The Benefits of an Indoor Water Feature

Water FountainAs an interiorscaper you may already be familiar with many of the benefits of bringing plants indoors, but plants aren’t the only aspect of nature that can be brought indoors. Many people associate a babbling brook or a meandering river with a relaxed summer day so why not bring those feelings inside?


Water features can be extravagant and elaborate requiring significant space, planning and equipment or they can be very simple and easy to manage. Depending on the space your client has available and the desired effect of the water feature there are many options for type of water feature. In large entries, foyers or atriums large ponds or layered fountains may be appropriate. In small office spaces, hallways and meeting rooms a simple wall or tabletop fountain may be enough. Water in indoor spaces has benefits regardless of the size.


One benefit is the relaxing, calming effect of both the sight and sound of moving water.  In spaces that may be charged with stressors such as an office building water features may reduce the stress level and increase morale and productivity. The sound of moving water also offers a gentle white noise that can effectively block out distracting noises and help employees concentrate. Water features in the waiting areas of locations that can induce anxiety such as hospitals and dentist offices may also reduce anxiety making the visit more pleasant for the patients.

Negative Ions

Moving water also generates negative ions. According to WebMD, there are advantages to having air full of negative ions and many of the common environmental factors in offices and other indoor spaces such as electronic appliances and air conditioning deplete them. WebMD quotes Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C. saying,

“Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,” and “They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation.”

WebMD also suggests that negative ions may even increase levels of serotonin, which is a chemical found in the body that enhances mood. Negative ions have the potential to help employees feel better both mentally and physically and moving water is an easy way to create those negative ions indoors.


A third benefit to both those who live and work in indoor spaces and to interior landscapers is increased humidity. Having moving water will raise the humidity levels in the surrounding area. This is especially important in areas where the temperature is constantly regulated either with central heating or air conditioning. People will benefit by being more comfortable in the moist air and landscaping will be easier as many plants require high levels of humidity.

Indoor water features can add visual stimulation as well health benefits to your interior landscapes. Consider educating your clients about these benefits and crafting beautiful plantscapes that include water.  Whether it is a large fountain surrounded by a lush tropical landscape, a tabletop fountain accompanied by a few orchids or a wall fountain framed by stately trees, water will enhance any  indoor space. Do you have favorite plants that accompany water features?

Photo “Water Fountain” courtesy of Martin Pettitt

Melanie is a plant enthusiast and expert contributor at and Melanie's experience in internet marketing, business management, and horticulture allows her to bring a unique perspective to the community. Melanie received a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University and is the Marketing Director at NewPro Containers.

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2 responses to “The Benefits of an Indoor Water Feature”

  1. TJC says:

    how do you keep the salt build up off leaves & edges of fountain?

    • Sarah says:

      If the fountain is small, a tabletop,or small wall fountain, you can use distilled water. This will prevent any salt build up. Larger fountains will probably need to be cleaned manually, the plants nearby may be wiped with a soft cloth to remove any salt build up. Indoor water features should have minimal spray, so the easiest solution may be to place plants strategically. Does anyone else have suggestions or tips?

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