Parks and playgrounds are created so people can enjoy more time outdoors and experience nature firsthand. As a result, benches, fountains, statues, and other outdoor furniture and equipment have spawned an industry that increasingly demands creativity, practicality, and lately - environmentally-sound design.
It doesn’t come as a surprise there’s a current trend involving green furniture - not the color, but ones that allow people to actually grow their own outdoor furnishings, or recognize those found in nature.
Living grass armchairs and couches
Several companies have started crowdfunded campaigns to introduce grow-your-own-furniture kits. These typically involve cardboard frames shaped like armchairs or couches, some soil, and grass seeds that grow to cover the entire chair over time. They’re pretty versatile, too. You can have them either indoors, framed in a patch of soil, or outside as part of your garden. A series of grassy armchairs make an ideal picnic spot, while a lone one can give a bibliophile much-needed solitude and comfort with a favorite book.
Trellis seats and swings
Sometimes referred to as arbor swings, a trellis seat is the kind of outdoor furniture found in chic country homes. It is romantic to look at and invites relaxation while being surrounded by vines and blooms. It’s made up of a freestanding frame with a trellis or lattice on top, which can accommodate plants like clematis, bougainvillea, wisteria, sweet pea, and morning glory. Below, a swing seat or a regular bench can take pride of place under the canopy of blooms and leaves.
Nature-based play structures
Water, earth, air, grass - these are the elements that make outdoor play so much more exhilarating than any towering indoor play equipment. Playground companies have been adopting nature-based design trends to highlight the importance of being active outdoors, as opposed to being stuck in one place with a video game or app in hand.
Safety and sustainability are two of the main objectives of a nature-based playground design. It recognizes the staggering amount of carbon footprint involved in making traditional playground equipment of plastic, steel, paint, plus the shipping and installation that go with it. So instead of constructing from brand new materials, recycled wood, paper, mulching, and other materials are used to keep waste and production costs at a minimum. The components of a nature-based playground should ideally be found in nature, like sand in a sandbox, stones forming a path, or the branches of a tree that serve as supports for swings and rope climbs.