How to stylishly incorporate indoor plants into your home

How to stylishly incorporate indoor plants into your home

The holly fig tree looks perfectly carved in this entryway by Carter Design.
Photo: Laure Juliette

Use plants to punctuate a room, not fill it

Laetitia Wagnabel, owner of Los Angeles-based design studio Cinquième Gauche, describes her philosophy on everything from style to interior design as “less is more,” even when it comes to choosing plants. “I generally think of plants in the same way I think of art. They permeate the space and add visual interest,” she says while noting that in some projects she will use plants as dividers to break up the space.

Brittney Button, founder of Los Angeles-based design studio Button Atelier, likes to think of them as ways to frame an interior. Whether “providing a canopy for a row of glass-roofed windows or providing a curvy grace to a fireplace, there is an undeniable organic beauty to its presence.”

As Solomon reminds us, you don’t have to be too fussy when choosing a plant. “Often I’ll cut a branch from the garden and put it in a simple vase,” like a magnolia sprig displayed in the center of a long bathroom that extends upward, drawing your eye toward the high ceilings.

Tall, full-grown plants can accentuate a room’s dimensions, like the monstera shown in this Carter Design project. / The sacred fig tree looks perfectly sculpted in this entryway by Carter Design.
Photo: Laure Guillet

Maturity is important

While it is always a pleasure to raise a plant from a small plot to its full, large-scale version, it can take years to grow it to a height that really adds impact to a room. For this reason, Samson prefers to have larger plants so they can have a real presence. She also invites people to think about how dense they want their plants to feel before choosing greenery: “For example, will the plant have one stem or will it have several stems coming out of the pot? Heavy foliage, or more sparse?” Patton points out that the displays Large, popular plants can be an unexpected way to break up a space. “In the breakfast nook, placing a huge money tree (also known as a Guiana chestnut) creates a playful atmosphere.”

The higher the ceiling, the larger the plant

Rooms with high ceilings can be daunting to decorate but they also provide the opportunity for vertical display. “I like to place the largest plant possible in a room when there is height to emphasize the size of the room,” says Soliman. Patton suggests that main rooms or foyers with double-height ceilings could be highlighted with spikes and bamboo plants that seem to reach to the sky. “Bringing the outdoors in through trees or plants with a tree-like stature conveys a simple, sculptural and stunning effect.”

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A pint-sized cactus in a shallow geometric dish is a lively decor in this decorative bathroom showcased in and decorated by Jen Samson Design.
Photo: Mellon Studio

Consider your climate

Plants in different climates perform various functions as well, which can help you decide where to place your plants as well as which varieties to look for. Green spaces help blur the line between indoors and outdoors in warmer climates, explains Genevieve Carter, co-founder of coastal design studio Carter Design. In less temperate locations, plants can add liveliness and warmth to your interiors. “The joy of a lemon tree blooming indoors in the depths of winter is palpable,” she says.

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