There are lots of simple ways to create a natural oasis at home, even in the middle of the city. For Karin and Cord, growing is at the heart of their fifth-floor home in an apartment block built for greener living, which they helped to design. ‘We’ve created our own microclimate,’ says Karin. ‘Lots of bees and birds find their way up here.’
In this award-winning building, each family has a 140m2 floor to themselves
– the average size of a house in their city. The lift, which takes you right into the apartment, is bike-friendly. ‘We can ride straight into the kitchen with our groceries,’ says Karin. ‘Living in the city means we don’t need to own a car. When we do need one, we have access to a carpool just down the street.’
Karin and Cord have two balconies so they can make the most of the sun. One of them has been turned into a lush, green oasis. Under the paving stones you’ll find a full 30cm of soil. ‘When we want to plant something, we just lift a paving stone and go for it!’ says Karin. As an easy alternative, try creating planting beds with crates or pallet collars.
Between the kitchen and the balcony is a glass wall that opens up, bringing the garden into the kitchen (or is it the kitchen into the garden?). The energy-saving induction hob and its controls can be accessed from both sides of the kitchen island. ‘Democratic cooking!’ says Cord. And with the help of a step stool, it’s easy for their daughter Ada to get involved.
Thanks to some magnetic containers, the steel support column in the kitchen has become a seed and spice storage station, while the space-saving laundry area is hidden behind wooden sliding doors.
Indoor plants thrive in the bathroom and help to keep the air clean and oxygenated. Greenery by the windows also helps to filter out dust and dirt that drifts up from the city streets, which is good because this home gets a lot of air.
Karin, Cord and Ada love nurturing their seedlings. If you plant seeds in containers made from biodegradable material such as paper or cardboard, you’ll be able to put the container directly in the ground when it’s time to move them outside or to bigger pots. This eliminates the risk of ‘transplant shock’.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.