When you’ve finally finished renovating or building a new home, it’s time to appoint the space with the decor. This is at first a very exciting prospect; moving your precious belongings in and finding their places. But for many of us, there’s a point at which we become discouraged in the process; hitting a proverbial wall. You move the same pieces around, try hanging art and prints in various spots, yet something is still missing it doesn’t feel like home.
Often there’s a simple solution; greenery. A house without plants is still a house, just one that’s not as lively as it could be. Rounding out spaces with indoor plants will add the elusive element of warmth, especially in larger rooms which tend to feel impersonal. Below are a few simple tips to help create the atmosphere you’re going for; that of a home.
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Warm Up A Large Room
When tackling a big space, try mixing a couple of larger plants, like a fiddle leaf fig or citrus tree, with smaller greenery such as succulents or Boston ferns. Bigger plants and indoor trees can be placed on the floor adjacent to seating or anchor an empty corner, while smaller shrubs should find their place on a shelf or tabletop.
Take a good look at the large space in question, pinpoint the areas that feel bare and place foliage accordingly. The nice thing about decorating with plants is their mobility; if one doesn’t seem to be working in a certain corner, it’s easy enough to pick it up and try another until a balance is achieved.
Layer and Texture
Add another layer by hanging plants. Plants should be placed over furniture items so, just as with hanging pendants, no one will unsuspectingly walk into a ceramic planter strung from the ceiling. Hanging a bird’s nest fern over a coffee table, for instance, draws the eye up and will make the room feel light and spacious.
Another dimension of layering can be achieved through texture. Create a rich feel by mixing plant species with a variety of styles of shoots and leaves. Blend the clean, minimal feel of cacti and succulents with the lush foliage of an Elephant’s ear. Or the winding, vertical leaves of a snake plant with the grounding, soft lines of jade.
Right Plant, Right Place
Taking care of houseplants is, counter to popular belief, an exceptionally easy job. Things generally only go awry when the wrong plant is chosen for a particular space. Succulents and cacti require a lot of natural light, so avoid placing them in bathrooms or hallways that may not receive much light throughout the day. A fiddle leaf fig, on the other hand, will suffer in too much direct sunlight making it a good candidate for a corner of the room that is out of the sun’s rays. Whatever plant you choose, just make sure it’s compatible with space for which it’s intended.
Also, most plants suffer from overwatering, not too little as many owners fear. Cacti in the winter months, for example, only require watering every few weeks. Jade and snake plants need little water as well; allow the soil to completely dry out before watering. The same rule applies for the fiddle leaf fig; let the soil dry and then moisten it.
Planters As Decor
Another element of decorating with plants not to be overlooked is the humble planter. Carefully chosen and well-placed planters can speak volumes in a space and go a long way toward adding warmth and visual interest. If you’re space already has a lot going on visually, keep it simple with a terracotta vessel, or one of ceramic with a white glaze. If looking to bring more color and style into space, opt for a planter with a more colorful glaze or even a painted print. The options are endless; from Art Nouveau to mid-century motifs and a myriad of styles in between. Just be mindful of the decor already present in the intended room, referencing one or two colors in the upholstery or area rug.
Think Outside The Box
While succulents and snake plants are always a safe bet-working well in just about any space-don’t be afraid to try something unconventional. A planter box in a bedroom window, for instance. It may seem odd, but having fresh, fragrant herbs growing next to where you sleep is a rare pleasure. And bathrooms are by no means off-limits; the humid atmosphere is perfect for some types of ferns and anything that grows well near a riverbed. Place them in the bathroom window or even next to the tub. And for a genuinely fresh-scented washroom, try placing a bough of eucalyptus branches under the showerhead.
So do not panic if you’re new residence doesn’t have the warm, lived-in vibe you’re going for. Make a trip to the nursery-actually make several trips-building your collection slowly. Falling into the rhythm of caring for the greenery you curate will make you at one with your new home in short order.