Decorating Your Home With Houseplants
You've been stuck in your house. Your Instagram feed is covered with houseplants; seems like everyone is getting one. So you get one plant...or 30. And suddenly your house looks like a plant store. Ahhhh! But don't freak out. Here's my house and how I got to keep my like 75 plants without my husband realizing I was actually a plant hoarder.
Houseplants as Home Decor
Potted is a garden decor shop. This means that besides loving plants, we also love home decor and design. We are often asked by other publications and blogs (like this one from Porch.com) to lend our expertise on how to decorate with plants and we thought the best way to show you would be in one of our own homes. I'm Annette Gutierrez, one of the co-owners of Potted, and this is my home in Los Angeles that my husband and I completely rebuilt in the last two years. Still working on the garden...
Houseplants in the Kitchen
The key to a good kitchen/plant relationship is keeping them out of the way. In our kitchen, I've done this several ways. First, when I designed the kitchen I made sure there were lots of windows and that they were tall enough so that plants could be kept higher up. I actually had this crazy idea of putting glass shelves inside the window frames (which I could still do), but then realized opening and closing the window would be a pain so I decided to go with a hanging planter instead.
This beautiful planter hanger by NewMade LA (don't ask me why we aren't selling them at Potted...we will) became my obsession along with this Philodendron Micans that I ordered on Etsy because they are so hard to find. This poor plant was actually missing in the mail for like two weeks and showed up near dead, but look at it now. Clearly the light from that window is magic. And next to our clear glass vent hood it looks great but even better, it doesn't get in anyone's way when they're cooking. I've also used raised pots and even created a little wooden shelf so I could have plant cutting up higher and spices below.
Window Sills Make Great Plant Homes
Of course don't forget your kitchen window sill. In my old house I actually had them build me a deep shelf so I could put even more plants above my faucet, but here the window was too low which we realized when we went to install the faucet and ended up having to rip out the window ledge and cut it back. Lesson learned! But that still didn't stop me from decorating that little ledge! Instead of larger plants, I went with air plants and cuttings in glass vases.
You can really use anything to display air plants too. Here I've used a Matcha whisk.
It's also a great way to use all those little things you find on vacation or pick up because they are just so cool. I especially like that I can fit all these really small planters that I'm never exactly sure how to use on the ledge like my Kim Lesak Tiny Planter or this cup turned planter by Kat & Roger (I'll turn anything into a planter).
Large Plants in Your Entry Way
Entryways are great areas to place large plants because people seldom hang out there. In our house we have two very large windows on either side of the front door, each with large plants. Which don't have to be tall plants either, by the way. We needed a table to throw our keys and endless face masks on and the top of this table was perfect for my very giant Calathea Freddy. Plus I could fit another cute Calathea Dottie right below it! Normally Calathea's require a fair amount of humidity, but these two seem to do just fine as long as I don't let them get too dried out (which usually means watering the small one 1-2 times a week and the large one around every 10 days).
Here's the other side of my front door filled with a Chinese Evergreen aka Aglaonema 'Silver Bay'. This plant is so easy to care for, especially in the 8" size this one is. I usually water it every two to three weeks or when it becomes dry down about 1-2 inches.
Plants in Your Living Spaces
Here in the living room, I try not to overwhelm with plants because one, my husband would kill me but really the lighting here isn't the best. I have found, however, that this Ficus 'ginseng' works really well as it seems to do just fine in moderate light and it doesn't get in the way of the TV screen. Everybody is happy.
In my dining room, I just have this one beautiful Ctenanthe Lubbersiana on my table which makes it easy to move when we want to eat there (which is often). If you have too many plants, it just becomes a pain.
But don't worry, my bay window is full of plants. I used a narrow bench to raise the plants up to window height and then made a little wooden table/mini bench to get some of them even higher. Varying heights is a great way to show off plants and make interesting vignettes.
I like to create groupings using different shaped planters, stands and even statuary to mix things up a bit. We picked up this beautiful one of a native woman in Venezuela many years ago when you could still travel there safely.
Houseplants in Hallways and Corridors
My upper hallway at the top of the stairs has a south facing window and is pretty large. I could probably have put a reading chair in this space but really, who is going to read in a hallway? Plants seemed like a way better idea. Again I've used a table to raise the plants up to get the best light which also allows me to use all of the smaller planters I love to collect. This space would have been good for a large tree too (I did have a Ficus 'lyrata' here at one point), but my need for more out grew my need for big. I get height from varying the plants.
And as I did in my dining room, I use other objects to tell a "story" in my displays. I even use old vintage platters as saucers to add something different and I really love that piece of slag glass with the mushroom carving for a bit of brightness.
Houseplants in My Main Bathroom
II'll be the first to admit that there aren't enough plants in my bathroom. I still plan on hanging a giant Boston Fern right over the tub (the hubby is really going to love that one), but it's still pretty great laying in the tub and staring at that String of Hearts (Ceropegia Woodi) trailing down in front of me.
And don't forget the bathroom vanity. This is a very large trough sink so there wasn't much space to display anything (or store anything but that's a different problem). Plus this is not an area where you want to fight with a large floofy plant every time you're trying to look in the mirror or brush your teeth. That's why I love Sansieveria. They are so vertical and are truly one of the only plants that do ok in low light plus they come in way more varieties than people realize.
Plants in the Main Bedroom
My bedroom gets amazing morning light which is just perfect for almost all houseplants. This lovely Alocasia 'African Mask' (aka Alocasia Polly) is so happy in this vintage Bauer Pot and compliments the artwork on the wall behind it.
See what I mean about the light in here? This Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma was one that was nearly dead in the store where it had accidentally gotten over-watered. I honestly didn't think it would recover but finally it's just taken off and I get to look at her every morning when I wake up. Needless to say she is never going to make it back into the store.
Houseplants for the Home Office
Home offices might be the best place to have houseplants, especially with all the Zoom meetings everyone has to be on these days. This is my husband's office. Again, the key is to mix plants in with other decor. Here I've added just a couple of cuties to his bookshelf and mixed in a few photos and other objects to round things out. This room faces east and isn't super bright, but the Philodendron 'birkin' and the Neon Pothos do nicely here. Both tolerate moderate light and usually just need water every two weeks.
Perhaps my favorite plant (and the one plant that may have turned my husband into a plant lover too) is my Pilea Peperomioides (aka Chinese Money Tree). This one sits to the right of his desk on a file cabinet and is over 30" tall. The key to her success is not to over water. At this size we only water every 2-3 weeks (or when she's dry about 1-2 inches down). The other trick is not to take out all of her babies. See how many are at the base making the plant look very full? It's tempting to cut the babies out to give to friends but be prudent or else you'll have a very skeletal looking plant.
Houseplants as Decor at Potted
At Potted, we're all about helping you use plants and outdoor decor to make your home the beautiful oasis of your dreams, whether it's inside or out. Let us help you with plant and planter selection by coming into Potted in our Los Angeles store or shop our full selection of unique planters and more online today.