7 clever uses for bamboo in your home and garden

Bamboo bed frame and storage in a modern bedroom
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Bamboo is not just panda food. In recent years, the evergreen perennial, renowned for its incredible strength and rapid growth rate, has skyrocketed in popularity. The reason is not only to do with its sustainability factor but also its versatility in home and garden design.

So what makes this woody plant so special? Well, besides its robust form, bamboo can be used to create just about everything, from buildings to bedsheets, making it somewhat of a sustainability superstar. Thanks to this versatility and its natural elegance and eco-friendly credentials, bamboo can be used to transform all kinds of spaces around the home and garden, which is probably why it’s become a go-to material for the design-savvy out there.

Let's delve into seven ingenious ways you can incorporate bamboo into your living spaces, both indoors and outdoors — whether that’s in its natural living state, or as a super durable and sustainable material. 

1. Natural fencing, screening or edging 

Bamboo fencing used in a garden

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One place where bamboo works really well is back in its natural habitat: outside. Here, it will prove the perfect material for general garden DIY such as creating fencing or privacy screens in your garden, says Georgina O'Grady, Managing Director at Evergreen Direct.

“Here, bamboo’s natural colour will complement other features and can blend into the environment,” she says. 

“Garden edging is another way you can use bamboo, where you can take advantage of its flexibility to create curved borders. And if you need support for climbing plants like vines, then bamboo can make excellent trellises and arbours.”

Alternatively, you could use living bamboo to make a natural fence, adds O’Grady. It grows quickly and densely, providing privacy and a green backdrop to just about any outdoor living space. And unlike traditional fencing materials, bamboo can be trimmed to desired heights while adding an exotic touch. Its robustness also makes it a durable option, standing strong against the elements.

2. Garden pathways 

The use of bamboo in the garden can extend beyond fencing and also be used on the floor, with the plant’s naturally strong stems working perfectly in creating charming garden pathways as slats or poles.

You can layer them to form a natural-looking walkway through your garden to create paths that are not just super striking, but also very functional, guiding you and your guests through your outdoor space. The bamboo holds up well in outdoor conditions, too, offering a slip-resistant surface. Is there anything it can’t do?

3. Living planters

Bamboo plants in soil in a planter in a garden

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Bamboo doesn’t have to be dead to be useful. It’s also just as practical in its living state, and can prove a great option for planters, explains O’Grady, working well as both indoor and outdoor living plants.

“Not only is bamboo a durable material that can withstand seasonal changes, but it’s also stylish and can help create a cohesive look among different plants,” she says.

4. A support system for other plants

Bamboo’s functionality in gardening also extends to support for other plants where the plant’s robust poles can be used to support tall or climbing plants. 

“Being such a wonderfully versatile wood, bamboo provides many innovative uses across the garden,” explains Matthew Peck, Head of Horticulture at Gates Garden Centre

“For example, its canes make great support systems for young plants and trees, helping them grow and flourish. It can also be used to build planters for small plants, tomato cages, and structures for climbing plants.”

O’Grady adds: “Just make sure that you stake the poles into the ground so that they remain sturdy enough throughout the growing season.”

5. Unique and durable storage solutions  

Bamboo storage containers used inside a drawer

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Inside the home, bamboo can be used around the home for various storage solutions and — from a style perspective — the best thing about it is that it doesn’t need to be painted and still looks attractive in its original state to give that “natural look”.

Simon Glanville, managing director of online storage retailer A Place for Everything, explains how its uniqueness and hard-wearing characteristics are other factors that make it ideal for use in storage around the home.

“The beauty of bamboo is that it’s a living material so for something like the lid on a storage box or container, no two products are the same,” he explains. “It’s also really durable, hence why it’s used in so many products.”

6. Eco-friendly flooring

Bamboo flooring isn’t just an option for your outside spaces. It’s actually recognised as a fantastic eco-alternative to hardwood due to it being sustainable, highly durable and resistant to moisture and wear. Bamboo floors are also known to bring warmth and a contemporary feel to interiors, with various grains and finishes to choose from. 

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, bamboo flooring is also easy to clean and maintain, making it practical for busy households. 

7. Indoor or outdoor furniture

Bamboo chair in a minimalist house

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Last but not least is one of the bamboo plant’s secret weapons: furniture. Inside the house, bamboo can be transformed into stylish and eco-friendly furniture pieces. Just check out our review of this Fully Jarvis Bamboo standing desk

It also makes great chairs, tables and even beds, all of which are not just sturdy and durable, but add a cool tropical vibe to your living spaces while withstanding daily wear and tear. 

Bamboo's ability to resist moisture makes it an excellent choice for bathroom accessories, too, such as shower mats and shelving, bringing a touch of nature to your daily routine. In the kitchen, the material can become cutting boards, utensil holders or even a strong surface for your countertops.

Outside, bamboo's robustness is ideal for patio furniture, complementing the garden's natural aesthetics while offering a sustainable and strong option for outdoor entertaining. And best of all, bamboo is so resilient it can withstand just about whatever the weather brings.

The bottom line

A bamboo fence and water feature in a Japanese garden

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If there’s one thing we know about bamboo, incorporating it into your home and garden is not just a trend; it's a step towards embracing sustainable living. 

Its versatility, durability and natural beauty make it an ideal choice for those looking to add an eco-friendly yet stylish touch to their living spaces.  

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Lee Bell

Lee Bell is a freelance journalist and copywriter specialising in technology, health and fitness and how the latest innovations are shaking up the lifestyle space. From national newspapers to specialist-interest magazines and digital titles, Lee has written for some of the world’s most respected publications during his 12-plus years as a journalist.