We tour three stunning homes where the (indoor) gardens are always in season
Does staring out a window at this time of year make you feel like you’re posing for a stock photo about seasonal woe? You’re not alone. Grey skies, unholy drizzly rain-snow, and shrivelled up vegetation are enough to put a damper on anyone’s good vibes.
Never fear, though, because we’re here to tell you that there’s hope. It’s called indoor gardening – and it’s exactly what these icy times call for.
For urban green thumbs, there are stylish planters galore to get those sunny endorphins pumping. Plus, the number of local florists and plant shops in this city (the MSDS Studio-designed Flur is a, uh, perennial favourite) makes it easier than ever to go green with the help of an expert. Heck, we believe in the healing power of plants so much, we even put them on this jungle-themed DL cover.
But if you truly want to take your relationship to houseplants to the next level, you should commit to planting an indoor garden. It’s just like having a normal houseplant, except you’re married to it for life. No pressure!
Scroll onwards to see what we mean.
Garden Void House by Alva Roy Architects
Vibrant foliage shoots up through a gap in the main floor of this light-bright Alva Roy Architects‘ home. The leaves belong to a plant rooted in the basement of the two-storey house, which was newly designed and built for a growing family. A diamond-patterned screen spans two levels, casting lively shadows on the walls. It looks like the screen could also become a fancy trestle for the hanging plant in the photo.
On the second level, a catwalk – suspended like a drawbridge over the green heart of the home – gives access to a small balcony. Light pours in through multi-directional windows, placed to provide sunlight without overheating the interior, or sacrificing the family’s privacy.
Outside, a second patterned screen overlays the house’s many volumes, creating a connection between the interior light / plant well and the facade.
Petaluma House by Trevor McIvor Architects
This split-level Trevor McIvor Architect home in an otherwise humdrum subdivision in Whitby has a secret: an indoor bamboo forest. The double-height glazed atrium allows light to pour into the lower levels, but it also gives this fast-growing plant room to breath. An explosion of verdant foliage brings serenity to the kitchen; even in winter, this garden is evergreen.
Just around the corner, an open-rise steel staircase leads to the kitchen, and an entertainment and rec room below. The bamboo looks even more majestic from this angle, emphasizing the ceiling height and also inviting the eye downstairs. The greenery pops against a natural palette of whitewashed Douglas Fir cedars and soffits, mahogany, concrete and glass.
Downstairs, all is revealed. The bamboo trees stem from an impressive indoor planter formed by elegant stepped wood and concrete. And to the left of this Zen garden? The owner’s well-stocked wine cellar. Just two reasons we would be happy to hang out in this basement.
Lorne Park Home by PDLab
When asked about the inspiration behind this splendid Mississauga house, homeowner and principal designer of PD Lab, Antonio Tadrissi says, “I wanted our home to read as an extension of the landscape.” Fittingly, we’re starting our photographic journey in the beautifully manicured front yard. It’s the perfect spot to view the motley facade, composed of Cumaru wood, Corten steel and white quartz volumes. The laser-cut vertical bronze screen isn’t just a decorative touch – it belies a floor-to-ceiling window that draws sunshine inside.
On the other side of that exterior screen, an impressive atrium runs the length of the house. Above, a jaw-dropping skylight blasts the space with natural light. That’s great news for the bamboo shoots happily growing in the gaps between a polished arrangement of green marble. The marble’s organic veining and high-gloss surface, which reflects the bamboo leaves, has all the colour and texture of a forest canopy.
Venturing further into the house, you find more proof that Tadrissi is serious about ushering the landscape inside. A green wall installed above the kitchen sink complements the eucalyptus-veneer cabinetry, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a wooded paradise. Moreover, the greenery here makes even the most boring chores, like doing the dishes, a joyful exercise.