Apartment Therapy Launched a Plant-Only Instagram Account and Why That Is So Important

Apartment Therapy Launched a Plant-Only Instagram Account and Why That Is So Important

Less than a week ago, Apartment Therapy launched a new Instagram account @iplanteven. Apartment Therapy is a home and decor site, designed to inspire anyone to live a more beautiful and happy life at home. They produce 125 pieces of original content every week, and we are thrilled that they are branching out to shine a light on Regenerative Design.

Your Urban Brain on Plants

Perhaps it's something you never think about; you see it every day struggling for life next to a busy street, or peeking through an abandoned building. You probably see it in the park but it doesn't occur to you to bring it home, even though it's one of the easiest remedies to anxiety, depression, or general malaise.

Collaborative Design with Plants, Lasers, and Routers

How does Planted Design create such intricate logos and designs for your home or business?

With help from a talented team of fellow artisans and modern technology.



Engraving has been around for thousands of years as we can see with this 10,000 year old stone carving of a now extinct bovine. But the concept and skill of engraving goes even further back in time to an etched shell around 500,000 years old! This first example of etching was created by our ancient ancestor Homo erectus some 25,000 generations ago.

  Stone carving of  extinct bovine  10,000 years old

Stone carving of extinct bovine 10,000 years old

These days, however, simple stone tools and tedious time by hand have been replaced by computer-aided machines. A complicated array of computer guided lasers, mirrors, and elaborate cooling systems can now burn designs into wood, leather, bone, plastic, glass, metal, and more in a matter of hours. 

Cool facts about laser engraving:

  • LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
  • The laser beam itself is NOT hot. A laser is nothing more than a beam of concentrated light. It's upon contact with matter (e.g. wood) that changes light energy into heat. 
  • The focal point of the beam is generally less than a fraction of a millimeter.
  • Lasers can etch into diamond, the hardest natural substance.
  • Laser engraving is economical, fast, and delivers a repeatable flawless design.



Wood carving, of course, has also been around for thousands of years. The oldest wood working tools date back to 160,000 years ago and were used by our extinct cousins the Neanderthal. Routing, however, is specifically hollowing out a surface area normally using a tool and a table. The first hand held routers were used by the Romans and Egyptians, and the milling machine was invented in the early 1800's.

  Hand held wooden plane for routing and carving

Hand held wooden plane for routing and carving

A modern CNC router consists of a cutting bed, spindle, and a drive and computer system. Just like the laser etcher, the router can cut various types of material like wood, metal, plastic, and stone, and has converted a once time consuming task into an efficient and flawless one. 


Cool facts about CNC Routing:

  • CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control.
  • A CNC router can reduce waste, frequency of errors, and the time the finished product takes to get to market.
  • The first commercial NC machines were built in the 1950's, and ran from punched tape (predecessor to modern binary encoded software)
  • The spindle (the routing tool) can revolve 8000 to 30,000 revolutions per minute. 

As you can see it takes a collaboration of visionaries and a lot of history to create the elegant art and design for today's marketplace.

Why Design Vertically?

~ Getting the most out of your space ~

When it comes to thinking outside the planter box, up may be the way to go. 

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What a bright idea

Not only is a living or preserved plant wall perfect for limited space, there are numerous other benefits that you probably never realized. Let's start with a living plant wall. 

What is a vertical living wall?

Imagine a vine covered Victorian mansion. In a sense, that was one of the very first "living walls." These days, a modern living wall consists of a team of designers who not only create a growing, breathing piece of art, but a self-sustaining, irrigated system of plants specific to your aesthetics and needs. Beginning in the 1980's, the living wall has continued to gain momentum and will be the future of sustainable cities.

Some of the virtues of a living wall include:

·         Cools the environment

·         Cleans the outside and inside air of pollutants, toxins, and dust 

·         Is a sound proofing barrier

·         Creates habitats for birds and insects

·         Can be used as your own indoor or outdoor farm

·         Increases your real estate value

·         Boosts morale and reduces stress

·         Qualifies for LEED certification points from USGBC: "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design."

ALL of that from planting outside the box onto the wall -  Not to mention, they're beautiful.

Click here for more gorgeous examples of vertical living walls



And what is a preserved wall?

A preserved vertical wall usually consists of dried mosses, ferns, mushrooms, driftwood, grasses, flowers, and various other plants.

 For more examples click  here

For more examples click here

Why do you want a preserved plant wall? We've already established that any kind of greenery is beautiful, but here are some other benefits:

·         Every plant undergoes a non-toxic preservation process

·         It doesn't require much maintenance (you're welcome "brown-thumbs")

·         It reduces the carbon footprint by replacing plastic plants

·          Like a living wall, it helps create a calming and inviting environment

·         They have longevity and low energy consumption

As you can see, vertical walls can be the answer to the green (or brown) thumb, and small urban apartments or offices for those that want to bring more nature into their space. But whether you live in an urban or rural setting, want some eco-friendly art to spruce up your home or business, a vertical plant wall is so much more than just a green wall...

...It's the perfect blend of nature, art, and sustainability.

 To know more about San Francisco's first community built living wall click  here

To know more about San Francisco's first community built living wall click here

A Magical Transformation

How do you transform a bare wall into a profusion of fauna?

Planted design, plants, living wall, tony adams, moss walls, contemporary, magical, exterior design, landscaping

It takes 4,644 different plants, 7 irrigation systems for each vegetation "zone," and many helping hands over 1,161 sq. feet to be exact! 

Various succulents, ferns, and even small acacia trees helped transform a backyard into a beautiful yard. How do we create the perfect planted potion? By following these steps:

1) Take measurements of light and water exposure to ensure proper placement of plants. (Ferns require share so thus planted along the shaded patio. Succulents require sun so are thus planted on the sun exposed wall).

2) Build custom industrial felt pocket planting system.

3) Use different irrigation systems for various "zones" of vegetation.

4) Add a little love.

Lastly, we carefully select plants with attractive aromas such as chamomile to be planted at the entrance to the property, so that people walking by on the street will be drawn into the space.  

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There were even strawberries hidden among the foliage...

"Zwartkop" may sound like a magical incantation, but the "black rose" is a gorgeous succulent from the Canary Islands that blooms with bright yellow flowers in the spring.

To see more of this magical living wall click here

Bring in the Brigade!

Geometric meets organic in Planted Design's latest installation with local tech company Brigade. It's a dynamic piece that uses not only the flow of moss and ferns, but also the natural striation of the wood grain, pulling the gaze across its diamond patterning. As Brigade brings people together, so does this beautiful piece bring tech and nature together. Where there is passion and community, there is beauty.

Avant Garde Moss

Planted Design was proud to be featured this year in San Francisco's Decorator Showcase! 


Bedroom designed by Jaimie Belew

For the "intellectual individual with a creative spirit," a living moss wall brings the calming beauty of nature to any space. Greenery not only can help create a Modern Avant Garde setting, but numerous studies have shown it to reduce anxiety and depression. So, the next time you can't decide on which color or wall paper to use in your home, why not "plant" it instead? 

A Touch of Green

What happens when you follow your passions in life?

Read on and find out where Amanda's love for moss and music led her...

Amanda grew up on the folk ballads and guitar riffs of the Grateful Dead which eventually led to this beautiful moss piece of their Steal Your Face logo (sold here).

Little did she know that it would one day lead her to meet the bassist of the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh!

"He was elated and excited to learn more about the mosses!"

And you can see it in their smiles. When passions collide, joy is shared. 

For the Love of Moss

Breathe deep the next time you come across a blanket of moss for it’s a green light for a healthy, clean environment. Hugging the earth, they attach themselves with root-like structures called rhizoids, but mostly gain their nutrients from rain, dew, and sunlight. Besides soothing your soul, they can also soothe wounds and were used up until the First World War as interim bandages since they contain a chemical with anti-bacterial properties. As one of the first plants on Earth, evolving millennia ago from algae, they literally helped our world grow. So, when hiking through the woods send your Bryophyta brethren some love!

 Image source:  Red marquis

Image source: Red marquis

Passion For Organic

Organic is always at the heart of Clif Bar’s mission and that’s why this year at the Natural Products Expo West.

Planted Design helped create a unique and natural exhibition. A striking 360° red moss sign boldly displayed.

Clif Bar’s “New” nut-butter filled energy bars while a living fern wall beautifully emphasized their passion for healthy, organic products.

Planted Design Wins Two Prestigious International Plantscape Design Awards!

We are pleased to announce that Planted Design has earned two international platinum-level awards in the "Design" and "Silk, Replica & Preserved" categories. We had a wonderful time participating at the AmericanHort Cultivate Conference in July!

Here is an excerpt on the event and awards:

Planted Design Wins Two Prestigious International Plantscape Design Awards               July 15, 2016

Emeryville, CA– Planted Design (www.planteddesign.com), an industry leader in designing Living Walls and Moss Walls, recently earned two acclaimed International Platinum-level Plantscape Awards in the category of “Design” and “Silk, Replica & Preserved” at the AmericanHort Cultivate Conference, the largest all-industry horticulture event in North America. Winners were selected based on the quality, design and innovative strength of each project.  Acquiring 90 percent or more of the total number of points possible earned the recognition of Platinum Level for both of these awards, which were selected by a panel of three industry-leading judges.

The first award, in the category of “Design,” is for Planted Design’s Exterior Living Wall installation in San Francisco’s Mission District.  The 1,200 square foot wall was designed using 3,200 plants, many of which were bay-native and drought tolerant with bloom cycles throughout the year.

The second award, in the category of “Silk, Replica & Preserved” is for Planted Designs staged moss backdrop for a speaker series at the Visa Everywhere Lounge at Superbowl 50 in San Francisco.  This Moss Wall spanned 24’ x 10’, and was branded ‘Everywhere Lounge’ with a variety of different colored mosses making up the lettering.

“It is a great honor to be recognized amongst such an amazing industry.  I hope our designs can continue to brighten and transform buildings in city environments, and help bring the beauty and healing power of nature and plants into more home and office environments throughout the country,” said Amanda Goldberg, Founder of Planted Design.

About Planted Design

Planted Design is a full service firm focused on creating beautiful, functional and sustainable designs using plants and mosses. We connect nature in unexpected places, and in unexpected ways. Whether you are a business, designer, homeowner or planning a special event, we can help your next project ‘come alive.’ We offer permanent installations as well as rentals, and utilize a large assortment of live plants or preserved plants, depending on the intended use, available lighting and client desires. We also create customized shapes, logos and lettering to help our clients showcase their brand in unique and beautiful ways.

Whether you choose a small or large, indoor or outdoor planting, we help you select the site, the plant palette and the framing to create a living architecture that incorporates sustainable design.

About AmericanHort

AmericanHort was formed in 2014 by the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals. With a combined history of 220+ years, AmericanHort supports nearly 16,000 member and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry market chain. The horticulture industry's production, wholesale, retail, and landscape service components have annual sales of $163 billion, and sustain over 1.15 million full- and part-time jobs. Our mission is to unite, promote, and advance the horticulture industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development, and research. The association has offices in Columbus, Ohio for administration and member services, and in Washington, DC to facilitate government relations and research activities.

For more information, contact:

Amanda Goldberg



(510) 972-4769




Planted Design featured at Inside Source

We are pleased to announce that Planted Design has been featured at Inside Source! Inside Source is a Bay Area company that designs and furnishes indoor spaces. They now have one of our beautiful moss walls in their business space! We hope this greenery inspires the innovative, nature-minded work spaces to come. 




Be Safehouse Living Wall

Summer is around the corner and we at Planted Design have been building and installing more live plant walls. And the living wall we built last summer/fall in San Francisco's Mission District has been recently featured in Inhabitat. We're excited to see our living showpiece more grown in and lusher than ever. 

 Be Safehouse, May 2016

Be Safehouse, May 2016

The Sierra Club's New, Lush Moss Wall

We welcomed the Sierra Club into their new Oakland office with this 8'x12' preserved moss wall with a handmade Douglas fir frame. In the past couple of weeks, the team dedicated their time to this project, from first drawing out designs and planning the moss patterns to building and hand-staining this enormous frame to finally installing it in their reception area this past Saturday. We're so glad to see it up in all its green lushness glory! 

 A behind-the-scene photo of Planted Design's moss manager working hard (or hardly working?) on the project. 

A behind-the-scene photo of Planted Design's moss manager working hard (or hardly working?) on the project. 

Moss masterpieces now on Etsy!

Living walls are now a popular interior trend and rightfully so. Our clients love having greenery indoors, but not everyone had the right conditions to grow plants in their space or time/resources to take care of them. We hated saying no to our clients, so we found a comparable alternative to satisfy their green needs-- preserved moss walls! 

Moss walls allow our clients to have a touch of nature without any of the maintenance. We are extremely picky about the quality of the mosses we use, so we source them from all over the world. They go through a process of glycerin preservation, so that the moss retains its color, texture, and overall vibrant appearance. They do not require any sunlight or water, and can keep up their soft, natural look for up to 10 years.

Soon we were getting requests for smaller projects and this is when we started making ‘preserved plant paintings’ for our Etsy page.  Check out of what we’ve made so far! 

 We pair our pieces with gorgeous handmade reclaimed wood frames. 

We pair our pieces with gorgeous handmade reclaimed wood frames. 

 We can do custom shapes, colors, and sizes. 

We can do custom shapes, colors, and sizes. 

Recent Blog Posts

Our very first veggie wall!

At this year’s Natural Products Expo, we had the opportunity to help build a green wall for Farmhouse Culture’s booth. Except this time instead of using moss or plants, we used 126 fresh cabbages and it turns out they make for a great display!

We’re excited to see the world of green walls expanding to veggies. The sky’s the limit for designing with greenery and Planted Design is here to make your living wall fantasies become a reality. 

Designing with Moss

People started designing with moss thousands of years ago. Japanese Zen Buddhist monks were among the firsts to do so, by using moss in their rock gardens (aka zen gardens). Their zen gardens were not intended to necessarily imitate the actual appearance, but the intimate and profound quality of nature. Zen Buddhist monks admired the cool tranquility of moss, so they cultivated it on stones and walls. These carefully composed arrangements of rocks, moss, sand, pruned trees, and other organic features served as a meditation aid as well as a connection to nature. 

When designing with moss at Planted Design, like the Buddhist monks, we do not necessarily strive to copy the actual appearance of nature, but we want to bring our clients closer to how we feel when we are in nature-- a sense of calmness, familiarity, and focus. We want people to feel a connection with our natural world when experiencing our moss work. 

 We designed this for Marin Natural Medicine Clinic, for acupuncture patients to view while getting their treatments.

We designed this for Marin Natural Medicine Clinic, for acupuncture patients to view while getting their treatments.

Below are some around-the-house moss wall inspiration.

Building Greener Cities

One of Planted Design’s more prominent works has just been featured in Uplift’s latest article on greener cities! Our very own, Amanda Goldberg designed the facade of ‘Be Safehouse’ located in the heart of San Francisco, proving that we can in fact coexist and flourish with plants in a big city. Using plants of varying colors, textures, and bloom cycles, she not only created a gorgeous piece of landscape design, but a powerful statement on the way we can incorporate nature into urban environments.

It can be difficult to grow plants with limited outdoor space, but with developing irrigation technology and innovative designers, this can change. Making a conscious choice to include greenery in building our cities will enhance our quality of life, both aesthetically and physically (by improving air quality.) With that said, we hope to continue to contribute to the future of greener cities. To creating more local community gardens, rooftop gardens, and living plant walls!

 Different colors, textures, and bloom periods helps build a unique floral pattern. 

Different colors, textures, and bloom periods helps build a unique floral pattern. 

 As the plants grow, the design will become denser and more unified. 

As the plants grow, the design will become denser and more unified. 

Plant Wellness

Living in cities, we are constantly surrounded by concrete, traffic, noise and pollution. This is not the way we’re meant to live. Humans have had an evolutionary bond with plants since the beginning of . The human eye can distinguish between 2,000 shades of green, but only 100 shades of red. Recognizing a plant’s shade of green was important when you were about to eat it or use it for shelter or medicine. This could be why we’re drawn to plants. They have a profound impact on our physical and mental wellness. Greenery softens this harsh environment, acting as a tonic to ease stress and fatigue. Green walls provide a substantial and spiritual connection to nature, which is missing in our modern concrete jungle.

Studies have shown that simply having a view of greenery in the workplace provokes positive physiological responses and increases productivity. Participants in this study shows that people exposed to plants have quicker reaction times (high productivity) and lower blood pressure (less stressed) in the presence of plants. Plants help people to feel more relaxed and focused, which can also enhance creativity, idea generation, and problem solving capabilities.

Having plants around you can drastically improve focus and general well being. We at Planted Design are dedicated to making your interiors healthier and more relaxing spaces! Check out some of these office living walls for inspiration. 

Living Restaurants

Plants have slowly made their way from the natural world, to our yards, then into our homes. Let’s not stop there! Plants are now making their way into restaurants all over the world. Eating good food is already a baseline source of comfort, but designers are taking it to the next level and enhancing their dining by using plants to evoke feelings of relaxation and serenity. Enjoy these inspirations of bringing nature to our culinary experiences! 

Hanging pothos at Haven in our very own Oakland, CA

  Lush vertical garden, bike included, at  Restaurant Padrinos  in Mexico City, Mexico

Lush vertical garden, bike included, at Restaurant Padrinos in Mexico City, Mexico

  Furry fern living plant wall at  Home-Made Delicate Restaurant  in Milan, Italy

Furry fern living plant wall at Home-Made Delicate Restaurant in Milan, Italy

  Plant ceiling and herbs at  Segev Kitchen Garden Restaurant  in Hod Hasharon, Israel

Plant ceiling and herbs at Segev Kitchen Garden Restaurant in Hod Hasharon, Israel