As the world has changed, becoming immediately and suddenly smaller for everyone, our homes have taken on a new significance. Consider it a silver lining. We’ve been granted an unparalleled opportunity to examine how we actually live and whether our homes are serving our needs. It has been an opportune time to ‘rearrange the furniture’ both literally and figuratively as we readjust to life during a pandemic.
As evidenced by Instagram’s #plantsofinstagram hashtag, with almost 6 million posts, one beautiful way to easily enhance your surroundings is by introducing some greenery. Whether in the form of a potted plant, a luscious fern, an arrangement of succulents, or something as ambitious as a green wall, your space will be enlivened and your spirit lifted.
Not only do they add aesthetic flourish, but studies also show indoor plants enhance your overall well-being. NASA studies have shown that plants improve the air quality of a space by absorbing toxins and improving oxygen levels, thereby countering stress and fatigue while boosting concentration and creativity. In addition, they can offer privacy and dampen sound creating a more soothing environment which, hopefully, reminds us of our important connection to the natural world.
7 Tips to Consider when Adding Greenery
Keep in mind, choosing the type and placement of your plants can be a challenge. Our design team at LIV has come up with some simple ways you can incorporate greenery into your home. We believe you can never underestimate the value of adding greenery to your home, office, or, right now, home office.
1. Keep it Simple
If this is your first foray into a greener way, go easy. Be sure to choose plants that are low maintenance and remember less is more.
Don’t be too ambitious. Easy to care for plants typically require moderate amounts of sunlight and watering. Make sure to ask your garden shop advisor for care instructions and base your choice on this information. For just a touch of nature, you might even try dried plants – no upkeep!
The Power of One is potent. As trendy as they may be, aesthetically, the “less is more” adage works here too. One at the end of a media console or on a bookshelf, adds plenty of colour, texture, and interest to a space. Try softening a corner with a dramatic singular plant. Too many plants and your home will look and feel unkempt and cluttered.
Symmetry is Soothing. Consider placing a plant in two corners for visual balance. They can be different plant varieties but try to bring them to the same level – perhaps by utilizing an elegant plant stand to elevate the plant.
2. Be Aware of Scale
Be aware of the size and scale of plants you choose for different areas.
Elevated Display. For smaller varieties of plants, shelves, tables, and counters are worthy platforms.
Variety. Smaller plants like ferns, Devil’s Ivy, Chain of Hearts, small cacti and succulents are pretty and easy to care for. Devil’s Ivy and Chain of Hearts plants produce pretty trailing stems that can cascade from your shelves, counters, or sideboards.
Height and drama. Place taller plants with long upright leaves, like a Snake Plant or a mature Aloe cactus on a counter, desk, or console to create depth and dimension.
Scale. Employ the use of scale to alter the appearance of a room. Consider using larger plants in combination with smaller items, for visual interest, scale, and depth.
Instagram favourite, Split–leaf philodendron, is a suitable choice for your living room, bedroom, office, or really wherever space allows. This low-shedding, low maintenance native of Mexico will add height and structure to any room.
Add a tropical flavour. An Alli Ficus, Umbrella Tree, or Monkey Tree will add interest and tropical flair to any space as well, boasting beautiful, waxy green leaves and intricately textured trunks.
3. Choose Variety/Species Wisely
When choosing a selection of plants to display, variety is important so pay attention to shades of green, textures (waxy or flat leaves), size, and shape (fronds vs. leaves).
Opt for Odd Numbers. Follow the classic design rule of grouping by uneven numbers e.g. 3, 5, 7 when arranging your plants for an unstudied elegance.
Consider their Care Needs. Group plants based on their light and water requirements placing ones with similar demands together. Their proximity to one another will also enhance the growing conditions of each.
Placement is important. A fern for a bathroom window, for example, will thrive in a moist environment while beautifying the room. Moreover, no extra watering is required as the plant will absorb the moisture from the air when the shower and bath are in use.
Make a Statement. Feeling ambitious? Consider mounting a living wall as an alternative to a planter as it makes a bold statement, anchors, and focuses a room. In addition, like all plants, it works actively to turn CO2 into O2, absorbing harmful VOCs from the air which is off-gassed by upholstery, carpets, and plastics.
If a living wall is too intimidating, consider a mounted frame of living plants. Of course, choose the plants you mount on the wall carefully based on sun and water needs. Lower maintenance plants such as succulents, ferns, and mosses are wise and beautiful options for living wall arrangements.
4. Pick a Pretty Vessel
The plant is only the start. Be sure to accessorize your greenery with a beautiful container, plant stand, or perfect piece of furniture.
Consider Shape & Texture. The material of the pot or vase should complement your other decor and design choices. Consider these tips when making your selection:
- Matte, rough cement vessels add a raw, modernist flavour that contrasts well with the warmth of a plant.
- Resin and terrazzo planters are also very contemporary options.
- Glazed pottery planters add rusticity to a space while metallic finishes create a sleeker, modern look.
- Square or rectangular planters are great for modern spaces and if you prefer clean lines.
- More organic, rounder forms add a sculptural softness to a room.
5. Complement Overall Décor
Adding the finishing touches to a space includes adding plant life.
Accent your Space wisely. Choose your plants to complement the overall design aesthetic of your rooms. For example:
- The spare beauty of cacti suits contemporary, modern spaces.
- A singular, large potted plant or tree, adds drama to any space. However, ensure it has space surrounding it to avoid looking cramped.
Create Contrast. Add contrast with surrounding colour and design elements. Live greenery adds a beautiful warmth and texture to colder or rougher surfaces like cement, marble or granite.
Add Visual Interest. Interspersing greenery alongside small décor items on bookshelves, sideboards, or counter spaces.
Hang your Plants. If space is limited, hanging plants are a great solution. They draw the eye upwards, raising the ceiling and they leverage the vertical, typically unused space in a room. Here are a few of our tips:
- Position suspended plants to create a visual focal point
- Consider Macramé’s for a neutral and bohemian feel
6. Create Privacy
Open concept living delivers bright open spaces. Sometimes, though, it is nice to define certain areas for certain purposes. Greenery is ideal for this purpose.
The Perfect Partition. Greenery can effectively articulate a space by serving as a visual partition. Choose either large potted floor plants or a series of hanging plants in front of a window to obscure the visual line into your space, creating privacy.
Buffer Sound. In addition to providing a visual queue for privacy or partition, plants also serve as a sound buffer. The surface area and texture of the stems, leaves and branches are particularly effective at absorbing sound, thereby helping to reduce background noise.
The muted environment created by the presence of plants offer a space of comfort and improves our mental health
7. Go with Faux and Fronds
If keeping plants alive seems like a daunting task, consider choosing some faux plants, fronds, or dried flowers. The selection is more varied than live plants and they no longer have the bad reputation they once had – credited to the exquisite, hyper-realistic quality now available.
Faux Counterparts. Many potted trees, ferns and cacti have faux counterparts that would fool the keenest eye. Consider a faux Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree, monstera, or olive tree.
Dried Flowers and Fronds. A great way to bring natural, organic elements into your home and offer longevity over fresh bouquets. Here are a few things to keep in mind for dried flowers and fronds:
- Select only the highest quality pieces to create exquisite, long-lasting displays that capture the ephemeral beauty of their real counterparts.
- Mix textures and colours from the wide assortment of faux and dried pieces available.
- Artificial Eucalyptus and Magnolia branches are dead ringers for their live cousins and look exquisite on their own or as part of a display.
- Natural dried pampas grasses, reeds, and plumes add height and a luxurious exoticism to a display or tall floor vase. Pro tip: add a light misting of hairspray to your grasses to prevent shedding and keep them looking sharp.
Mix & Match. Mixing faux and live plants together for visual interest. This way you will reap some of the health benefits delivered by the real greenery (boosted oxygen levels) but have fewer plants to keep alive.
Trust us, incorporating greenery into your home will quite literally breathe new life into your space. Aesthetically and ecologically they add a freshness to any environment that plays an important and positive role in everyone’s psyche.
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