I’m currently reading Phosphorescence by Julia Baird, which is the 2021Australian book of the year. In one section it talks about the importance of nature, particularly the colour green. How patients in hospitals heal faster if they’re exposed to plants. And prisoners are less likely to experience mental health problems if they’re exposed to plants. Recently, on a client visit I was asked about what plants would work well in the space. While I love plants and advocate for them, I’m not a gardener or plant expert but I do have some tips on choosing plants for your interior.
What’s your interior style?
Not all plants will suit your interior style. For example, if you love French Provincial style, a cactus won’t work in your home. I see plants for their colour, shape, pattern and size. For example, I chose a Ficus for my client who’s space was more contemporary.
I chose a Ficus for its height, and it seemed unfussy and in a mostly minimal space this felt right for me.
Like all interior design elements there are certain colours, textures, patterns and so on that lend themselves well to a particular style. For example, the colour mustard suits Mid-Century Modern. The same is true for plants.
Right plant in the right position
I can give my clients ideas about plants from palms to monstera, even a string of succulent pearls. But I don’t know whether they’re the right plant for a particular spot in a space.
To make the right plant choice for your space, take a photo of the spot. Then make a note of what kind of natural light it receives and head down to your local plant shop to get suggestions.
Don’t assume a lot of sun is the answer. Some plants don’t do well in intense afternoon heat situations. I recently had to move a plant for this reason and it’s doing better in a position with filtered sun light and less heat.
I love the variety of plant pots available now. There is something for every interior style and budget. From an interior design perspective, the key things in choosing the right pot, is size, colour and material.
For example, one of my clients is ordering a custom-made bookshelf. In determining the size of this I considered how much space there would be next to the bookshelf to suggest the right sized pot for my client.
Something too small would be out of proportion next to the bookshelf and something too big would restrict access to books.
Height is also a key factor and if you don’t have height in the plant, you can get it in the pot. This is handy if you want to balance a floor lamp or make a plant visible from behind a piece of furniture.
Caring for your plants
Most of my plants still have the care instructions stuck in the soil because I forget what each plant needs. I know that roots can rot and it’s important to not drown your plant.
I also know that sometimes it’s good to move your plants around. I know a friend who lives in an apartment who gives her plants a shower.
Dead or lifeless plants are literally a downer so while I’m not a huge fan of artificial plants, this is better than dead plants if you know that you can’t care for your plants. Choosing plants for your interior can also be a gut feel. Choose a plant you like and good luck.
Do you have a favourite plant? Let me know.