I'm sure it has happened to you, too. You've moved into your home, you have chosen all the items that you love to create the kind of comfortable, homey space that is unique to you.
But there's something missing.
Perhaps you struggle to put your finger on exactly what's not there, but it's clear that the room just doesn't make the impact that you were hoping for.
Regardless of how carefully you choose your furnishings, fixtures and fittings, a well-chosen plant can improve any room and turn it from flat to fab.
If you're the kind of person who's not quite sure where to start when decorating with plants, then you've come to the right place!
Why Decorating with Plants is Important
For me, a house isn't a home without a few plants dotted around. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the decor of any room is incomplete without one or two green leafy additions.
What's more, no matter what your decorating challenges, there is a plant for every room.
It may go without saying, but plants come in a vast array of colors, shapes and sizes. That means that they can fulfill very different functions in different rooms.
If you cluster a group inside a set of patio doors, for instance, it can really create that indoor-to-outdoor feel that designers are so fond of.
It can even make a small room feel much bigger by drawing the eye through to the green space outside.
A plant can also be a feature in a room that might otherwise lack a focal point. Tall, structural forms are particularly good for using this way, as you can see in my Bird of Paradise Plant Care post.
But plants don't only add a decorative element to your room. They also bring a wealth of advantages.
Benefits of Decorating with Plants
Did you know that plants sort of breathe? Not like we do, obviously. But they absorb harmful carbon dioxide that we produce when we exhale, and they convert it into oxygen that is released into the atmosphere that we then inhale.
So you could say that we have a natural partnership with plants.
Here are some other ways that, according to research, decorating with plants benefits us.
- Improves the quality of the air by producing oxygen and filtering allergens
- Maintains a healthy level of humidity to help you guard against colds and flu
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves your mood and ability to concentrate
- Caring for them is calming and gives you a sense of satisfaction
When you're ready to add some greenery to your home and reap all the advantages they offer, use our tips for how to use plants in your decor.
6 Ways for Decorating with Plants Indoors
1. Choose types that need the appropriate conditions for your location. Most houseplants like bright, indirect sunlight. But if you have a dark corner that could use a boost, try a snake plant. Also known as mother-in-law's tongue, these are easy and need very little light or water to thrive. They look great on a coffee table or a tall occasional table. A big specimen can be impactful sitting on the floor.
2. When choosing a plant for your room, consider the overall space. High ceilings suit tall angular forms, while a room with a cottage feel can be complemented by something with a lower profile. Rangy, broad-leaved types, such as calatheas or colocasias (elephant ears) look great underneath a standard lamp.
3. Organize groups of plants together. Two of the same kind set on either side of a feature, such as a fireplace, can give a disordered room some much-needed symmetry. In other rooms, that will look too formal, so opt for groupings in odd numbers for a more relaxed feel.
4. Have a plant that just doesn't look right on a table? Try hanging it from the ceiling or a wall bracket in a special planter. Spider plants, pothos and philodendrons are just a few ideas for giving a dull corner a touch of elegance when they trail from a planter that hangs above head height.
5. Consider size, growing habit, leaf shape and color. When combining groups of plants, try to avoid a collection of similar types. It creates more interest and charm to mix different shapes together. For example, choose one that slightly trails and match it with a mid-size choice and one with an upright growing habit. A particularly effective combination is an angular arrowhead with an overarching palm and a tradescantia zebrina tumbling over its pot at the front.
6. Speaking of pots, the planter can make or break your room decor. If you use different shapes and sizes in a uniform color palette, it can really pull a room together. Alternatively, just gather some styles and colors that appeal to you and fill your home with mismatched but beloved items for a more eclectic effect.
Caring for Your Houseplants
All of your careful planning and finding the best choices for your space will go to waste if you don't take care of your plants. When purchased from a reputable store, they all come with basic instructions for water needs, light, fertilizer and so on.
So if you're not the naturally green-fingered type, select species with similar care needs to make it easy to keep yours looking their best.
When you're dusting your room, don't forget the leaves of your plant. A soft, damp cloth is all you need to gently wipe smooth leaves clean. Some will also appreciate a light spray of clean water from time to time.
Adding houseplants to your home decor will add elegance, calm, color and structure to your look. They will even improve your health and outlook.
The availability of choice is almost limitless, so when you're decorating with plants you can find the perfect match for your room.
Some say that speaking to your plants helps them to grow, so they can even be good company! But luckily, they won't talk back.