If you open up a magazine and look at any well-styled home, you’ll notice a designer’s best secret: plants.
Since I’m a pretty good student and I do weird things like study the rooms I like, I’ve caught on to this fresh greenery idea and have fully embraced it.
I joke that the older I get the more I’m becoming a crazy plant lady. I literally get so excited when a new leaf sprouts and spend at least once per week tending to my growing collection (feeding, clipping, watering, etc.).
I wonder if because I’m not longer growing babies and doing my best to keep my toddlers flourishing that now I can focus a teeny bit of attention on other growing things. It’s quite possible.
Regardless, I so enjoy entering this phase of life where plants and flowers bring me such joy.
When I talk about plants, please know a couple of things:
- I’m no expert. I honestly have very little idea of what I’m doing. I google and ask around and take advice from people who know much more than I do.
- I’m convinced that anyone can keep a plant alive if given the right set of circumstances – decent soil, natural light, regular watering, occasional feeding.
- Check often at your local hardware store or nursery for anything that catches your eye. I often don’t know the name of what I buy – I just go off of the color, texture and size.
Perhaps you noticed all the green in the spring studio tour? I went slightly overboard and I absolutely adore it.
I thought it might be helpful to talk through what plants I have in the studio and ways you can add fresh greenery to perk up your home, too.
Here’s a look at what I have in the studio that fall into four categories: potted plants, trees (not shown, but just to the right lives the fiddle leaf fig), clippings and cut flowers.
Let’s talk about each category.
Potted plants are readily available at your local hardware or nursery and a good-sized plant can be purchased for less than $20. You’ll want to look at the indoor plants (sometimes called Tropical) and check the tags for any details on specific light/temperature/humidity requirements.
My go-to for potted plants are ferns. They are easy to find, inexpensive and have the best texture.
But don’t just stop at ferns. There are so many other cool options.
This gorgeous dripping potted plant steals the show in the studio.
I have no idea what it is (the tag just says 8″ assorted hanging – I know, really helpful). It was in the hanging plant section at Home Depot for around $14. I just snapped off the plastic hanger and set it up high on the shelf to cascade down. This one wouldn’t work great on a flat surface as the plant does trail, but it sure looks great up on a shelf.
Once I bring home a new plant, I typically pop them in a different container. If the container doesn’t have drain holes, just put the plastic pot it comes in into the container and pull it out when you water. Try using a basket, old silver sugar bowl, a thrifted soup tureen, cement planter – anything that catches your eye that is large enough to hold a plant works great!
The second category of fresh greenery you can add to your home for an instant refresh are trees. Obviously, trees are more expensive and have slightly different requirements from small potted plants.
In the studio, I put this rescued Fiddle Leaf Fig tree near the window to see if I could nurse him back to health. I bought it from Home Depot a few months ago for a discount because of its poor health and figured it was worth a shot. So far, it seems to be doing really well in this spot.
Fiddle Leaf Fig trees are everywhere in magazines and online – and for good reason. They add the perfect organic shape and color to any space. I wrote a post this fall with more inspiration photos and details for how to care for these mildly finicky trees (read it here).
Check with your local nursery for indoor trees. Most have a tropical look, but you can also find citrus, olive and ficus. I bought a gorgeous little orange tree last month and it is doing okay inside. A citrus tree is probably not quite right for my climate, so just be sure to do a little bit of research before investing and bringing home a tree.
Free greenery?! Yes, please.
With spring finally here, the trees and shrubs are sprouting and flowering and perfect for bringing indoors. Just grab a pair of sharp clippers (I like these) and cut a branch or two.
Myquillyn had a great tip in her spring tour: she says to cut the branches two times longer than you think. That way, you’ll get that organic, tall, quirky look.
Our trees are still bare in the Pacific Northwest, but we do have a big camellia bush in our front yard with these pretty, waxy green leaves that I cut and popped in the sweetest little bud vase in the studio. Free and easy!
One last way to perk up your home is to add fresh flowers. I mean, who doesn’t just love flowers?!
I like to stay away from mixed bouquets and instead choose one type of flower per vase. Right now, tulips are in season and they are super easy to arrange. Just cut the stems at an angle, pop into a wide-mouth container and let them bend as they will.
Another favorite way to arrange flowers is to cut short and pack tightly (tutorial here).
Carnations – which are very inexpensive – can look so elegant when arranged this way. And bonus! they last much longer than other cut flowers.
So, if you’re looking for a way to bring life to your home this spring (and forever, actually), may I suggest adding fresh greenery. You’ll love how it awakens a space.