Pure Green at West Elm

Air purifying plants to make your home breathe

October brings us into the Autumn months, and since we’re spending much more time indoors, our Houseplants of the Month selection is Pure Green - a selection of plants that help purify the air.

This month, our Pure Green Team bring their superpowers to west elm on London’s Tottenham Court Road, which ironically is also known to be one of the most polluted streets in London.

We are all too aware of the dangerous levels of air pollution in London of late, and only last week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, triggered the capital’s emergency air quality alert. Luckily, Londoners are getting savvy with their own green oasis at home, which not only make them feel happier but also doubles up as beautiful air filters by removing many of the harmful urban toxins from the air.


Plants can absorb chemicals that are floating in the air (called volatile compounds) and convert them into other things. Known unhealthy volatile compounds in the home are formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, acetone, ammonia and various types of alcohol. Plants also convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugars, and they can bond microscopically small particulates onto their leaves. That reduces the concentration of particulates in the air.

Copyright: Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Ivy (Hedera), Boston Fern (Nephrolepis), potted Gerbera and Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) are not only lovely to look at, but they all have something extra to offer. Potted Gerbera removes trichloroethylene and benzene from the air, Boston ferns produce oxygen, and NASA includes Spathiphyllum and Ivy on the list as the most air-purifying houseplants around. As if we needed any excuses for a new plant.

Ian Drummond has once again waved his magic green wand and transformed an area in west elm’s London flagship store into a cosy green oasis. One of Ian’s favourite ways to display plants is to hang them, and he shares with us his top tips for displaying plants at home in places you may not have even considered.

Hanging plants above your bed! A great unused space to use and beautiful to look up to. Ivy works great hanging from a chandelier, and you can lovingly trail their shoots to create a lovely effect. Just make sure the vessel you choose is lightweight and watertight so that you don’t make a mess.

Create a room divider by hanging plants on a standing rail, and don't be scared to go retro and use macramé or beaded plant holders, mix and match the pots for dramatic effect, and consider Ivy and other trailing plants. Be bold by adding pops of colour by using plants like Gerbera that offer many bright colour options. Check out our DIY tip to make your own hanging frame.

As we celebrate the new season indoors, we want to do it in style by inviting friends and family to a French apéro making sure we add botanicals to our drinks trolley. We love west elm’s Faceted Terrariums filled with Ivy as it adds a glamorous touch.  Another favourite seen in the below gallery with a Peace Lily, is west elm’s Metal Standing Planter -ideal to add height and giving your air-purifying heroes the pedestal they deserve.

Copyright: thejoyofplants.co.uk