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Decorating with houseplants

posted by Sarah Mueller on October 12, 2017 in Global Blogs

Indoor decorative plantsGreenery is not just Pantone’s color of the year for 2017, it’s also one of the biggest home decor and design trends of 2017. Adding greenery and plants to your home is a great way to add life and energy to your home. Decorating with plants is also in line with one of the other modern decorating techniques - adding natural textures and items.

Pantone Greenery

According to Pantone, “Greenery is nature’s neutral. The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.” The color itself is lively and invigorating, but there are additional benefits to using live plants to bring the look to your home.


Practical benefits of indoor plants

Natural air purification - Plants not only add oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. A 1989 NASA study regarding the effect of houseplants on indoor air pollution, found that plants are able to filter toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and ammonia out of the air. The report also suggested having at least one plant per every hundred square feet of home or office space.

Plants can help absorb/reduce noise in a home - Noise from everyday household activities like cooking, talking, or children playing can become overwhelming at times. If you live on a busy street of in a larger city, noise from outside may be bothersome as well. Plants, especially larger plants, can actually absorb, diffract, and reflect noise.

A fresh food source - many cooks like to have fresh ingredients on hand. Growing herbs like rosemary, thyme, or mint in a sunny place indoors can provide you a supply of fresh herbs that can be used as-is or frozen for later use.

Adding visual color and interest - House plants look great next to neutrals and natural textures like linen, jute or rattan. Psychologically, having live plants indoors is a way of bringing the outdoors in -

Many professional home designers and home stagers already know the benefits of adding houseplants to a home’s decor, but not all homeowners know the tips to bring living plants into a room as an accent piece. Here are a few tips from some pros.

How to decorate with houseplants

Home Decor Plants - how to decorate with greenery

Use plants as a natural texture in the home. When adding plants to a room, remember to give extra thought to your focal point. A large or visually heavy plant can steal the attention.

Consider your natural light sources - indirect light from windows lends itself nicely to many popular houseplants that are accustomed to tropical forest floors where light is filtered through the trees. Direct light near south-facing windows is great for succulents or aloe plants. Think about the placement and direction of your windows when choosing houseplants.

Once you’ve staked out the perfect area of your home, consider hanging an indoor window plant shelf to make the most of the natural light coming in.

Small details make for a cozy home. Terrariums with living succulents or cacti are a popular choice in modern design and can exist in a small area. Living plants are often a great addition to modern decor as they can soften the angular lines, and the color provides a welcome complement to neutral color schemes.

Using plants in home decor

Large plants or indoor trees like Ficus or green palms can fill up an empty corner. They also work great peeking out from behind a couch.

Large indoor plants

Deep window sills can be a cozy home for small plants that require direct sunlight. Just make sure to put a saucer under the plant to protect your woodwork. Bay and bow windows make a great area for indoor plants.

Where to put plants in your house

Popular home decor plants for 2017

Fiddle leaf fig - this plant has been featured in decor magazines for years and described as ‘the ’it’ plant of the design world’ by the New York Times in 2016. Known for its large beautiful foliage, this plant can be fickle and requires indirect light and a fair amount of space.

Aloe plants - this plant is a windowsill staple. It’s beautiful fronds feature soft spikes containing medicinal gel that can be used for minor scrapes or burns. Bonus - aloes can develop small offshoots commonly referred to as “pups.” These can be split and repotted to create a new plant. My grandma used to plant them in tea cups and line her windowsills.

Rubber plants - this plant is flexible in size, depending on the container it’s kept in. They can grow to an impressive size fairly quickly with the right amount of light and a large enough pot, or they can stay a medium size when kept in a smaller pot. These require a lot of natural light, but not will not tolerate full direct sun.

Philodendron - an interesting rainforest plant, the philodendron is a new home blogger favorite because it can add just as much drama to a room as the fiddle leaf fig, but it’s easier to maintain and comes in different varieties with unique leaf shapes. The split leaf and heart leaf varieties are both popular.

Unique ideas of where to put plants in a house

Shower plants - one of this year’s plant trends is to use greenery in unexpected places. Some homeowners are choosing to keep plants in their bathroom where the moisture and humidity from regular showers create a great environment for some plants, like a boston fern.

Macrame plant hangers are making a comeback as well. This 70s-80s staple is popping up in modern designs to add a cozy vibe and a touch of “hygge.” They look especially unique with a cascading plant like ivy or golden pothos.

Air plants - these unique plants do not require any soil, making them a fun choice for decorating in addition to being one of the easiest indoor plants. Choose a container that matches your decor, and mist your plant once a week.

Install a window plant shelf to make the most of your natural light. Having plants in front of your windows can draw attention to your windows, enhancing the view. It also brings a bit of the outdoors inside creating a cohesive transition.

Indoor window plant shelf

Hard-to-kill houseplants - Not everyone has a green thumb. Some people would love the idea of adding a plant to their decor, but just don’t have the time. Hardy plants like the snake plant are extremely tolerant of low light levels, temperature, and watering schedule. In short, this plant can thrive in almost any environment, making it a solid choice as a starter plant.

Sarah Mueller

About The Author

Sarah is a professional writer by trade and passion. She specializes in writing about windows, doors, home design and decor, and learning all she can about the home improvement industry. Sarah spends her time away from the office cleaning up stray socks and pokemon cards strewn about by her two little boys. She is an avid reader, runner, and gardener who is known for her atomic salsa.

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