We humans evolved surrounded by plants, no wonder we find them so easy on the eye. No home or office interior is complete without at least a few plants, just two or three small indoor plants can make a difference to any interior space and a few larger houseplants in elegant pots can completely transform a room.
House plants are an interior design accessory back in fashion. There are many new houseplant varieties now available, as well as the old favourites, providing a bewildering choice of size, form and colour to complement any design theme.
If you are starting your design from scratch think about plants and containers early, as plant displays are relatively inexpensive they may be used to replace more expensive items such as artwork and help with your budget. Co-ordinating the colour of containers with your overall colour theme is also worth thinking about at an early stage.
Plants work with any interior design style. The inclusion of plants can soften and “warm” minimalistic designs without making them appear cluttered and detracting from the overall theme. Plants such as the funky looking Pony Tail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) are excellent in this respect. Elegant palms such as the Kentia palm (Howea fosteriana) or the Areca palm blend well in more classic interior styles.
Foliage plants can fill that dead space with living sculpture. For example, a large area of plain wall can be a design challenge – but this provides the perfect visual foil for plants such as the architectural Dragon tree family (Dracaena). The variety Dracaena “Janet Craig”, with its large dark green fleshy foliage and upright habit, is a particularly good example.
Dense foliage plants such as Ficus “Amstel King”, placed in a row, can be used as sound dampening visual screening (around a computer workstation for example).
Indoor plants can also be used effectively to hide or disguise unsightly features such as pipes, electrical wiring or an awkwardly shaped wall.
Flowering plants can be used to give pinpoints of vivid colour, the bromeliad family work particularly well for this. Trailing plants such as Wandering Jew (Tradescanthia) provide visual interest to storage fittings and shelves. If you have the space, a large specimen plant makes a stunning design statement, and a real talking point.
Plant placement is important, but provided there is at least a little natural light, there is an indoor plant suitable for any space in the home. Full sun is not necessary for most houseplants and there are many that thrive in deep shade. There are specialist websites where expert advice is available so you can be sure to get the right plant in the right place.
Indoor plants do not have to be hard work. Modern self watering planters take most of the hassle out of plant care and are also very stylish – providing the perfect design foil for your plants as well as ensuring the plants water needs are exactly met.
Good design is to a large extent about creating feeling. Recent psychological studies have shown that people feel more relaxed and less stressed when plants are present. For this reason property developers commonly employ plants in their interior designs to create a “feel” that helps along a sale.
Breathe life into your interiors with house plants. Plants remove pollutants from the air, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. In this respect “mother-in-laws-tongue” (Sansevieria) is a good choice for bedrooms as, unusually, it releases oxygen overnight.
The possibilities of using plants for an almost instant make-over are endless – bound only by your imagination.