Decorating with plants is a great way to liven up your interiors. There is nothing like lush greenery to brighten a living space, plus the positive impact of plants on our health and well-being is well documented.
With such a huge selection of indoor plants available, from a delicious string of pearls to large birds of paradise and indoor trees like figs and citrus, the scope for decorating with plants is endless.
Whether you’re looking to liven up the kitchen or bring calm to the bedroom, there are houseplants for every room and situation, so before you start decorating make sure you learn about the best indoor plants.
To help inspire your plant choices, and how to arrange them, we’ve put together a collection of botanical home decor ideas along with some tips from the experts.
Decorate with plants – the benefits
Decorating with plants has become very popular in recent years as we strive to reconnect with nature and introduce its calming and soul-nourishing effect into our homes.
Available in a range of shapes, shapes, colors, and textures, from large, lush palms to graceful little cacti, not forgetting the flowering varieties, indoor plants offer versatile decorating ideas and are used by interior designers as living art forms.
“Plants have a sculptural quality, they are always changing and have such intricate details, that they complement every type of decor style,” says Eli Manneken, founder of houseplant store Loop Living. There is really no other design element like them, and they bring out the best in every interior design. In short, they demand attention, which I think great art does.
In addition to being beautifully ornate, plants bring a wealth of health benefits. Not only can plants help purify the air, indoor gardening can be a very cautious activity, plus carefully placed Feng Shui plants increase the flow of positive energy around your home.
However, before you jump in to fill your house with houseplants, be sure to take care of the care needs first. Different plants have different habits, so choose plants that are appropriate for the area you’re decorating and place them where they will thrive.
Alternatively, for those who don’t enjoy green toes, there’s always the option to decorate with flowers, plus there are plenty of artificial plants available for a permanent display.
1. Fill the shelves with houseplants
For many interior designers and fashion designers, plants are a must when it comes to decorating shelves.
“The plants will bring an element of softness and freshness to any shelf, especially one that tracks,” says Simon Temprell, director of interior design at Neptune. “Succulents have an architectural style and require very little attention, so they can be useful for filling in gaps where things feel a little stiff.”
Featuring a mix of cascading ferns, spider plants, and potted pelargoniums, this abundant display creates the feel of an indoor jungle in this family living space.
2. Lubricate partition shelves
A selection of different indoor plants can make the perfect finishing touch for a room divider in this open plan living room.
In addition to providing pops of bright color, plants with sculptural organic shapes are a great antidote to the strong architectural lines of contemporary partition shelves.
Designed with a mix of plant species placed at different heights (from above: Devil’s Ivy, Snake plant, and Philodendron), these shelves help subtly define the living and dining space while maintaining a light and airy feel throughout.
3. More is more
When it comes to decorating with plants, don’t hold back, says Helen Parker, creative director at Devol, because abundance is key to a successful botanical theme. From shelves and window sills to even suspended from the ceiling, think creatively about how you can use them to create an immersive and magical feel.
“Just putting a few plants on the windowsill is not enough, they have to become part of the room,” she says.
“Abundance is important, the more you adhere to the botanical theme, the more impressive it will look, and walking into a room full of foliage is comforting,” Parker adds. “It’s high maintenance but really worth the effort when in bloom and your room is constantly changing with new growth.”
4. Layer plants at different heights
Layering plants is a great way to liven up a white living room. Choose a variety of shapes and shapes and display them at different heights, either raised on stands or hung as part of a gallery wall, for an indoor jungle feel.
Plants with variegated leaves and strokes of pink are great as decor elements because of their dramatic contrast. Eli Manneken says:
“I always recommend potting white plants with simple shapes, as these don’t compete with your plant.”
5. Decorate with indoor trees to create a focal point
If the look of the interior woodland is too much, a few carefully suffices to elevate a space. When decorating with plants, homeowners are increasingly looking for large statement plants to create a focal point, experts say.
“We’re seeing a trend for people to use houseplants not as room accessories but as an integrated design element, treating plants the same way they treat furniture or pieces of art,” says Holly Newton, Sproutl’s chief creative officer. “Using plants architecturally as part of a design scheme can instantly transform any space.”
For plants to make a statement, try the banana tree, elephant ear, dwarf date palm, or indoor trees such as citrus trees or figs. This weeping fig tree really takes advantage of the high-ceilinged Georgian dining room and helps direct the eye upward toward the beautiful architectural recess.
6. Put the plants on the windowsill
A windowsill is the perfect place to display light-loving house plants. However, when it comes to how to care for houseplants in winter, be careful about keeping them here – while they will appreciate daylight, some can be damaged by drafts and temperature fluctuations.
Consider extremes – flushing vents, fireplaces, or proximity to exterior doors. The plants thrive in a consistent environment, where the plants can be positioned away from areas that fluctuate frequently,” advises Emily White, co-founder of Indoor Plant Store. Foley.
7. Arrange the plants around the bed
As places of rest and relaxation, bedrooms are the perfect place to embrace bio design – the practice of using nature to achieve harmony. By placing the best air purifying plants near your bed, you can help create a healthy sleeping environment.
“Your bed is likely the centerpiece of your bedroom and can easily be refreshed by surrounding it with air-purifying plants, which will aid relaxation and aid a good night’s sleep, says Beth Chapman, founder of Leaf Envy.
Grouping plants near your bed will not only create a beautiful display, but will also eliminate airborne toxins from your room. Try mixing medium-sized plants, such as Calathea Orbifolia, and pairing them with larger plants that have arching fronds, such as Kentia Palm.
8. Create a bathroom oasis
Bathrooms can be easily overlooked when it comes to decorating with plants, but as moist spaces, they make the perfect environment for many indoor plants, plus they’ll help bring a magical, spa-like feel to the space.
“When choosing the plants you’d like to add to your bathroom, consider lighting in the space to make sure it’s just right for your plants to thrive in,” says Beth Chapman of Leaf Envy’s. “Dedicate window sills for plants that require extra light, and for lower-light bathrooms, choose plants like Boston Fern that love moisture.”
9. Think of the container
When arranging indoor plants, consider the pot or container in which they are displayed and choose one that matches your decor. Crockery will bring perfect rustic charm to farmhouse kitchens while a woven basket will be perfect for bringing texture to a Scandinavian living room.
“I find plants in antique crockery and antique garden urns that make them feel extra special and cohesive,” says Helen Parker of Devol.
Whichever pot or pot you choose, make sure it has good drainage – leaving house plants sitting in standing water is a recipe for failure!
10. Plants group on the table
Whether it’s part of your entry table decor ideas or displayed on a window table, grouping plants together is a great way to create a decorative focal point. For best results, choose a variety of different leaf shapes and shapes, and arrange the heights, placing the tallest in the back and the smaller pots in the front.
11. Brighten the corner
It can be hard to know what to do with an empty corner in the living room, but adding a large houseplant will instantly bring purpose and increase the space.
“Incorporating plants and greenery into a space helps it feel layered and inviting, adding natural texture, organic shapes and a pop of color to a room,” says Katie Lyon, senior interior designer at Kitesgrove.
Here, we added a fig tree in the corner of the room to visually soften the space and enrich the green tones within the room’s palette. Plants provide a sense of comfort and tranquility in a space, bringing the outdoors indoors for a balanced interior you want to spend time in.
How to decorate a room with plants?
There are endless ways to decorate a room with plants. For maximum effect, layer plants of different shapes and textures—from late varieties to large leafy palms—and display them at different heights, to create an immersive indoor feel. Instead, select a few statement plants to create focal points within the room.
Plants are a great tool for softening living spaces, especially those with strong angles and architectural features, and they look especially effective incorporated into bookshelf ideas or grouped as part of your mantel decor ideas. “Remember that plants and greenery will add life to your shelves, so be sure to include them to create a feel of the outdoors inside and help anchor the space,” says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director of Kelling Designs.
However, before decorating the room with plants, the first thing to consider is the environmental needs of your houseplants: do they need a lot of direct sunlight? Or do you prefer a dark and cool place? says Sam Hood, co-founder and chief creative officer of Amara.
“If that extra care seems like a lot of work, fake plants or dried stems like pampa grass and eucalyptus look completely natural and can be placed in elegant vases and flowerpots.”
How can I arrange my living room with plants?
There are many ways to incorporate plants into your living room from incorporating them in your living room shelves to hanging them as part of your wall decor.
“Mixing different sizes, styles, and textures of pots in complementing colors is a surefire way to create individual style and identity for your home space,” says Beth Chapman, founder of Leaf Envy.
Groups of three work well, at varying heights. If you like a simpler style, try placing a cutting of a favorite plant in a breeding container as a feature and have fun watching it bloom.