Updated on November 6th, 2018
Are you looking for ways to bring more life into your space? If so, here are 8 wonderful reasons to incorporate plants into your interior home design.
Houseplants are an ancient concept. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, thought to have been built inside the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II, date back to at least 500 B.C.
Their more recent history has been spotty, dotted by an abundance of ferns in the 80s and fake ivy sprigs laced over 90s kitchen cabinets. But modern houseplants are varied and add instant interest and beauty to your home.
If you’re still on the fence about including horticulture in your interior home design, let us convince you. Here are eight reasons to your accent your home decoration with plants.
1. Fill up That Weird Corner
At the juxtaposition of two couches is often an awkward corner. You can fill the corner with an end table, but that sometimes feels crowded. You can toss some floor pillows in the corner, but that seems sparse.
Instead, consider a large potted plant to fill the corner with life. It provides an intimacy to the room and makes the corner feel like an intentional design element instead of a dumping ground.
Rubber trees are a good low-maintenance choice. They have shiny, waxy leaves and can grow right up to the ceiling if you want them to.
Or try a dragon tree for palm style leaves. It can grow 10 feet tall, enduring some neglect along the way.
2. Bring Balance to Your Interior Home Design
Sometimes you come to the end of designing a room and it just feels off. All your pieces play well off each other. You’ve mixed vintage with modern for that perfect eclectic style, but something’s missing.
Plants help bring a necessary balance.
Balance a tall lamp on one side of your couch with an olive tree on the other. Balance a vignette of candles and books by a prayer plant to one side of your mantel. Plants interspersed between the books and decor on a wall of built-ins give bursts of color and vitality.
3. Add Interest
The natural variation in plants adds organic texture and visual interest. Interacting with the different leaves, solid or variegated, smooth or fuzzy, dense or delicate, is a sensory experience.
Not only does the greenery itself add interest, but planters and plant stands can be works of art. They open you up to a whole new avenue of design.
You can find planters in any style or color to suit your space. There are planters with different textures and geometric facets.
Copper planters will patina with age. Planters of mixed mediums, concrete with wood, give warmth with an industrial edge.
You can even get into collecting vintage planters or making them yourself.
4. Soften the Space
If your home has a lot of architectural details or is in a stark, contemporary setting, complementing your interior decoration with plants can soften the space.
Accent staid columns with something with movement. Soften ornate molding with a fiddle leaf fig. The darling of millennials has a rich history, which you can read more about here.
Wherever your home feels cold or a little harsh, bring in a plant to ease it up.
5. Provide Function
The open concept floor plan has done wonders for amplifying the light in a home, but it has also made it harder to define the spaces. You can use large houseplants to serve as room dividers.
Use a trio of shrubs to create a hallway. The 1970s were big on built-in planters that defined entryways. If you have the height, you can even arrange a large potted tree as the focal point for the living room.
6. Dampen Sound
Interior designing with plants also provides the added functionality of dampening sound. Leaves, especially the larger, thicker leaves, absorb sound and reduce echo.
This is great if you live in an apartment where sound reduction is a priority. It’s also nice if you have kids. Kids can be incredibly noisy.
Figure one houseplant per 100 square feet for maximum efficacy.
7. Improve Health
Beyond the aesthetic appeal of bringing plants indoors, using plants in home decor has many benefits to your health.
Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, improving air quality. They can reduce dust and absorb odors and toxic chemicals. Things like cigarette smoke, formaldehyde, off-gassing from plastic and paint.
A house filled with plants is higher in humidity. Like a humidifier, this can relieve allergies and prevent sore throats and dry skin. It can also protect your wood furniture from drying out.
Plants provide even more benefits to your emotional well being. Studies show that engaging with plants is mood enhancing and helps people deal with stress.
Hospital patients with flowers tend to heal faster and register less pain. Offices with plants boost employee creativity and help people get along.
8. Feed Your Family
Bring the garden inside with plants that look beautiful and feed your family.
Herbs are easy to grow inside and thrive in containers on windowsills. There’s nothing better than fresh snipped basil for pizza or cilantro for guacamole. Mint is actually best when it’s contained so it doesn’t take over the garden.
You can also grow fruit inside! Some fruit trees excel indoors.
The dwarf variety of a lemon tree will give you a manageable crop. Put it near your sunniest window and mist it regularly.
Buy a fruiting olive tree and give it lots of light. The self-pollinating tree can yield 20 pounds of olives in a year.
If berries are more to your taste, you can cultivate a dwarf mulberry tree inside. With a regular pruning and fertilizing schedule, much like a Bonsai tree, you could grow your own Thanksgiving pies.
How Will You Use Plants in Your Home Decor?
Plants are the ultimate versatile element in interior home design. There’s truly a plant that will work with every style and lifestyle. With seemingly endless varieties to choose from, you can use your favorite to solve design challenges.
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