Real Simple Home designers have inspired us to go big on our houseplants.

<p>Christopher Testani</p>
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It’s time to expand on your houseplants. Gone are the days of only decorating with tiny little succulents (although we still love those little ones too!). Great indoor plants exist — and their frequent appearances in the 2023 Real Simple Home are proof of that. We’re talking about the type of houseplant that can stand on its own (literally, on the floor), and act as a statement piece of furniture or a large decorative element in a room, rather than a tabletop accessory. Aside from serving an aesthetic purpose, large houseplants can also be a functional option: Instead of cluttering up your tables and countertops, large plants can fill some empty floor space. Below, we’ve taken some ideas from the expert designers behind Real Simple Home on how to decorate with large indoor plants.

Related: Discover the rest of the true minimalist home

Framing the room

<p>Christopher Testani</p>
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If you’re decorating a larger room where it doesn’t make sense to place your furniture along the walls, you may sometimes feel as if your pieces are strangely floating in the space. Bobby Berk had to overcome this challenge when designing the XL living room in our Real Simple Home for 2023. And don’t get us wrong, having a lot of space is a good problem to have—it just takes a strategic touch to make everything feel natural and grounded. To do this, Burke created a smaller rectangle within the space, working around a large rug. A towering fig plant in the corner of the arrangement helps frame the furniture and makes the space feel fuller.

Add some life to your home office

<p>Christopher Testani</p>
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If you have a home office, you probably spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen. That’s why it’s especially important to add some signs of life and color to your workspace. (You know what they say about “all work, no play.”) Designer Michelle Gage brought a lot of verve when designing this home office at Real Simple Home. A large indoor plant next to the desk is almost like a second co-worker in the space—and the overwhelming floor-to-ceiling floral wallpaper and large bunny print make “Coming to Work” feel like stepping into an enchanted storybook garden.

Related: 4 Trendy, New Houseplants That Are Easy to Care for

Embrace the nature theme

<p>Christopher Testani</p>
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There’s a cool, sophisticated jungle feel to this master bedroom designed by David Quarles IV at Real Simple Home. The room’s wallpaper is the designer’s own vibrant 1970s-style wallpaper design, which is unified by earthy greens, blues and reds throughout the rest of the room. The jungle theme is brought to life by the sprawling tropical philodendron garden in the corner (and the triple leopard pillows on the bed, of course).

Joy of the urban landscape

<p>Christopher Testani</p>
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If you’re a city dweller, you’re lucky if you have a private outdoor space – but these spaces still feel completely separate from nature. This was the case with the “previous” version of the Real Simple Home roof deck. Although the views of Brooklyn and Manhattan are nothing short of stunning, the deck needs some greenery. A large potted tree near the outdoor kitchen instantly makes the space feel more relaxing. Designer Linda Hayslett also added five seating areas with different purposes, including a dining area, a kitchen breakout area, a lounging area, and two conversation areas — making the space feel more livable and inviting.

Comfortable dining area

<p>Christopher Testani</p>
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Dining rooms can be quite formal spaces, intended only as a place for meals. However, they instantly become more welcoming and cozy when they get more living room treatment. That’s what Kim and Scott Fargo of Yellow Brick Home did when designing the dining area at Real Simple Home. The combination of soothing earth tones, a plush sofa that doubles as a banquet seat, and a large potted plant feel like an invitation to sit down and stay a while.

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