Do your walls ever feel well…a bit flat? Painted walls will never fall out of favour, but while they are, of course, ideal for a minimalist, pared-back interior, they don’t offer much character. In fact, that’s the point; a painted wall is not really there to create impact, merely to allow other features of the room to stand out.
If you have a small living area, without much room for the elegant touches that make a place feel like home, in a bid to put your stamp on a room, you’ve possibly contemplated wallpaper. It has a long and noble history (having first appeared in the sixteenth century in this country) but has never really managed to climb back into fashion since lost popularity a few decades ago.
What has made a return in recent years, of course, is the accent wall, making an integral part of your living space a feature in itself. Often, an accent wall is purely a zingy splash of bright colour, but an artificial green wall offers the chance to create a dramatic statement that adds texture, depth and colour and says something about you in a wide, dramatic sweep.
3D Wall Art
A trend in recent years, helped by new materials and manufacturing capabilities, has given rise to an enormous expansion in how we can dress the interior walls of our homes. And artificial greenery fits right in with this concept. Plant-covered walls offer the chance, not only to inject naturalism into your design, but also for you to express your artistic creativity. They offer the opportunity to "paint” your interior in an entirely different medium.
It joins other interesting approaches. One growing trend has been 3D wall art. Large panels, often made from gypsum, offer wave patterns, starbursts and geometric shapes on a contoured surface that animates the vertical plane with highlights and shadow.
Other materials have been signed up to add texture—split face wood panels, polyfoam and bamboo. In a move that was once only possible for a gifted artist, or someone with a keen interest in frescoes, scenes can now be added to walls with enormous PVC wall stickers, allowing you to choose a trompe l’oeil effect of anything from an Hawaiian sunset to a leafy wood with sunlight filtering through the trees.
However, you’re back to the flat plane of the wall there. The scene won’t ever change and it’s easy to see how one might begin to tire of it.
Vistafolia artificial green walls, however, offer a totally different experience. In their highly realistic rendition of named and recognisable plants, they create a natural vibe which no picture can replicate. And they’re 3D wall art in their own right—with multiple shapes, textures that bring depth to the design, and something that will offer more constant interest than a simple wave pattern.
Read on to see how you can use artificial green wall panels to create different effects in your home.
Green wall art in small interiors
One of the misconceptions is that small interiors have to be kept as bright as possible to give an illusion of space. We should use light—most often white—colours, the thinking goes, to try to push the walls outwards. However, in a recent article in Elle Décor, interior designer Mariella Cruzado gives her verdict on accent walls, putting to bed the trope about light colours in small spaces. Mariella says that a rich dark colour on one wall will make it feel larger by giving the illusion of depth.
Looking further than colour, Cornelia de Ruiter, founder of interior-design company Homewings, in an article in The Telegraph, points to the space we don’t usually think about. She advocates using the full height of your room to draw attention upwards and divert the eye to the emptier space above, to bring a sense of a bigger room. A tall lamp could be made to work in this way, but giving one wall complete coverage with Vistafolia artificial plant panels will not only draw your eye up and across the whole expanse, making full use of the height of the room, but will make a striking statement in itself, while not encroaching on the space in the room.
For a sense of how this works, take a look at the above image. The green of the artificial planting contrasts beautifully with the wood effect Porcelain tiles and complements the ambiance they create, but the leafiness also draws your eye upwards to the space above. It’s a wall that arrests the attention while giving the comfortable feel of natural surroundings. If you imagine the plant-covered wall replaced with more tiles, suddenly even in this small space the plain wall seems stark and, in contrast, even rather overbearing.
However, there’s far more you can do than use interior plants to cover an entire wall. Height can be emphasised by creating vertical stripes—wide columns, if you like—where panels of Vistafolia alternate with verticals of simple colour to encourage the eye to look to the height. Indeed, it’s a versatile way to play with shape; switch the concept around ninety degrees and panels of artificial greenery could subtly draw the eye down the length of a room instead.
This small project in a light well illustrates this perfectly. Three of our Signature wall panels have created a simple column. If you compare it with the adjacent rectangle of colour, you can see how well they complement each other, but also how your eye lingers on the interior plants. Without them, the space would probably elicit no more than a brief glance as you took in everything in a single look. Slowing the eye down, lengthening the time you gaze at something, creates a sense of there being more space to explore.
Equally, this effect of making the gaze linger can work to your advantage on over-large expanses of wall. A space with a small footprint, yet tall walls around it, can feel claustrophobic and oppressive. In the picture above, Vistafolia panels have been employed in this internal courtyard to break up the high surrounding wall, giving it more human proportions, while greening up the area to create a pleasant oasis for staff in this Cavendish Square office.
Creating Green Wall Art
If you need to install a minimalist interior, without much in the way of furniture and ornament because of restricted space, then the background of a plant-covered wall offers a natural warmth and texture to balance the pared-back furniture design and a few well-chosen pieces. Nor will it take up much of the precious space in a small room, as the panels protrude by only up to 200m.
Vistafolia Signature panels make up the basic building blocks of your design. Each panel measures 80cm x 80 cm with a pack of three covering 1.92 m2. It’s quite possible to use them separately. Picture three panels, given wide frames in stainless steel or blond wood. You’ve created a natural art installation with texture and eye-appeal. Light them as you would a normal framed picture with a picture light, perhaps with a dimmer facility, and you have a feature that heightens shadow and texture to suit your mood and the time of day.
And it’s not just painted panels or smart-looking frames that can act as a counterpoint to the lush planting. A water feature is an ideal complement to artificial greenery, just as a waterfall is to lush plants in the natural world. The sound of gently trickling water enhance the calming atmosphere promoted by the artificial green wall, while the plant-covered wall shows off the water feature to great effect.
Create green walls for a spacious feel
Rich colour in a small room is surprisingly successful. In the same Telegraph article, Anna Burles, founder of design studio Run for the Hills, explains that she has found that adding drama to a small space with strong colour and shape made a space that was merely pretty into something far warmer and more satisfying.
A recent article for Ideal Home embellishes this further. David Mottershead of Little Greene, the paint and paper stockists, explains, perhaps counter-intuitively, that one should use darker greens in shady rooms to emphasise their depth. Our Signature Panels augmented with our Lush Green Colour Box option would certainly fulfil this.
Using sculpture with green wall art
The variation in leaf shape, the textural changes, the shifts in depth created by a plant-covered wall make a perfect backdrop to simple outlines and colour. In the picture above, the lead relief is embedded in artificial foliage, but a Brancusian modernist sculpture would look every bit as stunning against this background, which offers interest without overwhelming the piece it highlights.
Creating Bespoke Green Wall Art
Our Vistafolia Signature Panels can be customised by hand with our Colour Box packs, allowing individual plants in a variety of colours—lavender, white and lush green—to create a bespoke finish to your design.
Because Vistafolia is supplied in panels, it opens up a range of possibilities to draw on your imagination. With our help, you can "paint” your very own picture with it. Here at Vistafolia , one of our recent projects has been to create wall art from a conjunction of artificial greenery and artificial grass.
In the picture above you can see how an impression of a golf course has been created as a fun complement to the actual practice green below.
Adding artificial grass to the mix extends the choice of texture and colour even further. It now comes in an ever-increasing range of both vibrant and gentle colours—take your pick from blue, pink, red, silver, black and more. And, of course, it can be cut to any shape, just as our Signature panels can be cut down and customised to fit as required. Mixing artificial grass colours into a Vistafolia artificial green wall gives you a way to create an artwork completely unique to you.
Green wall art as a disguise
Sometimes artistry—or perhaps we should call it artifice—is required to make a virtue of a necessity. The unavoidable trimmings of building structure--exposed pipework, heating vents, an iron fire escape—can be obtrusive.
While at first glance a heating vent may look, at worst, ugly and, at best, utilitarian when standing alone (and you can be sure it will appear where it shows most—in the middle of a plain wall, perhaps), it changes character entirely if you frame it with artificial green wall panels. Immediately you have something that contrasts in an interesting, even artistic, way with the surrounding foliage.
Or how about hiding something almost completely? Here an access ladder to the street, along with necessary pipework have been rendered a work of art in themselves against the backdrop of a Vistafolia artificial green wall. The panels have been cut into strips to fit between the pipes and gaps plumped out with foliage from our Colour Boxes.
The possibilities of Vistafolia wall art…
…are endless. Our artificial green wall system is exceptionally versatile. It can be cut into strips as narrow as 100mm, cut diagonally, and even bent to accommodate a curved surface. Panels can be framed individually or cover a complete wall, hide an amenity or create a feature. Interior plants are an artwork in themselves, emulating the fascinating complexity of nature, while bringing the calm associated with natural surroundings.
They don’t just look lovely. The benefits of living with natural forms and shapes shouldn’t be underrated. Research is increasingly revealing how the human mind and body respond to what is termed "biophilic design” (for more on this, see our article The Natural Enjoyment of a Vistafolia Artificial Hedge). A stunning plant-covered wall de-stresses and quiets the mind in a way that, it seems likely, no painted accent wall can ever match!
For more information on how we can create a unique green wall art installation for your home, office or company premises, then contact us on info@Vistafolia.com or +44 20 7385 1020.