The house plant trend has taken us by storm, and it’s here to stay. Interior designers everywhere have embraced the inclusion of greenery in the living space as a simple way to add character and sophistication. Plants like fiddle leaf figs and succulents are brightening up dull corners and bringing life to our living spaces.
It’s interesting to think about how so much of interior design has to do with bringing the outdoors inside. Whether it be plants, leather accents, or reclaimed wood, bringing a touch of the outdoors in makes a space feel comfortable and lived-in.
To those of us without green thumbs, stepping into the houseplant trend can seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to plant decoration in a living room. Adding plants to your living space doesn’t have to be stressful. And neither is caring for them. Here’s how to get started.
What plants should I get?
Determining what plants to get for your space is an often overlooked step, but it is so essential. Before getting overexcited and buying everything at the plant store, it’s vital to evaluate your space. It’s important to ask the following questions: What type of lighting do you have? What’s your average home temperature? Is your house mainly dry or humid?
At first, these questions seem overwhelming. But it will give you so much insight into your living environment. We’ve all been in some sort of situation that wasn’t right for us. The same goes for plants. Remember, you’re bringing something accustomed to a tropical climate into your living room. So it’s essential to evaluate whether a particular plant is the right match for you and your space.
Types of Light
Try opening the compass application on your phone. Which ways do your windows face? Individual plants need the right kind of sunlight. For example, if you don’t have much sun in your living room, a succulent probably isn’t the right plant for that space.
Let’s go over the three main types of light levels.
Bright-light is direct sunlight. As you can probably imagine, not all plants want this type of heat on their leaves. It’s just like someone going to the beach for the first time; they likely will need a little extra sunscreen. South or southwest-facing windows provide bright light. If you have a windowsill that receives sun all day, it’s likely south-facing. A characteristic feature of bright-light plants is thick or “succulent” leaves.
Medium-light is partial or indirect light. East or west-facing windows are primarily medium-light locations. You can also get the right light for your plant by placing it further or closer to the window sill. Remember, a lot of this is trial and error, so it’s okay if you burn a couple of leaves!
Low-light is minimal light. Primarily north-facing windows are considered low light. But if you live in an apartment, or have a semi-blocked view, you likely have some low light areas in your space. Low light also includes areas that are only lit by artificial lights. The rule of thumb is, if it’s too dark to read a book, it’s too dark to have a plant.
How to Display your Plants
Now that you know what type of plants you can get, you can think about how to display them.
A staple of any living room is to put a large floor plant near the sofa. A large pot grounds the space and adds a focal point. Fiddle leaf figs are great plants for this. Or if you are open to a more jungle look, the Monstera Deliciosa, or “swiss cheese” plant, is a fantastic option.
Ladders and Shelves
Antique ladders are an excellent way to add a little bohemian flair to your living space. And they are perfect for displaying plants. Especially plants that have trailing leaves. Pothos are great plants that enjoy all types of light, and their care is almost effortless. Pothos are in a variety of shades and patterns, and they are very beginner-friendly plants. The string-of-pearls and string-of-hearts are other trailing plants that would also be great on a shelf or ladder.
Macrame plant hangers were all the rage in the 70s, and they are making a huge comeback. An especially good option for limited floor space, plant hangers open up all sorts of possibilities. Etsy is a great place to find attractive handmade hanging planters. Ferns and prayer plants do great in hanging planters.
Add depth and detail to your space with geometric planters. When paired by color, these can make a huge statement. Try purchasing all-white geometric planters in varying sizes to add interest.
Plant stands are a great way of getting plants off of your floor. Especially for those of us who have furry friends. There are some super cute mid-century-modern plant stands out there. It’s a great and simple way to add both height and greenery to your space.
Make sure to utilize your window sills. Create little arrangements out of different pots and plants. Make sure to stagger different heights and plants that complement each other. One of the great things about plants as décor is that they are moveable. Creating new arrangements becomes a fun and exciting way to update your space.
More Than Just Style
The benefits of adding plants to your living space go beyond their aesthetic value. There are many health benefits for having plants indoors, like reducing the toxins in the air and improving your overall air quality. Plants can also improve mental health and lower blood pressure. Haven’t you ever wondered why you bring someone a plant while they are in the hospital? They are great stress relievers, especially for people who are ill.
Witnessing the growth of a plant makes people happy. So much of interior design has to do with making a space comfortable and “homey.” And a lot of that home aesthetic involves bringing some of the outdoors inside. Plants are just another way to add texture and interest to space. It’s a bonus that plants provide so many benefits for our mental and physical health!