Decorating with House Plants
Plants make beautiful additions to any room’s decor. I use them constantly in my own home and promote them religiously to my clients. Here are a few tips for decorating with plants you might find helpful.
  • You'll find great success in your decorating and add continuity as well if you choose plants for your home that coordinate with the style of decor you are using. For instance, if you have a contemporary style, choose plants that have clean lines are sleek and have long, slender shapes. However, if your home is Victorian in style, you'll want to choose feminine, frilly ferns. But in a Southwestern style, you'll probably want to use plants from the cacti family. Here the choice of palm trees is perfect to go with the southseas style. It's very casual and informal and the palm is light and airy to go with the light weight wicker furniture.
  • Grouping your plants for extra impact is a great look and an easy way to fill up a corner. Make sure the plants in a group vary in height for the most pleasing outcome. If you're using live plants, choose plants that have similar lighting and watering requirements to make life easier. Then you can keep them on the same watering schedule.
  • The heights of the plants should graduate down in small increments. Don't place a 7 foot or taller tree (like seen here) next to a short plant. In the picture to the right, the tree is a little tall for the severe drop in height to the plants on each side. It's better to graduate down with less of a drop off. The scale is all wrong and too severe. An easy-to-make platform for pots is a grouping of bricks covered with coordinating fabric from the room. If one of the plants isn't tall enough, place it on a brick or a flat basket turned upside-down.
  • Another great look is to group a number of plants in a single container for drama and an unexpected look. Use any large container, like a basket or trunk. Remember to choose plants with similar watering needs. Try using plants from the same family. For example, group different ferns together, or use the same plant with different color variations for more variety. If your color palette in the room is cool, choose plants that are dark green, not a yellow green.
  • Bring plants into the bathroom and create a more spa-like ambience. To adjust the heights, raise the bottom of a deep container with folded fabric, rocks, bricks so the plants will be more visible. Line the container with heavy plastic, like a garbage bag. (Even with the lining, however, you will probably want to remove your plants to water them at the sink for the best safety and thorough watering.)
  • For a beautiful centerpiece, use plants with colorful foliage or blooming plants. If you group several plants together in a container, cover the pots with sphagnum moss or Spanish moss or small pebbles for a finished look.
  • Balance and scale are important when placing plants in a room. You don't want to overpower a wall, but neither do you want to plants to look lost in the space. Choose plants heights and fullness based on the space and the height of other elements in the room, such as windows, armoirs, doors and so forth.

Quick Links to July Newsletter
Lighting for House Plants
How to Select House Plants
How to Decorate with House Plants
How to Water Garden and Landscape Plants
How to Water House Plants
Caring for House Plants
Master List of Decorating Tips
July's Newsletter (2005)
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