Bring home some greenery with tips from Monika Poddar
Living in a concrete jungle, we all long for a patch of green and the best way to get that is to add a touch of living decor to our houses. Bringing the outdoors in immediately adds vibrancy to any room. I love interiors that use a lot of greens; they just have a way of adding texture, character and a lived-in feel to our spaces. It brings with it a certain amount of meditative calmness as you make them a part of your daily routine, nurturing them and watching them grow. Plants fill in empty spaces around the house and are more often than not the missing piece to weave the story of your interiors. Here are some ways to stylise and decorate with plants.
Balance plant needs and decor demands
The first step to designing a house plant setup is to think out of the box. Identify which part of your house is plant-friendly and where you cannot manage to keep them alive. Use your own judgement and experience to design your living decor in order to keep your plants healthy and alive. You would have to compromise between desired location as per your aesthetics and ideal location as per plant needs.
A single plant will seem sad, so opt for collective use and create volume. The idea is to mix plants of different shapes, sizes and colours.
Pretty pots create a symphony when used creatively around your space. Choose ceramic pots; get them customised or create your own. Add to that a mix of accessories and accent pieces like some metal and drift wood pieces that blend beautifully with your furniture.
Since most families spend a lot of time in the living room, let’s start from here. It is interesting to try new things and sometimes traditional ideas about living room decor aren’t the best solutions, especially for small spaces. Instead of using heavy curtains, how about growing a string of any creeper plant around the window, softly weaving its way across the grills and creating its own story complemented by long sheer flowing drapes neatly hooked to the sides? This creates a vertical illusion of space. Addition of small potted plants on the windowsill further enhances the look.
Living in a small apartment or studio, you wouldn’t want to lose any floor space, so let’s get creative and grow plants vertically by hanging plants or mounting them on walls. If you can’t make holes in the walls or the ceiling, just attach a few hooks on the side of a bookcase or cabinet. You can also put a few flowy plants on top of tall furniture pieces.
For larger living spaces, an old favourite but a lovely option is to put a tall plant next to your sofa or an empty corner.
Use cute plant topiaries on a mantle. Put them on either side of a large mirror and you will have a live sculpture — unique and specially handcrafted by you. It will also be nice to put plants on side tables and shelves where you can do a small garden-like setup, having different levels of greenery. Throw in some family photographs and heirlooms, travel curios and you will have some great conversation starters.
Stairway and landing spaces
The entrance provides an amazing opportunity to make a fabulous first impression and to portray your personal style. The focus can be on either the pots or the plants. Play with shapes and sizes of pots but keep colour as a link. Oversized flower pots on either side also look good when you have an imposing front door. Flower pots on the landing can create a nice path to your front door.
Something easy and simple would be layering plants on a low bench on one side. You may also put an image of your favourite deity on this bench, surrounded by the greenery and colour. Alternatively, you can place an antique wooden box and fill it with plants of different heights.
Similarly, your stairway landings would also be a good location for a splash of colour.
Create a green illusion
Mirrors reflect light and create a nice ambience by adding depth to our space. If you are blessed with a good amount of greenery outside your window, let’s try this simple trick. Place a mirror opposite your window so that it reflects the greens. Keep a console or table below the mirror, add a few candle stands with some bright-coloured candles, throw in an assortment of nice potted plants along with it and you would have created a beautiful green illusion in your home.
The balcony proves to be a great alternative to a garden. It’s the cosy nook of your home where you can enjoy your coffee and a breath of fresh air to kick-start your day. Balcony planting can give your entire home a different look.
Be careful, however, not to overdo and clutter it. A small table with a couple of chairs, a nice rug or chatai, some large flower pots, a few hanging baskets and some themed accessories are just about right. You can choose uniform and monochromatic pots to create an asymmetric arrangement. If you have a large balcony, adding a bird bath and feeder would be a lovely invitation to your winged friends.
In case your window or balcony does not have a great view, create one by putting a series of high and low plants and you will have a great visual screen.
Bath spaces, too, deserve to be decorated with greenery like the rest of the house. Large and tall plants don’t always work in the bath as space is minimal. Considering that green blends well with most colours — greys, black, browns — you can’t go wrong with green live accessories. For starters, how about a nice white bath with some green ferns? Simply adding a few plants in the bath space would be no fun without adding a bit of drama. So go hunting for a shower curtain, preferably printed with green ferns, leaves or foliage.
If you are lucky with a large space, a nice wallpaper with green foliage print could also work. Accessorise with bath mat, towels and aroma candles in different shades of green and complemented by an assortment of potted plants, you would have created your own tropical bath forest.
Bedrooms are our personal sanctuaries, a place to rest and relax. We all bring our modern-day gadgets into our bedrooms yet overlook the calming addition of plants. When selecting plants for the bedroom, think about the available space and light and keep it minimal. A few plants randomly placed would do the trick. The good news is that there are a variety of air-purifying plants which can be placed here.
Plants suitable for indoor spaces
- Areca Palm
- Aloe Vera
- Dracena Mahatma
- Spider plant
- Snake plant
Monika Poddar owns plant boutique Chlorofyl.
Reach her on Facebook @ChlorofylKol