Tips for Using Plants as a Design Element in Your Home

Having plants in your home can provide so many benefits. They help to purify the air, creating a sort of natural aromatherapy that can actually boost your mood while making it easier to breathe. They can reduce stress, and noise levels and they can give life to any room. 

Plants can also be used as an effective design element in your home. If you have an otherwise stark or “boring” room, they can instantly add life and interest. Plants can also help to boost your creativity and inspire you. 

So, how can you use them as a design element in your home? Should you design around them, or work them into your existing decor theme? If you’ve already designed your outdoor garden for the year, it’s time to start thinking about what’s inside.

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Let’s look at a few tips you can use to make plants a key design element within your home. 

Consider Your Decor
Think of plants as living accessories. They can fill in space like an empty corner, they can hang on shelves from ceilings or walls. They can add eye-catching textures to a bookcase. 

Consider the decor you already have in your home, and how bringing in a few plants can add to it. If you don’t have much room for larger floor plants but you still want to add visual interest throughout your home, one of the best ways to do it is with succulents

Succulents are incredibly easy to grow (even for beginners!). They require very little water, and as long as you put them in a relatively sunny spot, they’re likely to thrive. 

If your decor is neutral and organized, you can go a few different routes. First, you can stick with a “theme” and choose a few plants that look similar or complement each other, putting a couple of them throughout each room. 

Or, you can break from your more organized look and use a large, interesting plant to be the main focal point of a room. Using different planters is also a great way to draw attention and add some interest. Finding the right planter is important, too. You can either choose something to contrast with your current decor to make the plant more of a statement piece, or you can choose something that fits with your color scheme, furniture, even your rugs or carpet. 

If you prefer a specific time of plant or planter, you can also build your decor theme around it. 

Houseplants have become very popular with those who are into a “Bohemian” or “Boho-chic” look, because you can either use them very simply or have quirky-looking pots and plants, like multiple succulents on a shelf with a giant fiddle-leaf fig tree in the corner and a palm tree near the couch. 

Many people have also started using macrame plant hangers for a “Boho” or farmhouse/cottage look. Making plants the man focus of your decor means you can keep everything else simple, which is often helpful if you don’t have a lot of design experience. The plants do the work for you. 

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Consider Flexibility
Keep your space and your living arrangements in mind when you’re choosing the right plants. If you want to hang plants from the ceiling or use a hanging macrame piece, are the studs in the right places to support the weight? 

If you live in a particular climate, will your plants survive year-round, getting enough sunlight and warmth? Additionally, if you need to move the plants for any reason, would they make it? 

Choosing plants that can be flexible to your needs is important for their health and longevity. If you’re moving any time soon, for example, you’ll need to prepare your plants so they won’t tip over and keep them at a comfortable temperature throughout the move. If you do move around a lot or live in a harsher environment, it’s important to have sturdier houseplants that can withstand such conditions. Some of the heartiest houseplants (that are hard to kill!) include: 

  • Chinese Evergreen
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Chinese Money Plant
  • Yucca
  • Spider Plant
  • Aloe

If you need a plant that’s as flexible as you are or if your environment changes frequently, using some of these plants can help you to keep your decor consistent no matter where you go, and you don’t have to worry about harming them in the process. 

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Consider Your Lifestyle
Even if certain plants might look great in your apartment or home, it’s important you have the right lifestyle for the plants you choose. Like pets, plants can have different temperaments and needs. If you have a busy job and you’re hardly ever home, or you live in a certain climate year-round, or you have a very small living space, some plants will work better for you than others. 

Speaking of pets, it’s also important to take them into consideration when you’re choosing the right plants for your space. Some plants can be poisonous to pets. Cats are especially susceptible to plant poisoning and can get sick from some common household plants like: 

  • Kalanchoe (Mother-in-Law plant)
  • Azalea
  • Tulips
  • Oleander
  • Autumn Crocus

If your lifestyle doesn’t allow for you to have a green thumb, you can still spruce up the place with plants. One easy way to add a central focus and unique design element to any room is to create a “green wall.” 

This is essentially a wall of shelves where you can place different plants. You don’t necessarily have to worry about the perfect pot or planter, or where to set your plant within the room since everything goes on the shelves. They’re great for offices or bedrooms to create a clean and sleek look while bringing a touch of nature indoors. Plus, you can choose plants that hang and drape to cover more space. 

While some plants can look great and match your decor perfectly, no two species are exactly alike. You wouldn’t pick the first pet you saw just because it looked cute, right? It’s important to know more about their personality and what you can expect in raising them. Plants are the same, and it’s important to choose varieties that not only fit your personal taste but ones that can work with your lifestyle, too. 

image1-2Bio: Magnolia Potter is a blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing on a variety of topics from technology to lifestyle. When she isn’t writing you can find her traveling far and wide or reading a good book.

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