Transform your home into a jungle with interiorscaping
Look around your living space. Does it make you happy to be there? If not, it’s time to jump onto the latest trend of interiorscaping to boost your mood and your health.
What is interiorscaping?
Also called “interior landscaping” or “plantscaping,” interiorscaping is a way of incorporating plants into interior design. The term was coined sometime in the 1970s when office buildings and hotels started hiring people with expertise in both plants and interior decorating to make their buildings not seem so sterile. Today, we see it as a way to make our homes and apartments a more enjoyable place to relax.
However, it’s not exactly the new trend we might think it is. The Victorians loved to turn their homes into tiny greenhouses. And in the late 60’s and early 70’s, houseplants were the height of hip decorating. And in this millennium, we are at it again, with enthusiasm! No longer just for hotels and office building, interiorscaping is for even the smallest of spaces. So whether you live in a big home with room for tall tropical trees or in a small apartment in need of some perking up, interiorscaping will improve your life in ways you might not have expected.
Why do interiorscaping now?
In our busy, polluted world, the best remedy is a home full of plants! The physical and psychological benefits of having plants and flowers near you has been proven over and over again. Plants clean the toxins out of the air and release oxygen. They are beautiful to look at, so they boost our moods. They increase humidity in living spaces attached to HVAC systems, which all modern homes are (unless you live in a yurt in the woods). They keep the dust levels down, and thus reduce allergies. They lower background noise, which is great if you live in a noisy city center or share walls. They improve concentration and memory. They help us feel more calm and relaxed.
What’s not to love about plants? The mess? The time it takes to care for them? Maybe, but the popular plants these days are easy and relatively mess-free. So let’s look at ways to make the most of this and turn your living space into something everyone will want to Pin!
Where do I start with interiorscaping?
The ideas are endless! And you can get lost for hours on Pinterest (2063 ideas!) or Instagram dreaming about it. So let’s work with some basic principles instead of staring at a screen for hours. Staring at your beautiful place full of plants is better for your health, so let’s get started!
Work with what you’ve got
Everyone will have different budgets, tastes, and different environments for their plants. If you are reading this, you probably already have a plant or two in your space. You may have the resources to go out and buy every plant and accessory you want as soon as you finish this article, but chances are, you don’t. So you may want to start by making a list of all the plants you would like to have. Look around your living space for the places you would like to add some green or some color.
Consider the light in this spot–does it need a sun-loving plant or one that thrives in low light? Unfortunately, if you have a dark, windowless, cave of a bathroom, you probably won’t be able to add living plants there. (We’ve tried it with all the low-light plants, and none of them can stay there forever). However, you could always scour the thrift stores for pictures of plants and flowers to brighten it up!
Create focal points
In interior design, a focal point is anything that will attract interest in a room. You can get technical about it, and consider what mood you want to evoke and whom you want to impress, or you can simply think in terms of what you like to look at and where you might put it. Do you have a plant you really love that you want in your view at all times? If the light and drafts in your space allow it, move that boring coffee table book that no one looks at (including you), and put your greatest love there.
Do you have a bare corner? Tropical trees can become a focal point and make that corner look like it was just specially made for them. One of our favorites is the fiddle leaf fig, which can be a little tricky. It’s more for the intermediate plant parent than the newbie. For those of you just starting, try another trendy, easier to grow, tree like the triangle ficus or the rubber tree.
Other ways to create focal points is to look for really interesting containers. A foray into a thrift store usually turns up planters that you might not find in a big box store as do trips to local greenhouses and markets. Greenhouses often carry a collection of handmade containers from local artisans. Or try an art walk in your town–open studios, artists, music, free wine? Count us in!
Bring your garden inside
How about thinking of your interiorscaping project the same way you would your garden? If you love arbors, think about ways to turn a doorway into one. You can use dried flowers and grasses in the spring and evergreens in the winter.
Placing a group of plants together helps with the effects of dry air (thank you HVAC) like dry skin, colds, and respiratory problems as this tactic increases humidity. Just be mindful of which plants like each other and which ones don’t. Some plants just don’t get along. So like seating guests a dinner party or a wedding, be mindful of who will mix well. It’s best to keep plants with similar sunlight and watering needs together.
Put your garden on the wall. Imagine taking the ground you grew veggies and flowers in this summer and raising it up vertically, alá Inception. There are many ways to create a living wall inside your home. If you live in an apartment, the main thing is you don’t want to attach anything permanent. And none of us want to damage our floors or walls with water. One great idea is to create a wall full of air plants. You can anchor them directly to a wall, grow them on frames, or mount interesting pieces of driftwood to support them. Build a pallet garden that grows vertically, or locate a vintage wooden ladder and stack it with containers. Not only is it different and pretty, you can have flowers and vegetables all year long!
How will you interiorscape your living space?
The health benefits of surrounding yourself with plants is well established, so there should be no doubt in your mind that it is time to put some green into your life. So get ready! Grab a pen and paper, wander around your living space, and take some notes about your dream indoor garden. Then shut this screen off, and head to your local greenhouse. Happy interiorscaping!