Never underestimate the power of plants. Using plants to decorate your home is a great way of adding both character and unique style to your space. With unlimited plant combinations and many different ways to display your favourite greenery, decorating with plants is an excellent option for those looking to bring the outside in and create an environment that is both beautiful and beneficial.
If you’re a novice when it comes to indoor plants it may be wise to start by figuring out which plants are suitable for your space. Unlike other decorative elements of the home, different plants have different requirements in order to thrive, so placement is key. Some require more light and humidity than others, so do your research to identify plants that are well-suited for their intended indoor environment. Don’t worry if your space doesn’t receive large amounts of natural sunlight, there are a large number of indoor plants well suited to low light areas of the home. Knowing your plants are going to not only survive, but thrive in their intended space before you begin exploring the different ways in which they’ll add visual interest will make upkeep much easier and ensure your interior looks well styled all year round.
Even those who have been decorating with greenery for many years may still find the challenge of adding new indoor plants to their homes a difficult or daunting task. There’s been many times I myself have returned home with a box full of beautiful new additions and can’t find the inspiration needed to think up a creative and visually pleasing way to arrange them! Or I often feel as though I’ve simply run out of available space, time to think outside the box. I love experimenting with how I display my favourite houseplants in and around my home. So if you’re looking for some simple plant styling tips or tricks below are a handful of ideas on where or how you can display your indoor plants along with ways in which you can increase the available space in your home and make room for more greenery!
There’s no denying that plant displays make for an excellent centerpiece on a large coffee or dining table. By simply grouping a small collection of plants together on a table you can create a unique and interesting display in seconds. When grouping plants together in this way consider the different types of foliage as well as its colour, shape and size. I tend to gravitate towards grouping plants in odd numbers for a more casual, laidback look with one main anchor piece paired with a couple of smaller complementary plants. Placing your potted plants on a tray on the table is another way of making your collection of plants look more like a family. For a more formal display work with even numbers or aim for symmetry. For example, 2 or 3 of the same plant placed in a row along the center of your dining table.
If you're working with a smaller space then filling a small side table or narrow hallway table with plants can be just as effective at making a statement. Again experiment with plants of different sizes and heights in order for them to bring the beauty out in one and other. Turning found objects into plant stands and side tables can also create a stunning feature in your space. Even with minimal tools and DIY knowledge upcycling preloved objects can be an easy task with some creative thinking. I love finding unusual items such as old chests or crates in my local vintage or charity shop and using them as a unique side table / plant stand. Vintage metal trays are perfect for upcycling to create an elegant looking side table. Simply add table legs or sit the tray directly onto a smaller side table or stool and you have a vintage inspired side table that’s perfect for housing your much loved house plants and other interior accessories.
When creating any table top display the vessel you chose for your plants is very important. Whether you choose for a decorative ceramic cache pot, a minimal terracotta pot of one of my handmade natural rope baskets, be sure that it compliments the style of the table it’s going to be placed on. You’ll also want to ensure that your plants don’t cause water damage on the surface of your furniture. Either remove the plants when it comes to watering time, place them on a fabric runner that will help protect against water and/or condensation or be sure that each pot or basket is placed on a saucer to protect your table top.
Shelving is another obvious choice when it comes to displaying houseplants. Perhaps you already have shelving in the space that you feel is crying out for the addition of greenery, or you’re considering adding shelves to your home for the sole purpose of housing plants. Either way you can’t really go wrong!
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For a clean and minimalist solution opt for wall mounted, floating shelves. White shelves against a white or light neutral coloured wall is a great backdrop for plants as well as any other decorative items. There’s something simply beautiful about letting your plants take center stage on sleek modern shelves. What I love about putting plants against a white wall is the high contrast statement it creates. White floating shelves also have less visual weight within a space than other types of shelving and so are also good if you are working with a small room that could feel cluttered.
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Free standing shelving units come in a variety of different styles, all of which are always fantastic for displaying plants. The juxtaposition of clean, sharp angels with the organic softness of your favourite foliage is simply stunning and works extremely well in contemporary spaces. Plants are also a good tool for making basic metal shelving look less harsh and therefore making it seem less industrial and more ‘lived in’.
For a more organic, rustic look you could experiment with using live edge wood for shelving or try to upcycle items to create quirky, eclectic shelving for your indoor plants. All it takes is a simple set of wall brackets, a drill and some creative thinking to turn ordinary objects into something special for you to display your plants on.
One of my favourite ways to display plants, especially vining varieties, is to suspend them from the ceiling. Having any sort of decorative element high up towards your ceiling will draw the eye up, making the room feel taller. There are many different ways in which you can choose to hang or suspend your house plants. Macrame plant hangers and plant swings look simple yet effective and are sure to give the space a casual and bohemian vibe.
The main benefit of hanging or suspending your plants in any sort of hanger or basket is that they can be placed absolutely anywhere without occupying precious floor space. Install a hook or wall bracket either in your ceiling or wall and you’re good to go! Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of drilling holes, command hooks can be a better option for those looking for a non permanent way of attaching your chosen plant hanger to the wall of ceiling. Better still, fit a retractable curtain pole across the room or use a simple clothing rail and adorn it with multiple hanging plants to create a living room divider. Suspending your plants in this way could also be a good, non-invasive option for those looking for cost effective ways to make their rental property feel like home.
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Again, if you’re looking for a more unique way in which to suspend your plants try to reimagine how ordinary objects can be used in innovative ways. For example, old birdcages, trays or even ladders could be fixed to the ceiling and used for your indoor plant displays.
Wall Mounted Items
Following on from the above point you can use just about any interesting object, mount it on your wall and sit plants on top of or inside it. Vintage suitcases, trunks, crates and even trays if they are deep enough. Displaying your indoor greenery in upcycled objects in this way not only works in eclectic settings, metal boxes could be used in modern interiors or woven baskets in more traditional settings.
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Although ladders were briefly mentioned above I’d like to touch on them again in more detail. I’m totally obsessed with ladders and love nothing more than playing around with the many ways they can be styled in and around the home. I have plans of suspending my favourite pair of vintage ladders horizontally above my dining table one day, adorned with a collection of my favourite ivy weaving in and around them. But ladders can also simply lean against a wall, with plants either hanging from them, growing up them or sitting on their steps. When using ladders for styling purposes its best to opt for the wooden kind unless of course you are aiming for an extremely utilitarian look. ‘A Frame’ ladders or step ladders can often also be freestanding, giving you more options on where you choose to place within a space.
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Window sills are an obvious choice, I don’t have any in my home so I tend to forget that they are a great location for plants such as cacti and succulents that thrive when receiving lots of sunlight. When displaying your plants directly in front of your window it’s wise to stick with small simple arrangements that don’t take up too much window space. Filling your window sill with larger plants could block natural light from entering your space via the windows. If you’re not a fan of small arrangements then choose just one or two plants, ensuring you leave plenty of space in between the two where light can enter your space. Whatever you choose, aim to keep it clean and minimal for an aesthetically pleasing effect.
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Depending on where you live or the direction in which your window faces your window sills may not be the ideal spot for many plants. Only a small number of plant species can tolerate strong direct sunlight and many will burn if left too close to the window. Just keep this in mind before styling your window sills and remember to always research your plants specific light requirements prior to finding them their forever home.
Stools, Chairs, Benches
Finally, just about any stool, bench or chair will make the perfect platform for a plant. Smaller furniture is a great option for those styling smaller spaces. A low lying bench or footstool could also be just what’s needed to fill a visual void in the lower portion of a room. We often get so caught up styling everything at eye level that we forgot about making the lower section of our spaces just as visually interesting. Styling your plants in this way will also make them more of a feature, placing a single fern on a stool or chair against a wall will often get much more attention than if it was placed amongst other objects on your dining table.
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Another benefit to using smaller chairs or benches for plant styling is that they are often much easier to move around, allowing you to play with placement and switch up the layout of your room much easier. This also makes this tip a good one for those looking for ways to style rental properties.
As well as styling singular pieces of furniture experiment with grouping various smaller items together to make an interesting display. I prefer using found items that would otherwise be no longer of use as I feel it gives rooms character and makes the space feel interesting and eclectic. Mix larger stand alone plants into the display and perch smaller items on stools or chairs to bring them closer to eye level.
As with any other aspect of interior design and decoration there is no right or wrong when it comes to styling houseplants. Instead of worrying about making mistakes instead try to discover your own unique style that you love and enjoy living with. The only difficulty in using houseplants for decoration is that you need to think more carefully about their placement within your space so that they receive the correct amount of light they need to thrive. I find one of the best ways to figure out which plants are best suited to your home and lifestyle is through trial and error. If a plant isn’t doing so well, move it to a new location, if it still isn’t thriving maybe it’s worth switching out for something more suitable. In time you’ll get to grips with which plants do well in your home and how best to take care of them to keep them looking their best.
Hopefully, the above tips have given you some ideas on different ways to display and hang your favourite plants in and around your home. If you feel like you need help, advice or inspiration on plant styling don’t hesitate to contact Holmes Living. As well as designing and creating a range of plant decor and accessories that will help make a feature of your favourite greenery, I can also help with sourcing suitable plants and style them perfectly within your space.