Reader’s Request: Proper Plant Décor

A client recently contacted me regarding her out-of-control plants. I had previously advised her that no space is complete without a few plants. They add life and color to your space, making it feel more warm and inviting. She loved this tip and tried her best to take my advice, but it turns out, she may have gone a little overboard!

She writes:
“I know you suggested adding plants to enhance and liven the décor, but so far my attempts seem haphazard and it just looks messy. What am I doing wrong?”

Here are three tips I gave her for properly decorating with plants:

Treat It Like Art   Think of the plants you will add to the space as individual pieces of art that will complement the décor. For example, bamboo in an Asian-inspired sun room or roses in a Victorian reading room. The container you use to house your plants is a great chance to add color and style to the space. Look for colors and shapes that coordinate with your design.

Tame the Jungle   Once you have selected the right plants for your space, research proper care, including pruning. Many plants will be limited in growth by the size of their container, so this helps prevent them from getting out of control. However there are plants, like ivy, that when left to their own devices, will quickly turn your space into a mini jungle. An untamed plant makes the space look messy, so always trim and prune as needed.

Tips for Buying   There are permanent plants and there are temporary plants. Which type you buy depends on your time and budget. Permanent plants are easy to care for and a one-time expense, however this usually means you are sometimes to the green, leafy variety. Temporary plants, such as fresh-cut flowers, add beautiful color, but need to be replaced once they die. Then there are flowering plants, like orchids, that bloom all year but are difficult to care for. My advice: start with green, leafy potted plants and vases of fresh-cut flowers. Once you have mastered these, you can start incorporating the more challenging flowering plants!

Do you have a pressing design issue? Submit your question and you may see it answered in a future installment of “Reader’s Request”!

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