Interior Design – How to Create a Living Wall

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Many times when designing the last layer of a project, plants and flowers come into play; the more creative the better. I once had a client wanting a garden for flowers and herbs, but no yard, she just had a small patio. So we used the garden wall.

Before we try to create a living wall, maybe we should define what one is. Living walls also known as vertical gardening is basically a vertical planting system with flowers and/or vegetables. Imagine a picture frame filled with fragrant flowers right in the kitchen or filled with you favorite spices ready for the picking. There are many sources via the Internet that help create the wall from a kit or you can make one on you own. The easiest one I have found so far is to use a plastic shoe organizer. Below are simple ‘how to’ instructions to help make your very own system right from the ‘’ site. Since I’m not a landscaper, I thought it best to take the directions right from the site. 

Determine where the vertical garden should be located based on what will be grown in it. Most houseplants prefer an area that receives bright indirect sunlight. Herbs and vegetable plants generally need six hours of direct sunlight each day. Do not install the shoe organizer near drafty windows, doors or heating and cooling vents.

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Use a stud finder to locate the wall studs where the organizer is to be hung. Measure 6 feet up from the floor along two studs and make a small mark with a pencil indicating where the screw or nail will be driven into the stud. Use a level to make sure the two marks are at the same height.

Hold the shoe organizer up on the wall. Line the top of the organizer up with the pencil marks. Make sure it is centered evenly over the pencil marks. Drive two screws or nails through the organizer into the wall studs. Drive a third screw or nail in at the top center of the organizer. The organizer may also be hung from a sturdy curtain rod , screw hooks or on the back of a door if preferred.

Puncture each shoe pouch at the bottom two or three times with the tip of a sharp knife or fine-pointed scissors for drainage. Place a wallpaper tray on the floor below the organizer as a drainage catch basin. Fill each pouch one-half to two-thirds full with a houseplant potting mix. Make sure the potting mix contains perlite, vermiculite or coarse builder’s sand for improved drainage.

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Remove a plant from its container and place it in a pouch. Cover its roots with additional potting mix, making sure the top of the mix is 1/2 to 1 inch below the top edge of the pouch. Continue transplanting the plants into the pouches until they are all full.

Water each plant. Continue to water the plants as necessary, depending on their requirements. Check the soil with a finger before watering each time to make sure the soil is not too wet.


Christopher Porikos
Author: Christopher Porikos

Christopher Porikos is an Interior Designer based in the Los Angeles area. He has a background in Retail Visual Merchandising and is educated in interior design. His love of design spans from traditional to contemporary and his style can be as eclectic or clean as the project requires. His unique eye for design comes from his lifelong interest in architecture, history, sketching, painting and the arts.