From their health benefits to their inimitable ability to bring a hint of nature to our urban homes, plants are - to put it plainly – the ultimate interiors accessory. But here’s the catch: plants are hard work... right? We asked Homewings designer and resident in-house plant whisperer, Charlie Thomas, to answer our clients’ 3 most frequently asked greenery questions. Read on to turn your black thumb, green.
Why should I consider a houseplant?
“Take it from me - houseplants are unparalleled when it comes to giving your home character. No two plants are the same, meaning that no matter the aesthetic or style of your home, you're guaranteed to find the perfect little (or big) leafed companion.”
“If you have a beautifully architectural home, consider purchasing a fiddle leaf fig, or a palm. Aside from being super on-trend, their large and sculptural shapes are fantastic for adding some drama to a room. If your home has more of a minimalist Scandinavian look, go for something softer with more organic shapes. Think: orchids and succulents.”
Not sure what interior style you fall under? Take our quiz here to find out.
“So, reason number 1 for considering becoming a plant parent is that no matter your home’s style, you will always be able to find a plant that accentuates your space in all the right ways. Reason number 2, is that having plants in your home could have some huge health benefits. Care for your green house guests, and in return your army of natural air purifiers will set themselves to work turning carbon dioxide in to oxygen (a year 8 science fact that many of us seem to forget later in life). This simple biological reaction vastly improves the air quality in your home in a very noticeable way.”
“In terms of health benefits, there are some plants that stand out as the superheroes of greenery. Bamboo, for instance, is mother nature’s answer to the humidifier, adding moisture in to the air as well as purifying harmful toxins. Ivy removes benzene from its surroundings – ideal for those suffering from asthma. And for those of you out there with bullet proof cleaning routines, your houseplants will also give you a helping hand by filtering the toxins in your heavy-duty cleaning products.”
What if I don’t have time for a houseplant?
“If you’ve had some plant casualties over the years, it may not be you – it may be the plants themselves. Some houseplants are simply greenery divas, so if you’re looking to keep your plant-babysitting to a minimum, steer clear of the following: Basil (yup, cheap to buy but very difficult to keep alive), Banana plant and Ferns.”
“On the other hand, the huge variety of houseplants available now at local markets or even online through services like Patch, means that you can chose just how much time and effort you wish to spend on looking after your plants, and select them accordingly. Some of the most desirable indoor plants that are also super low maintenance include aloe, spider plants, cacti, ivy and even mint.”
Are there specific places I should and shouldn’t be putting my houseplants?
“Generally, a good Google search of your plant’s name will turn up all the information you’ll need in terms of watering needs and optimal lighting, but there are some general locations to keep in mind if you want to reap the full benefits.”
“Orchids and bathrooms, for example are the perfect pairing. Many of my clients are surprised when I suggest adding orchids in the bathroom, but these little plants love humidity, and will thrive in such an environment. The spa-like effect that comes with having these little jewels in your bathroom is just an added benefit!”
“More generally speaking, windowsills are great to harness the full purification powers of your plants. This positioning turns your windowsill plants into an air-purification barrier, helping to eliminate toxins as they come through your window. I also love adding plants in the bedroom – one of the most neglected spaces in the home in terms of greenery. Placing a couple of plants on your nightstand will work wonders for your sleep, as they work through the night to regulate moisture.”
“Most of the plant casualties I have been privy to have happened in the kitchen. Fresh herb plants are cheap and manageable in the short term, which makes them the perfect quick-fix for a greenery craving - but be warned. It is tough to get the balance right with fresh herbs, as it is very easy to over and under water them. That said, just because herb plants require a lot of attention, it doesn’t mean you should ignore them. In fact, Ikea has just come out with a high-tech solution to your herbal growing pains.”
So, there you have it. The why, what and how of houseplants. If you’re still itching for a bit of a home refresh, take a look at our guide to detoxing your home, or how to decorate your bedroom for better sleep.
Feeling inspired to bring some plant flat mates into your urban home? Click here to enquire now and a member of our design team will be in contact.