Monday, May 3, 2010


I have always felt that every room in your home should have something living, and/or organic in it. Fido and Fluffy aside, I’m mostly speaking of plants. Plants can instantly liven up a bland room with color and style. An empty corner that once faded away is brought back with a potted plant. A drab entryway shines with a new arrangement, and a single rose is sometimes enough to draw out a smile.

Two basic types of pot plants:
First...flowering plants that may either flower all at one time or keep flowering over various periods of time. Some of the favorites are geraniums, azaleas, begonias, hydrangeas, lilies, roses, gardenias, chrysanthemums, African violets, tulips, poinsettias, daffodils and hyacinths.

Second... foliage or green plants, mostly tropical verities professionally conditioned to grow in almost any climate. Some of the more popular are philodendrons, ferns, jade plants, Chinese evergreens, dracaena, caladiums, coleus, bromeliads and cacti and other succulent plants.

Now, don’t panic! You might be saying, “Sure John, I love plants too, but I somehow tend to kill them all when they enter my house!” Don’t fret! I, for one, am not a plant expert either. I can water and fertilize but I don’t dwell on learning all of the Latin names (or everyday names for that matter) and what upkeep is best, etc. I even have *gasp* silk arrangements!! I know, I’m banned from interior design for good now, but I’m here to tell you, those silk plants make me just as happy as the real ones.

"DON’T eat your fruits and vegetables"

Here are some things to consider when adding plant life to your rooms:

Scale: Just as you wouldn’t want a tiny table with a huge sofa, you don’t want a mini plant all alone in a large space. Picture the plant in the spot and if it’s too big or small, choose another.

Color: Some people are scared of wall color, the same might be afraid to add color via plants. I for one, think plants are the perfect addition of color (just the way that your pillows and accessories add a punch of color). So find a vibrant flower and incorporate it in to your space.

Go Green: If choosing color isn’t your specialty, you can never go wrong with a simple green plant. The varieties are endless, and again, when scaled correctly, they almost always work. Potted palms also usually work in any situation.

Formal or Casual: Your sofa has a distinctive style, and so can your plants. Make sure that you consider the style of your room before bringing in the plants. Don’t go too formal or casual with the arrangement if it doesn’t fit the room.

DON’T eat your fruits and vegetables: Decorate with them! Some of my most favorite arrangements have been done with simple fruit or vegetables arranged in a glass vase or platter. Again, they’re all natural, bring in life, and are beautiful when coordinated with your room.

Pots and Containers: Dont' forget style when it comes to what holds your plants. The container choices are endless and can work with any decor. Think of the pot or container as another accessory in your room and make it beautiful.
"Don’t go too formal or casual with the arrangement if it doesn’t fit the room"

No need to water:

Ok, so if you’re dead set on not having any responsibilities with your plants. Here are some non-living choices for you…

Silk arrangements or flowers: I always look for the flower that most closely resembles the real one. I also like to mix and match real and silk. Most people can’t tell and it saves some money. I also place the faux flora farther away so that it’s not entirely obvious that it’s not real. (I do this with orchids as I cannot for the life of me, keep them alive!)

Branches: From curvy willow to colored twigs. Lots of homeowners are adding some form of branches or dried plants to their interiors. Dried branches can be very sculptural and original. Moreover, they don’t require watering and can pep up a boring space in an instant.

Organic objects: There are lots of products on the market that are made from natural materials that were once alive. Look to these to bring some life in.

"Dried branches can be very sculptural and original"

One last note: look to magazine for inspiration on plants and flowers in rooms. Magazines will stage a room to make it more pleasing to the eye; take cues from them and add similar plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables, or organic items to your home. You’ll be amazed at what you can do without a lot of money!

And if all else fails, just hang a picture of a flower!  ;)

Till next time….

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