Decorating with houseplants: wild at home

Turn your living space into a botanical haven

A few strategically placed houseplants is one way to breathe life into your home – but if you really want to bring the outside in, a wild and natural approach is the way to go.

A few clever design devices will help ensure the look is more ‘botanical haven’ than ‘overgrown garden’. Here are a few of our favourite ideas for your inspiration…

Make the most of natural features

Mathieu Gallois has transformed his converted Sydney warehouse apartment into an urban jingle by exploiting the building’s natural features, as well as creating his own clever and whimsical structures. Exposed beams and pipes are used for trailing and suspending plants, while a stack of old milk crates double up as shelves and a makeshift trellis for climbing plants, leading up to a raised ‘treehouse’. 

Decorating with houseplants: wild at home thejoyofplantsCopyright: Daniel Shipp

Create a vertical garden

A vertical garden is the botanical equivalent of the statement wall: it allows you to go wild with lush vegetation while keeping things contained in a single area. Fill an entire wall with plants, or suspend your own ‘living wall’ from the ceiling to divide a large room. Or, if you want a subtle look that’s easier to maintain, experiment with rows of shelves or wall-mounted plants.

Go split-level

Placing plants at different heights provides interest at every level of the room and enables you to fill a space with foliage without crowding it out. Suspend trailing plants from the ceiling, exploit sideboards, shelves and occasional tables, invest in plant stands of varying heights and add in a few larger pots and plants for the floor. Here, tables have been stacked on top of one another for added drama.

Make a feature window

A large window, or French doors, is a great spot for a wild and messy plant display. The natural light is ideal for sun-loving plants – and the connection to the outside opens up your living area, making a natural transition from indoor garden to outdoor space. Suspend majestic ferns in hanging planters from your curtain pole and place large pots on the floor. Intersperse with large rocks for a more authentic outdoor feel.

Create a garden room

If you love the idea of an indoor urban jungle but are nervous about houseplants taking over your home, why not turn your conservatory or garden room into a botanical garden. Take inspiration from the great conservatories at Kew and opt for large, opulent plants, such as Swiss cheese plants and palms. You could even create your own trellis for a wall of climbing jasmine or ivy.