Have you greened your house yet? We’re not talking painting the walls a lovely shade of olive or mint green, like the calming ‘green room’ behind the scenes of a TV set or theatre, rather, adding living elements that transform your place into a home. Living plants have been used for centuries in our homes, and have proven psychological benefits that include increased creativity, improved task performance and decreases pain perception. In short, plants are not just attractive, they also have a strong well-being bonus feature.
So, how do you incorporate green into your everyday living spaces without overcrowding your living spaces? Whilst the jungle look can be one some aspire to, most of us like our greenery to be better trained house plants! Try these styling tips:
- Hanging plants
Getting plants up off the ground and into the air has two benefits – not only are plants taking up less floor space this way, but they are also more likely to be intersecting a good light source, meaning they will be healthier too. Make sure your baskets have drip catchers and a way of watering them easily before you create an indoor rainforest too. Staggering the heights of the hangers can make more impact, and lead your eyes up to the ceiling, creating a sense of space. For something a little different, why not create a kokedama chandelier with a grouping of these living moss balls. TIP Before you hang your plants, make sure you know where it is safe to put in ceiling hooks - think wiring and structural strength before drilling a bunch of holes!
Trade the dewey system for a watering system on your bookshelf or home office library! Shelving can be tricky for plants, as the shelf above can crowd your plants and over shade them, but if you choose the right trailing and low light loving plant, or utilise the top shelf for more variety, you can still have great success. Devil’s Ivy (also known as Pothos or Epipremnum) is one of the toughest plants to use and comes in a variety of leaf colours.
- Big Impact
Lash out and buy an ‘investment plant’ and discover the power of one! Large plants are often much easier to look after as they don’t dry out as easily and have better access to light often just as a result of their size. The other great thing about a large plant is that often the foliage is up and out of the way, creating a canopy above furnishings. Look for fabulous large figs, wonderful arching palms like Kentias, or elegant Rhaphis to create impact and ambiance. If you’re worried about your ‘green thumb’ going brown, select a happy plant – they will almost grow anywhere and still stay green and lush.
- Clustered Companions
Grouping is also a way of creating ‘plant families’ and playing up different textures and colours off each other. They other great thing about clustering indoor plants is that they create their own little ecosystem that way, adding to the humidity of the atmosphere and their overall health. Styling wise, use the opportunity to contrast different textures in your containers too and pick up a colour theme throughout. Group in odd numbers (3’s or 5’s) for the best effect.
- Growing on thin air
Air plants, or tillandsias, have beautiful silvery textures and interesting forms. Use them to adorn more than fridge magnets. Create your own sculptural piece on driftwood, plant them in a glass bowl with pebbles, or attach them to some cork and create a wondrous wall hanging. Your imagination can go wild with these guys – just remember they do love mists naturally and will need to be atomised with a fine spray of water regularly to stay alive.