In home decor, there’s no better way to bring a space alive than installing a flourishing houseplant. But which plants? And where?
Sorry, but even during a pandemic, randomly plunking down any old greenery just won’t do.
So if you’d love to add some plants and need inspiration on how to fit them into your home, read on for advice from decorators on unexpected ways to spruce up your home.
Hang them on the walls, and settle them in the bathroom—you’ll soon see just how versatile plants can be!
1. Add plants to bookshelves
Bookshelves aren’t just for books and framed photos—a plant or two can contribute some texture to the space.
“A few smaller-sized potted plants mixed into a styled bookcase will do wonders to enrich your space and add interest to your books, photos, and travel objects,” says Lauren Martin, a designer in Los Angeles.
“These can be incredibly low maintenance, for a fuss-free style element. Atop a bookcase or armoire is another great spot to place a trailing plant, to add a ‘living layer.'”
2. Use your wall space
Photo by DKOR Interiors Inc.- Interior Designers Miami, FL
As Casey Hardin, creator of The Karma Corner, points out, “a great and unexpected way to incorporate plants in your home is to use them as wall decor. Adding plants to the wall instantly adds color and texture to your space.”
This is a particularly smart way to fill a blank space where you’re stumped on what will display best. Commitment-phobes who have been struggling to decide on an expensive painting or particular print may find that plants are their new best friend.
3. Go big—just pick a tree!
Photo by Houzz
One of the boldest ways to decorate with plants? An indoor tree.
According to designer Emily Johnson, of Decorist, if you’re going to have an indoor, potted tree, you should consider going big, and using it as a statement piece in the room.
“Go for an oversized tree when you are contemplating finishing touches,” she says.
“By selecting the large fiddle leaf fig or that olive tree you’ve been eyeing, you are adding an element that elevates your space. Trees are like natural, living furniture pieces that will complete the look of the home with the most organic feel. Plus it’s a total conversational piece!”
4. Get creative with containers
Photo by Lila B. Design
Martin says that you can’t go wrong if you decide to have some fun with your floral and plant arrangements.
“Fill a vintage vessel or bowl on your dining table, kitchen counter, media unit, or coffee table,” she says.
“The options are endless—a handful of air plants, or even a few floating flowers in water. A nicely designed space is all about the details, and smaller unexpected, thoughtful touches.”
5. Create a room divider
Photo by Lucy Interior Design
Another great—and practical—way of featuring plants is to use them as a room divider. Hardin notes that this is an especially good way to decorate rooms with open layouts, if you want to create defined areas within the space.
“One of my favorite ways to incorporate plants into a small space is to create a room divider,” she says.
“This works especially well for studio apartments where you need to define rooms within a room, while maximizing natural light and space. You can implement this tip by using any standard open bookcase or cube storage unit between the spaces you wish to separate—for example living and sleeping—and filling it with plants.”
She says the heart leaf philodendron plant is a personal favorite of hers, thanks to its fast growth and its ability to grow in a wide range of light conditions.
6. Add plants to the bathroom
The restroom is another surprising place where plant life can pop.
“A potted plant in your bathroom adds a soft, welcome layer to all the hard materials, like tile, counters, flooring,” Martin says.
“A leafy friend can be a fun way to jazz up the spot next to your tub or shower—and make you smile.”
7. Create a garden in the air
Photo by Michelle Gage | Interior Designer
One of Hardin’s favorite tips for decorating with plants? Remember that the sky (or, in this case, the ceiling) is the limit.
“Who says gardens have to be planted in the ground?” she says. “Try creating a garden in the air, for a whimsical, modern bohemian look in your space.”
She likes to set up “air gardens” with a series of hanging planters positioned at varying heights, to add color and visual interest.
8. Add herbs to your kitchen
According to Martin, the kitchen is one of the best rooms in the house for incorporating plant decor.
“No outdoor space or room for a vegetable garden? No problem!” Martin says.
“Bring the pleasure of cooking with fresh herbs straight into your kitchen. A small potted rosemary or other herb variety will bring a calming, fresh-smelling, farm-to-table freshness into your kitchen, regardless if it’s a studio apartment or an expansive culinary masterpiece.”