History tells us that the Ancient Egyptians likely oversaw the creation of the first enclosed outdoor spaces created purely for aesthetic value, a precursor to the modern garden as a concept. And yet, while the emphasis has always been on creating something attractive to look at, it has also been important that prying eyes are kept out where necessary with the addition of privacy screening ideas. In modern society, privacy screening may present itself in the form of a simple garden fence or wall, or in the case of indoor dividers, perhaps a single-color fabric screen. But these can prove to be largely uninspiring, bland and repetitive in a world moving to a trend of individuality and innovation.
So then, how do you go about finding a screening solution that checks all the boxes: a practical solution that looks great whether indoor or outdoor, provides privacy with simplicity, and can be adapted to your individual need?
The balance can be found in Vistafolia. Vistafolia artificial living wall privacy screening is the perfect product to act as an attractive, low-maintenance screening solution. These highly versatile panels can be mounted onto virtually any existing surface, or frame structure. The artificial nature of the foliage makes it ideal for any environment, be it one with low-sunlight, harsh temperatures or inaccessible areas that would make maintenance challenging.
The thickly populated panels (72 plants on each panel) make the panels incredibly dense, with the added benefit of noise reduction, especially beneficial in an office environment where clarity is king. The artificial nature of the foliage eliminates the need for any ongoing maintenance, leaving time to enjoy the more important things in life.
Terrace & Garden Screening idea
In larger cities, inevitably, the scramble for space on the ground will ultimately push gardens and terraces higher and higher. New York City is a notable example of a metropolis where space is at a premium and those lucky enough to have a roof garden or terrace want to be able to enjoy their space without the whole world looking in on them. While deciding on how best to shelter the area to give yourself a little bit more privacy, it can be a delicate balancing act between effective green wall screening and making sure you don’t close yourself in and block out the precious natural light turning the space into a box, devoid of life. Necessity is, of course, the mother of invention, and as such, it is up to Vistafolia to face these challenges head-on, striving to provide the perfect green wall screening solution to those that need it.
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution. In the (above) case study, the client had an existing wood fence around the boundary that afforded some privacy, but the high buildings around didn’t completely mask the terrace. Vistafolia was the perfect option in this case, and we were even able to provide the metal framing required for installing the panels as seen in the before photo. The client was unsure of how the green wall would be designed, so our expert team suggested a one-panel high design to save on cutting and minimize wastage. This increased the height of the fence by enough to still allow plenty of natural sunlight but also provide the extra concealment that the client desired.
On a very similar project, another customer had an existing fence that did not afford the privacy that they required. Vistafolia did not only cover the fence with our lush artificial green wall panels, including the introduction of additional bracing to ensure the fence would easily hold the weight, but we’re also able to increase the height on the fence using supplementary wood. As a gesture to the neighbor, the client double-sided the increase in height of the fence with Vistafolia panels, to ensure a great looking feature for both parties. It’s important to ensure that where a natural border between property has been created, thought is given to how the screen will look from the other side. After all, as the saying goes, good fences make good neighbors.
Part of the beauty of Vistafolia is that the panels can be cut to virtually any size. In the below example, the customer simply wanted to enhance the trellis and screen the garden. By carefully cutting panels to minimize wastage, this simple installation proved to be a quick solution without breaking the bank. And while a trellis might not seem like a suitable substrate, Vistafolia’s combination of an ability to be installed onto almost any surface, with a product that is lightweight in design, meaning that a few strong zip-ties were all that was required in this instance.
For some clients, it’s not the people looking in from over the fence that is the issue, but rather the fence itself. As we know real plants can be costly and laborious to maintain and if they’re not on our priority list they can simply fall by the wayside. Simply removing dead plants will only display a plain fence or wall behind it. By adding Vistafolia, your new screen is a maintenance-free burst of ultra-realistic foliage that you can enjoy every day for years to come.
For some, a balcony represents the only opportunity to have an outdoor space. Unfortunately for those that crave the sight of natural greenery, being ten floors up in the air is not conducive to such a thing. But what if you could have the look of real greenery without the need for soil, watering, nutrients? What if you use the space available as best you can to achieve the next best thing? On this project where the client already had artificial turf to give them a little piece of pseudo-nature, an artificial green wall was the perfect complimentary accessory. The dull, metallic frame that surrounded the small outdoor area was harsh against the backdrop of the suburban city, especially in the midst of winter. But the synergy of artificial turf, artificial foliage, and even composite decking, provides a year-round piece of Eden that can be left to its own devices. For balconies, like terraces, there can still be the need to protect your interest. In the case of this Casino balcony, located in a busy shopping mall, the clients needed to be able to enjoy a drink and relax in peace. By creating a lush screening wall around some of the perimeters, customers are now able to put their feet up and count their winnings in luxurious surroundings that, again, have no additional impact on the day to day running of the casino.
While a brick wall or a wood fence can be of visual interest, biophilic instincts, the attraction that humans have towards nature, drive us towards the green hues that are familiar to us. And if an artificial product is realistic enough, the mind cannot tell the difference, even pictures of greenery have benefit. Part of what drives businesses and private clients alike to Vistafolia artificial green walls are the lifelike nature of the product. After all, the product has been painstakingly designed to resemble the real thing. Simply put, the product is nice to look at, as well as being able to suit the purposes of clients. And in the case of the elderly care home below, something that was easy on the eye for residents enjoying the outdoors was key, providing a relaxing open-air space to unwind and take in the views.
Because of restrictions on any cosmetic work to the building, we could not install the panels directly on to the wall. Instead, we set about creating a custom frame, designed to suit the specifications of the product, that could be easily put together. This was then installed in conjunction with some beautiful cedar to give a custom-made screening solution, designed from start to finish, that brought a stunning burst of greenery to an otherwise plain wall.
In some instances, it is not the views of those looking in that requires screening, but rather what you would rather not see when looking out. The below images show the difference between the before and after view of some rooms at this upmarket hotel in the city centre. The unsightly air conditioning units provided a view to several rooms that were not up to the standard that the chain prides itself on offering. Vistafolia rose to the challenge of not only providing them with a breath-taking green wall that hid the offending units from view but took care of all aspects of the installation, including the creation of a custom frame that provided the backing for the wall.
An additional item that needed considering was that, while the units would be hidden from view, they needed to be still accessible for ongoing maintenance. Because Vistafolia had full control over the design of the frame, we were able to factor in the hotel’s need for access and created an access door that, when closed, blends seamlessly with the foliage to fool anyone into thinking it isn’t there.
In an interesting twist, the hotel was able to not only recoup the cost of the installation quickly, but also start to turn a tidy profit, as the rooms that overlooked the units suddenly went from being the cheapest available to some of the most lucrative and desirable rooms in the building, commanding a rate over $100 higher than previously.
Market research shows that the interior fit-out market is growing steadily, with an increase of 34% since 2013 and the top 20 fit-out specialists generating £3.7billion in revenue in 2018 alone.
And with a fit-out of an office in London estimated to cost around £140 per sqft, it is apparent that the market potential is huge.
Part of this market is the need to break up space and create a working layout that is fit for purpose. Perhaps an area needs to be sheltered from the rest, or a certain department requires the extra bit of autonomy that a divider would afford. In a modern office, it is important to ensure that modesty panels are provided, especially where ladies are involved.
At this busy office, the client wanted to create a freestanding screening option, negating the need to fix into any of the walls, while allowing the ability to relocate the planters as and when required. The bespoke aluminum planters served as a sturdy base to afford the wall stability and were made to size to suit the standard panel size, minimizing cutting and wastage. Discreet locking castors installed around the base allow freedom of movement and an ability to re-site where necessary. Vistafolia’s range of color boxes also meant that the client could customize the finish depending on requirements, or simply on mood.
Freestanding Office Green Walls