The Secret Garden: How to Create an Indoor Oasis

Specifying green products is no longer confined to sedum roofs, living walls and landscape architecture.

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

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Whether it has to do with biophilia and desire to bring the outdoors in or the popularity of farm-to-table cooking and dining, the trend for indoor green products is on the rise, particularly in urban regions where personal or commercial outdoor space is a rarity. Manufacturers are responding accordingly: From upscale kitchen manufacturer SieMatic to budget-friendly Swedish flat-pack furniture giant IKEA, many brands are developing easy-to-use products that aid these aspiring green thumbs.

For architects and designers with plant-loving clients, specifying green products is no longer confined to sedum roofs, living walls and landscape architecture. The following products have the capacity to accentuate interiors and soften the edges of any concrete, steel or wood-clad space:


Sanctuary by Botanica Boutique

This desktop “mossarium” was created out of a love for mini-landscapes and nature, as well as a belief that even a small patch of greenery can add a sense of calm to a space. It features an injection-molded base that is just high enough to mask the soil and a hand-blown glass lid with a stalactite-like form that draws condensation toward it to drip water back onto the moss. With the turning of the lid, the user can vary airflow through a tiny window located at the base of the lid.

The kit includes tweezers, a mister, microfiber cloth and template to trim the moss to the ideal size. (The moss itself is not included.)

Greenhouse Terrarium

Greenhouse Terrarium and Grow Greenhouse by Design House Stockholm

The Scandinavian company, which represents local independent designers, introduced two growing products of vastly different scales.

The first and larger of the two, Greenhouse Terrarium, is touted as a “room within a room for nature.” Designed by Atelier 2+, the floor-standing plant cabinet is shaped like a house with a pitched roof supported by a sawhorse-like base, yet its cuteness factor is balanced by the selection of sophisticated lacquered solid ash. A galvanized-steel planting tray and tempered safety glass panes complete the terrarium.

Grow Greenhouse

Meanwhile, Caroline Wetterling’s Grow Greenhouse is more of a personal nursery for a plant in the first stages of life. Resembling a capsule when closed, the vessel consists of two glass units, the bottom serving as a plant base while the top, with a spout on one side, doubles as watering can. This miniature greenhouse is a mere 3 inches in diameter by 5.5 inches high.

Grove Ecosystem

Grove Ecosystem by Grove

Grove just wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch this indoor ecosystem designed to grow edible plants — from herbs and leafy greens to fruiting crops such as tomatoes and strawberries. Roughly the size of a bookshelf, the product is essentially a piece of furniture with an integrated aquarium. The latter is necessary as it actually uses fish to help grow the fresh produce: Fish process food and produce ammonia-rich waste; microbes convert the ammonia into nitrates (organic plant fertilizer) that end up feeding the plants while also cleaning the water for the fish (which equates to an almost maintenance-free fish tank).

The unit also houses two grow areas fitted with full spectrum, adjustable LED lighting and a storage drawer for tools. To top it all off, the system is an intelligent one: Through a mobile app, users can view air and water temperature and humidity levels tracked by integrated sensors and adjust lighting, fans and pumps accordingly.


Krydda/Växer by IKEA

The aforementioned IKEA product is a hydroponic growing kit for greens and herbs that really consists of two components. The first uses absorbent, sponge-like plugs and a soil alternative to start the seedlings off. After they’ve sprouted, the user replants them in the second component, which is essentially an open unit with its own solar lamp. IKEA is set to release the kit this month.


Urban by SieMatic

The high-end kitchen manufacturer introduced this modern, minimalist kitchen line, which includes a granite herb garden (also shown at top) that beautifully blends into the overall space while promoting a true farm-to-table lifestyle.

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