When you think about having water-based art and architecture in your homes, chances are you think of aquariums- or, if you are thinking a little outside the box, you might lean toward a koi pond. So now you have that. You’ve gotten your fish or more exotic non-fish sea creatures, gotten an expert to help design it and set it up, and then: you’ve got it. The perfect house, a melting pot of man and nature. Or so you think. There is a lot more you can do with a house to complement your aquarium or pond, and one exciting new development is the indoor waterfall.
Now, if you are worried that the Niagara is going to come crashing through your roof, don’t worry: far from being a roaring example of nature’s terrible power, an indoor waterfall can bring more peace and relaxation into your house. And isn’t that one of the main reasons why you have a home, after all? It’s a shelter from the troubles lurking outside. A waterfall helps keep those troubles even further at bay.
There are a few types, so let’s take a look at some of them, from the easy to the extravagant. (Note: these are different than the waterfall that might be installed in your indoor pond.)
I want to clarify something here. When I talk about “waterfalls,” I am talking about something different than a fountain. Both evoke water in a natural running, and even falling, state, but a fountain has two actions: water generally shoots from somewhere, no matter how gently, before falling like a rain. But waterfalls are slightly different. The water is meant to be cascading, even if interrupted by rocks. It is a constant falling motion, and it is that motion which gives them their power.
Tabletop waterfalls can go anywhere– you don’t need a constant water source, just a strong enough pump. Some of the finest ones are like the one pictured above, a mini-mountain, which can provide the relaxing, soothing, and even hypnotizing sounds of falling water. And if it is on your desk, and you are anything like me, you’ll stare at it, imagining mini-caves toward which to escape, to project yourself into. It isn’t quite a vacation, but letting your mind gambol through the wet crags can be a great respite during the work day.
There are a couple of different ways to go with this. You can do a more natural, but still artistic look, like a bigger version of the waterfall above, or you can go with a more abstract, modern look.
Now, clearly, the endless flat wall of water isn’t something that exists in nature, but that doesn’t take away from its primal beauty and relaxing nature (in nature, fires don’t occur in specially-dug pits or designated places, but we still love looking into flickering flames). This has its own thrilling nature precisely because it is so unnatural. It is the soft flow of water harnessed for your enjoyment, but it is not tamed. It is a reminder of the shocking power of waterfalls, without the danger. To me, this evokes the feeling of being inside on a rainy day, hearing the gentle rush of your waterfall behind you and the rain beating all around your house, soft but insistent, and feeling a deep sense of contentment.
This is the big one, and not for everyone. There are a lot of variations in size on all of these – the standing waterfall can be as big as a wall – but the wall mounting gives you a chance to do something different. For me, the important distinction is the possibility of a backstop. The wall pictured above has a slate base over which the water falls, giving the impression of rock, for a more natural look. You can also have a blue background, which is a neat aesthetic trick. With all of these waterfalls, there is a smooth and thin layer of water pouring down, but with a backdrop that reminds us of water (which we think of as blue, despite having no color on its own), so there is a greater sense of depth. So keep that in mind when deciding.
Indoor waterfalls can be anything from a zen-inspiring object on your desk to a Nirvana-transporting object of permanent art on your wall. Along with a design aquarium, the waterfall will surround you with nature’s power and glory, while keeping you at peace.