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Create your own piece of plant heaven, with this step-by-step guide to creating a living plant wall
Living plant walls are set to be one of the hottest new gardening trends of 2018! This new trend can be brought to life in our own homes with a helping hand from Dobbies and its brand new Living Wall Planters – set to have walls looking blooming lovely this spring.
Love gardens? Don’t miss Garden trends 2018 – we predict the key looks for your garden
‘We are delighted to have made this trend easily accessible in any home, inside or out,’ says Marcus Eyles, Head of Horticulture at Dobbies, ‘A Living Wall is a great way to introduce greenery into your home and refresh a space, creating a modern and sophisticated look that will add interest and colour.’
Image credit: Dobbies
‘The Living Wall Planters can be easily fitted onto any solid area.’ explains Marcus, ‘The walls can be built indoors or out, can be as large or small as you like, meaning it can be tailored to suit the size of your space.’
- How to make a living plant wall, step by step
- Top tips for living plant walls
- Living walls and Vertical Gardens
- Our Favorite Wall Garden Ideas
- Lush Living Walls + Vertical Garden Ideas
- Plants for a living wall
- The correct selection of plants plays an important role in the design and functioning of vertical living wall gardens. In this article, we show a selection of the best plants for vertical gardening.
- Best Plants For Vertical Garden
- Lipstick Plant
- Air Plants (Epiphyte)
How to make a living plant wall, step by step
1. Choose your space
You can build a living plant wall on any solid wall or fence – build straight on to the side of your house, a garden fence or even a sturdy shed. For indoors a custom made wooden wall allows you the freedom to move it from room to room.
Once you’ve chosen a structurally sound wall or fence, simply screw in rows of 2in x 1in treated battens 38cm apart to fill the space, checking with a spirit level as you go to make sure they’re straight.
2. Screw in the planters
Using an electric screwdriver and working from the bottom up, attach the plastic planters to the battens. You can then click and lock the planters into each other and build up your wall in staggered rows.
3. Get watering
Starting at the top, water your wall with a hose or watering can. The reservoir system is designed to keep plants watered for up to two weeks.
4. Green up your wall
Fill the planters with your chosen plants using 12-13cm pots. Either remove the plants from their pots and plant them straight into the planters, or to make changing the scheme really easy, place the pot directly into each planter, making sure the pot touches the reservoir base.
The planters will be available from £9.99, at Dobbies Garden Centres from early March.
Image credit: Dobbies
Top tips for living plant walls
• If you’re attaching your green wall to the side of a house, Dobbies recommend attaching a waterproof membrane to the wall before you begin, to prevent damp issues.
• The living plant wall needs watering around every two- three days depending on climate (unless you’ve chosen to add an automatic irrigation system), more in summer – check by sticking a finger into the soil to see if the compost is dry.
• As for as plant care, if you’ve chosen flowering plants, as always, you’ll need to deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms later in the season. Foliage plants such as heucheras and ferns should be tidied up by snipping off tatty leaves, as needed. Annuals, in particular, benefit from a liquid feed every couple of weeks in summer, although any display that’s in place for any length of time will need feeding to keep it looking its best.
Related: Jobs to do in the garden in February
Image credit: Dobbies
Choosing the right plants
A range of herbaceous perennials, grasses, small shrubs, herbs and even fruit and vegetables can be used. Try including scented plants, seasonal flowers and bulbs, but talk to your local garden nursery about plants that will suit the aspect and microclimate of the wall on which they will be grown.
Plants to try:
• Adiantum (maidenhair fern)
• Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ (sedge)
• Fragaria ‘Mara des Bois’ (strawberry)
• Galanthus (snowdrop)
• Heuchera ‘Purple Petticoats’
• Liriope muscari (lilyturf)
• Pachysandra terminalis (Japanese spurge)
• Pelargonium peltatum (ivy-leaved geranium)
• Saxifraga x urbium (London pride)
• Tiarella cordifolia (foam flower)
• Vinca minor (lesser periwinkle)
There’s no saying you have to fill an entire wall, you could just create a plant oasis at eye level along a fence or if indoors you could create a small-scale herb garden for your wall.
Living walls and Vertical Gardens
Lately, the idea of green walls has become very fashionable. Either part of a building or free standing, this sustainable innovation is healthy and great to look at. Also known as living walls, these vertical gardens are packed with flora that benefits everything from our lungs to our ears! Let’s have a detailed look into the benefits of green walls and then find out how to install your very own green wall at home…
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Improved Air Quality
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It has been scientifically proven that foliage can improve air quality. Indeed, the Amazon rainforest is often referred to as ‘the lungs of the world’.
A green wall will help to vastly improve the quality of air in any environment. It acts as a natural air filter, purifying the polluted air whilst releasing clean oxygen. If installed in an office environment, the presence of green walls can lead to greater employee productivity and overall health, since cleaner air leads to better concentration, healthier employees and fewer sick days.
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No one who has seen a green wall close up can say that they’re not impressive, especially the larger-scale ones such as Patrick Blanc’s Parisian creation. We’re simply not used to seeing gardens grow upwards, so it catches our eye!
Excellent for the home or the office, a green wall can turn any dull and dreary room into an inviting and alluring environment. This can be great for creating a good first impression on your clients when they visit your business. Or, if you want to give your home a nice colourful touch, it will add some green to your own four walls and be a great talking point when you have guests over.
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Reduced Energy Costs
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In the Western world, and America in particular, we love air conditioning. However, the costs can be astronomical. Did you know however than installing a green wall acts as a natural air conditioner, balancing humidity levels in the process to keep us comfortable.
Through a process known as evapotranspiration, the air surrounding the green wall is naturally cooled. In winter, a green wall on the outside of a building acts as insulation, reducing the need for costly heating too.
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Reduced Noise Levels
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You might be wondering how can a bunch of plants help to reduce noise levels! It is one of the lesser-known benefits of a green wall, reducing background noise in loud, communal dining areas, or reducing noise pollution from traffic on busy main roads.
The foliage absorbs and reflects the noise that comes its way, so if there’s a room in your home you want to make as peaceful and relaxing as possible, a living green wall can help – and that’s not to mention the general sense of calm and well-being that comes from being around greenery!
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So, How Do You Install Your Own?
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Green walls are great for those who don’t have much garden space. Although a professional will be needed for larger scale projects, this is still something you can attempt yourself on a smaller scale at home.
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Select the space you wish to use for your very own green wall. Get started by building a frame; you will need a good, solid structure which can be hung onto the wall. Plastic is generally considered the most appropriate material to use. A plastic sheet must then be attached to the frame to stop water from leaking.
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You are now ready to attach a layer of fabric to the frame, which will act as the foundation your plants will live and grow from. Use a material which has effective water retention properties and lets roots grow through – felt is often the material of choice here.
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Set up an irrigation system for the water to be able to reach all parts of the wall. The usual style is to attach a tube across the top of your wall, which will drip water down throughout the whole structure. As this is one of the most important aspects, you will most likely want to consult an expert in the field. At this point you will also need to add a fertilising system.
Finally you will want to choose and insert the plants you want to include in your green wall. This is entirely down to your personal preference. Just take into account the current aesthetics of the room or garden where you are constructing your green wall. For a more in-depth guide to creating your own green wall, take a look at this article.
A living wall is a vertical or slanted garden that is placed on any type of wall. It can also be placed on any structure such as a bookshelf, shelving, fireplace, and more! Living walls are typically seen on the inside of buildings as a way to liven up a living space.
A living wall is a colorful and unique piece of art. It is beneficial for air quality because plants are excellent at filtering toxins out of the air. Living walls can be easily and affordably made with only a few items that can be purchased at any gardening or home improvement store. They are a fantastic addition to any living space. They also are perfect for those who do not have much living space and do not have space for a traditional house plant. Living walls are beautiful pieces of gardening artwork and make for great gifts for your loved ones.
1. Plants (Recommended Plants: Lipstick Plant, Fern, Croton, Dracena, Peace Lily, Creeping Jenny, Philodendron, Begonia, Gomphrena) You may use any shade tolerant plants that you would like! Plants can always be replaced from the living wall.
2.Potting soil – Succulent soil provides good drainage.
3.Gardening fabric or tarp to prevent wood rot
5. A small wooden box with or without shelves. This will be the frame for your living wall. Other housing units can be used too, such as pallets, buckets, and even building your own.
6. Wall mounting tools (i.e. hammer)
7. Staple gun
9. Marker or sharpie
(All materials will cost on average about $30 to $50).
Safety Precautions When Using the Materials Listed Above:
- Make sure that you are not allergic to any plants that you could come into contact with. Certain plants can be toxic to animals.
- When choosing your plants, be sure to check if the plant will be toxic to any house pet that may come into contact with your living wall art.
- Exercise caution to avoid injuring yourself or those around you if you are using gardening tools.
- Exercise caution to avoid injuring yourself or those around you while using wall mounting tools.
- Exercise caution when using any wooden materials (i.e. splinters, cuts)
- Exercise caution when using a staple gun. Do not put fingers near the base of the staple gun when using.
Up Keep of Plants:
Plants must be watered at least twice a week. Use a spray bottle full of water to mist plants. This makes for an easier way to water the plants.
Important Things to Note:
If you are renting or live in a dorm room, be sure to check your lease or contract regarding wall mounting. Creating a living wall is best done outside in order to avoid mess. If you are unable to build it outside, be sure to layout newspaper or an old blanket to aid with cleanup.
With space to create a garden in our homes or workplaces becoming harder and harder to fine, it is no wonder that living wall gardens are becoming more and more popular. If designed correctly, they can require very little maintenance, and not only liven up a room or area, but they also filter the air and help provide a healthier environment.
Our Favorite Wall Garden Ideas
We have put together 7 different ideas in this article for you to take some inspiration from and help create your own living wall garden. Enjoy!
Bigger Is Not Always Better
As you can see from this living wall from Sortra, bigger is not necessarily better. Even smaller spaces can house a living wall that can look beautiful and provide a relaxing area for snacks and drinks, or just to kick back with a good book.
Ok, Big Can Be Good!
This huge living wall is designed to be a recreation of Van Gough’s A Wheatfield, with Cypresses and is situated outside the London National Gallery. We know it is not likely you can reproduce this garden as it has over 8,000 plants in it – but it might inspire you to try to recreate some of your other favorite artworks!
Edible Wall Garden
Living wall gardens are not just for looks, they can be also used to grow useful plants. This living wall is in the Atlanta Botanical Garden and is full of edible herbs – great idea hey! Why not plant a vertical herb garden on your patio so fresh ingredients are just a few steps away whenever you need them.
Not Always Complicated
Living Wall gardens don’t need to be a lot of work, in fact they can be quite easy if you use something like this pocket garden! Theya re easily attached to almost any wall and can grow many different types of plants. They are even able to be used indoors.
Make Your Own Indoor Wall Garden
Are you a fan of indoor gardens? Well this minimalist design might be exactly what you are after. Succulents are great plants for indoors and they also require very little upkeep. You can find full instructions on how to make your own indoor wall garden just like this over at http://blog.minwax.com.
Want to grow your own indoor garden? Try an Aerogarden!
Liven Up a Smaller Space
This wall garden reminds me a bit of walking through a rain forest on a misty day. What a great way to liven up an office space!
Breathtaking Indoor Wall Gardens
This vertical garden in the Taipei National Theater is nothing short of breathtaking. It almost looks like it should be a huge painting, instead it is a living, breathing organism and it looks amazing! Although I do wonder who is going to mow the lawns 😉
So maybe low maintenance isn’t good enough….maybe you want NO maintenance? Well why not consider a Faux living wall garden? These faux gardens can look great and maintain a natural feel in your home or office without the actual need to look after any plants. You can find directions on how to make this lovely piece here.
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We’ve all seen the plant decor trend having a hay day on Pinterest and Instagram. I think this is super exciting because it paves the way for incorporating greenery into the major design elements of your space! So this week I want to show you 3 different ways you can showcase your green thumb using living walls.
Living walls (aka vertical gardens or wall gardens) are self-sufficient plants that are attached to a planter, structure or wall.
The plants receive water and nutrients from within their vertical support system instead of from the ground. Irrigation, nutrition, and care depend on the specific type of living wall system and the plants you decide on. (Or you can go the easy route and use faux greenery and/or preserved greenery so you have little to no maintenance to deal with.)
Should you go the natural route, there are countless benefits to having a living wall in your home! Plants help improve air quality, reduce stress, and can act as a soundproofing barrier.
Whether you want to care for a vertical garden or you’d just like to surround yourself with stylish green decor, I’ve rounded up these gorgeous living wall designs that’ll give your space a truly unique feel. 🙂
++This blog post contains affiliate links which may reward me in the event of a subscription or sale++
Lush Living Walls + Vertical Garden Ideas
#1 Low Maintenance Living Walls
Low maintenance living walls are great for those of us who want all the style and none of the upkeep! These require minimal care, usually just instructions for placement of the piece to ensure longevity. Place anywhere you want to make a green statement. 😉
Artificial Topiary Hedge
Creating showstopping decor is easy with this living wall!
This no-maintenance, eco-friendly vertical garden is the perfect indoor greenery you’ve been searching for.
Natural Moss + Succulent Wall
I feel like this piece is a dreamy forest floor come to life!
This custom low-maintenance moss and succulent wall is made of preserved moss, ferns, Amaranthus, and faux succulents.
Expandable Faux Ivy Trellis
Great for adding a little greenery to a large space, these Expandable Trellises are easy to move and easy to store. Use them to decorate any space from an outdoor patio to an office wall.
Best of all, these versatile trellises showcase the beauty of real greenery without the added maintenance!
“The Aerial” Vertical Panel Living Wall Moss Art
This unique, handcrafted art piece is made from a variety of real preserved moss, which requires no maintenance! No water, grow lights, or fertilizers are required.
There is a myriad of little details in this design that makes it so impactful. Display one or multiple panels for abundant style!
Real Preserved Moss and Faux Succulents Wall Art
This piece of art is custom made from beginning to end. Each element is carefully selected to bring the beauty of nature and the feel of a vertical garden into your home or space.
I love incorporating succulents into your living wall! There are so many color options it’s just a feast for the eyes. 🙂
#2 Living Wall Frames
Living wall frames are for those who would like a contained/structured indoor garden. These allow you to have a boxed garden bed of sorts to be displayed where ever you want to add life to your space. I think these go great anywhere but my favorite is in the kitchen (think of the herbs!).
Living Wall Succulent Frame
Create a living wall anywhere with these handmade shelves!
Unlike traditional living wall arrangements, you can easily customize, remove, and replace the plants on the shelf. Plants can be watered directly when hung outdoors, or they can be removed to water individually indoors.
Vertical Succulent Wall Box
Apartment dwellers need plants too! One of the things I just love about living wall frames is that they’re perfect for small spaces!
With the Succulent Wall Boxes you can design your own garden, how cool is that?! Need more room? Just add more boxes to create a larger wall. 🙂
6 FT Tall Vertical Garden
Doesn’t this just give you Fern Gully flashbacks?! Living walls bring such a lush feel to an otherwise hard to decorate wall space.
This is 6-foot tall vertical garden couldn’t be easier to use. It automatically waters itself 3x a week and all you’ll need to do is have the water basin filled once per week.
#3 Living Wall Planters
Calling all green thumbs! Living wall planters are a fantastic way to enjoy greenery year-round. They’re affordable, easy to use, and oh so versatile. With planter pockets ranging from 1-12 (or higher), you can have the leafy jungle of your dreams within just a few months! Use these anywhere and everywhere, seriously where would these not look amazing?!
Vertical Living Wall Planter
These handcrafted vertical garden planters are watertight, weatherproof in all climates, durable, and made to last!
Use these indoors or outside to create a living wall as unique as you are. ♥
12 Pocket Outdoor Vertical Garden Planter
Create a beautiful vertical garden or an entire green wall with these 12 pocket planters! They’re high-quality, non-toxic, and super soft!
I love the idea of using these to create a privacy fence. Such a gorgeous idea!
Indoor Waterproof Vertical Garden Planter
A vertical wall planter made just for your indoor garden! These planters are backed with a thick, sturdy plastic that wraps around underneath to prevent water from leaking on your walls or floor.
Play around with the placement of your planters to give them an artistic flair!
Vertical Garden Planter
Living wall planters are perfect to use in your home, office, business, or outdoors. Personally, when I see these in a business or office I’m drawn to them immediately because they’re breathtaking!
This vertical growing system is the simplest vertical garden to install and maintain. Not only is this system the simplest, but it is also the most versatile grid and tray system to date!
And there you have it! 3 different ways to add the look of a living wall to your space. 🙂
What do you think about these looks? Would you go all in and add greenery to your walls in a big way? Leave me a comment and let me know!
If you enjoyed this post make sure you check out my other plant decor posts here. 🙂
Thank you so much for joining me this week and I’ll see you soon!
Plants for a living wall
Living walls can be planted with annuals, perennials, herbs or vegetables. Spring is a good time to plant, as young plants (ideally plugs) will establish readily and grow together.
The best living wall plantings focus on the texture, shape, form and colour of foliage as much as flowers, to provide year-round interest. Plants should be relatively compact – less than 50cm – or be able to take regular pruning.
Select perennials for year-round interest, or use bedding that you change with the seasons. Alternatively, go for edibles to get crops from a tight space. Choose shade-tolerant plants if your wall gets less than half a day of sun in midsummer. Water every day in hot weather and at least every other day throughout summer.
The plants in this display are Campanula carpatica ‘Blaue Clips’, Geum ‘Mrs J. Bradshaw’, Heuchera ‘Melting Fire’, Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimension’ and scabious. They all cope with sun or partial shade.
Discover more beautiful (and some edible) plants to grow in a living wall.
Plants for sun
Plants for shade
- Salad leaves
The correct selection of plants plays an important role in the design and functioning of vertical living wall gardens. In this article, we show a selection of the best plants for vertical gardening.
Best Plants For Vertical Garden
Not all plants adapt well to vertical gardening. They must have certain important characteristics for proper development and growth.
They are one of the garden plants that are preferred for their adaptability and humidity resistance. Ferns are easy to grow and they cover the area quickly. You can grow sword fern, blue star fern, bird’s nest fern, they are easiest. Ferns will generally grow downward, so you’ll need to grow other covering plants with them too.
Most bromeliads have shallow roots and they need little space to grow this makes them ideal plants for vertical gardens. Their colorful leaves and long lasting flowers can be a good addition to your vertical garden.
If you are hanging your living wall in a place that receives some sun then growing begonias is a good idea.
This beautiful plant with variegated foliage is used as a groundcover in gardens. For a shady site, this evergreen plant is suitable for a vertical garden.
Growing lipstick plant is easy. It doesn’t require deep soil to grow so it can thrive in a vertical wall. You can also grow it indoors.
Must Read: How to Make a Vertical Wall Planter
Succulents are the most used plants for vertical gardens due to their incredible adaptability and resistance to fluctuation in temperatures and climatic variations. Plants like the string of pearls, echeveria, crassula and sedum can be considered.
Air Plants (Epiphyte)
Such plants do not need soil to thrive, they grow naturally on other plants, which makes them perfect for growing in vertical wall gardens. Tillandsias, aechmea, vriesea are a few examples.
Low maintenance vines such as pothos, ivies, philodendrons, rosary vine and wandering jew can be grown vertical planters easily. They are low maintenance and even thrive in indirect sunlight.
Artificial plants for no- maintenance green walls
I love the look of a lush plant wall, but I do not want the hassle of looking after real plants. What are my choices?
The quickest and no-maintenance option is to get a ready-to-use framed wall garden of artificial plants, says Ms Joyce Tan of Absolut Outdoors, an exterior renovation company.
If your decor is Scandinavian, consider getting pine leaves. There are autumn-hued plants for modern country homes, lush rainforest greenery for resort homes and chequered- board greens for minimalists.
There is no minimum size and Ms Tan recommends placing a frame around smaller wall gardens to simulate a piece of artwork. A plant wall also means minimal drilling is required and, in homes where drilling is not permitted, the panels can be mobile.
PHOTO: HOMES TO LIFE PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES; DESIGN: MUSEUM HOMES
These gardens can be used both indoors and outdoors and are designed to be exposed to rain and sunlight. All they need is a wipe-down with a damp cloth once in a while.
If you prefer real plant life, air plants (or Tillandsias) are good options as they do not require soil or any growing medium. They receive water and nutrients through their leaves. Being hardy plants, they can adapt to a wide range of environmental conditions too. But, as their name implies, they require constant air circulation.
Hang a group of glass containers with a plant in each against a wall or tie the plants to recycled wood or driftwood and hang it up. Remember to mist your plants only once or twice a week.
Use a damp microfibre cloth to clean cove lighting
I would like to install cove lighting in my living room. How should I keep it clean?
Cove lighting is a form of indirect lighting where the actual tubes or bulbs are hidden behind ceiling panels.
As the opening is large enough to allow access to the electrical wires and to replace blown bulbs, there will be enough space for you to dust around.
Mr Philippe Limes of Helpling, a home-cleaning services platform, recommends cleaning cove lighting every week as this area is often overlooked.
Start by switching off the lights and, with the help of a ladder, use a long-handled duster to trap dust and cobwebs.
“For a more thorough cleaning, use a damp microfibre cloth, or an equally portioned water-vinegar solution, and wipe the easy-to-miss coves on your ceiling. Wipe them dry before switching the lights back on.”
While you are at it, give the ceiling moulding a good clean too.
If you do not have a duster, use a dry mop, but cover the mop head with a microfibre cloth or old T-shirt.
Front- or top-loading washing machines offer different advantages
What is the difference between a front- and top-loading washing machine? Which should I choose?
This depends on your priorities. If you want an energy- and water- efficient household, then front- loaders are for you. They are generally more energy-efficient than top-loaders when using warm water, require less detergent and use significantly less water.
“Front-loaders are more gentle on clothing compared with top- loaders as clothes don’t get entangled,” says Ms Christine Liew from furniture and home appliances retailer Harvey Norman.
If you have a large household with bigger wash loads and you want shorter cycle times, then top-loaders are better as they have large capacities (up to 15kg) and cycles that run under 60 minutes. The large ones can take even quilts and curtains.
If you intend to get a dryer and maximise space as well, then a front-loader stacked with a dryer is the ideal choice.
Finally, top-loaders allow you to add clothes midway through the cycle, for example, a hand-washed dress that you want to spin dry with the rest of the wash.
Keep leather sofa away from sunlight to protect it
I spent a bomb on a designer leather sofa and want to make it last. How do I do that?
Leather is a natural material that becomes more comfortable with age, says Mr Phua Bo Wen, retail manager at home furnishings store Homes To Life.
The beauty of leather lies in the fact that every hide is unique. So, expect variations and nuances of shading, evenness and texture. With proper care, they can last about five years longer than fabric sofas.
First, start with the correct placement. A sofa, whether leather or fabric, should never be placed in an area that will expose it to direct sunlight, says Mr Phua. Over time, sunlight will cause the leather to dry and crack.
“If direct sunlight is unavoidable, invest in high-quality window films that cut out ultraviolet rays to help slow down the fading or drying effect of sunlight,” he says.
For routine cleaning, use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using harsh soap, household detergents, oils or all-purpose cleaners to clean your sofa.
To maintain the suppleness of the leather, give it a coat of leather conditioner once every six months.
Protect the material against scratches by not placing sharp objects such as buckles, keys or toys on your sofa. Lastly, rotate the cushions to even out the wear.
• Home & Decor and experts in renovation and home decoration answer queries from readers in this series. These questions first appeared in the January issue of Home & Decor, published by SPH Magazines.
• Got a decorating or home renovation issue? Write to Experts Say, Home & Decor, Level 7 Media Centre, 82 Genting Lane, Singapore 349567 or e-mail [email protected] Photos and layouts are non-returnable.