WTF? Moss Walls!?

moss wallRemember way back when Trading Spaces’ Hildi plastered hay all over the walls in that one house?

And correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Genevieve may have coated someone’s bedroom with moss, the stuff of my nightmares!

Can you even begin to imagine the allergies? The bugs? The just … Ugh.

Brace yourselves. It’s happening again.


And it’s everywhere. It may soon make my list of top ten design plagues – you know, things that start out as “high art” and  “concept design” but then somehow end up creeping into the mainstream, and before you know it, Target has mossy bean bag chairs.

moss your cityPushak, a group of Norwegian architects, has recently designed an installation for the London Festival of Architecture. Guess what it’s called? Moss Your City.

It has good intentions, and it’s quite spectacular visually, so I give them credit there – and to the whole living wall movement, which encourages people to “green” their environments.

Done right, a vertical garden sounds like a gorgeous way to arrange your houseplants, and maybe even reap some of the detoxifying benefits of having plants around en masse. And I’ve got no beef with outdoor gardens and moss walls – I’d probably consider a moss wall in my own garden.

Done wrong, well, you get products like the Moss Milkshake. Which people then paint onto the surface of their choosing to grow moss. And so you have entire walls being painted with sludgy, mossy mess. Then what happens? Hopefully the moss grows. If it doesn’t, you have a dried up sludgy, mossy mess.

If you can get the moss to grow then you have to have an irrigation system. And an air recirculation system so the plants can breathe properly (it’s hard work detoxing your home!). And you have to be able to fertilize them, since they won’t have access to soil nutrients. Oh, and don’t forget – moss flakes, so even if your moss is healthy, you’ll have to clean up after it. Don’t we already do that enough? Can you imagine trying to maintain something like that with kids and pets and jobs and school and dogs and cats and everything else? I just have two dogs, a job and a husband and I can’t even begin to think that this is a good idea. And I shudder at the thought of what my dogs might think that wall is for.

I like to believe that I’m pretty forward thinking – I may not be as avant garde as many of the designers and artists out there, but I feel like I have a grasp on what makes good design – and what makes practical good design. This is trending in a big way… and I just.don’t.get it.

Do you? Would you ever construct a moss wall inside your home?


Images via PUSHAK

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