Green Scene - Indoor Plant Styling
Integrate houseplants into your interior design by creating living art out of leafy companions. Plant-stylist, Blair Webb Ebanks shares her 'how-to-tips' with us.
Words by Natasha Were.
Plants have always had the ability to enhance interiors, but they’ve largely remained a half-hearted afterthought in the design process. A rose in a vase or a couple of pot plants can certainly give a lifeless space a bit of a lift, but new design trends are putting plants – with all their rich textures, exotic shapes and endless tones of green – at front and centre, turning them into design features that literally live and breathe. Bringing some of this living art into the home isn’t as simple as buying a few plants and scattering them around. It takes research, planning and design.
Before you go out and purchase a dozen plants, work out the placement. Think about where you have space and what you want to achieve with the plants in that space: do you want a big, bold statement piece of a plant, or small plants to accessorise a surface or wall? Are you using plants to hide a flaw or create a screen? Or can you use them to frame a view or a piece of art?
Once you know where they will go and what sizes you will need, research which plants will thrive in your home environment, whether that be warm and humid, cool and dry, sunny or shady, and make sure you get plenty of variety in terms of colours, sizes, shapes and textures.
Next, choose your pots and planters. To make your interior design really tie together, match planters to the rest of your decor: choose materials like bamboo, wood and rattan for tropical-style interiors, terracotta pots for a more Mediterranean ambience, or select simple, unembellished shapes in striking materials like concrete and glass for a minimalist, modern home. You can find a great selection of styles at Vigoro. Again mix up the sizes and shapes: go for tall and narrow, broad and shallow, and a few things in between. You don’t have to limit yourself to traditional plant pots either: try up-cycling old bottles, pieces of driftwood or old wine cases.
Now comes the fun part: the artful arrangement of plants and their pots. A room with a single plant looks a little sad and forgotten so more is more when it comes to indoor plants. The rule of thumb is to group plants in odd numbers: clusters of three, five or seven add visual interest, whereas twos and fours can look bland and uniform. Combine feathery ferns, trailing vines and plants with dinner-plate size leaves for a pleasing effect. Think about how you can use different sized plants. Use tall plants to add drama, fill an empty corner or divide a space and smaller plants to accessorise other design features: to frame a picture, brighten up an empty table top, or fill a windowsill. Direct the eye upwards and create a ‘curtain’ between spaces with hanging plants, or play with pattern and form with arrangements of spiky cacti and plump succulents.
Or, to use plants as living art in its truest sense, rather than hanging a painting, consider creating a ‘living wall’, or even grow a vine up a wall instead of wallpapering. The possibilities are endless. Experiment, explore your creativity and watch as your living art grows and changes over time.
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