually requires a contractor and comes with an upfront cost, but once it’s up, you won’t have to buy any extra soil, seeds, fertiliser or anything else to keep it going.
A good place to install a green wall is at the short end of a long dining table, turning the entire dining setup into a real centrepiece. It goes especially well with pared-down interiors as the greenery helps to add a pop of colour and liven up the monochromatic colour palette.
This post was adapted from an article originally published in idealhomes vol.13.