President Harry Truman famously said, “If you want a friend, get a dog.” That may be true, but it’s not always practical. Not everybody wants a dog. Not every living space tolerates members of the canine species. For those individuals—and for everybody else—we would suggest amending President Truman’s memorable advice to:
If you want a friend, get a houseplant.
Heck, make that several plants. Plants bring energy and vibrancy to virtually any interior décor. They’re a low-cost, hassle-free way to enliven a corner, spruce up an entire room, and make virtually any living space feel even more like home. They’re also known to reduce stress and even "clean" the air by reducing the number of particulates. Best of all, they’re pretty to look at!
Here are seven ways you can incorporate more green into your home.
Houseplants for beginners
Let’s start at the beginning. Not a green thumb? That’s perfectly okay. Nobody is saying that “going green” means you to have to install a floor-to-ceiling plant divider. (Although you may want to install one eventually. See below.) Succulents and certain types of cacti are examples of plants that are easy to grow and able to overcome the occasional oversight—like forgetting to water them. (Just don’t make a habit of it.) The Spruce offers a great primer for the first-time plant owner. Have a look, then get thee to the garden center!
Terrariums are enclosed environments that can help facilitate growing in spaces that may not be conducive to growing. They come in all shapes and sizes and their enclosed nature creates an environment particularly suitable for certain types of plants, such as plants that thrive in higher levels of humidity. If the term “terrarium” conjures up images of your grandmother’s macramé, check out Garden Design’s guide to creating a terrarium worthy of the twenty-first century. Twig Terrariums specializes in all types of terrariums—moss, succulent, air plant—and is a great resource if you want to build your own.
Go big (and save on room dividers)!
Say you want to grow a 7-foot-tall ficus or a 5-foot fiddle leaf fig. Good for you! It will require more care than a cactus or a succulent, but you’ll enjoy a bigger return. Bigger plants don’t just simply increase oxygen and serotonin levels and help dissolve stress. They can function as natural space separators, too. Who needs a partition when you can have that aforementioned floor-to-ceiling plant divider, instead. It doesn’t have to be a floor-to-ceiling plant divider either. Looking for inspiration? Pinterest has forty-four great examples of plant partitions.
Feast your eyes on this
Hungry for an altogether different interior décor idea? You might be amazed at the variety of edible plants that can be grown inside. Avocados, tomatoes, lemons, basil, rosemary, scallions... edible plants aren’t just easy to grow. They’ll help you save money and improve your diet. No more running to the market to pick up a lemon. There’s a fresh one in the TV room! All you need is an extra sunny space and an oversized pot your plants can grow into. You’ll also need to pay attention. Edibles are less forgiving than succulents, but they taste considerably better. Lifehack.org offers a greatest hits list of edible plants to get you started. Bon appétit!
Can’t make it to Hawaii or Palm Springs this year? Bring Hawaii and Palm Springs to you. If you have a sun-filled room, you can have a Kentia palm, or a Romano palm, or even a Parlor palm. They’re all well suited for the indoors, they’re easy to care for, and they make a statement. It might just be Aloha.
A truly moving garden
Got a bar cart? You’re likely not alone, but you could be the only one to turn your bar cart into a “truly moving” indoor garden. Think of it as a portable plant stand. Your friends will think it’s cute, whimsical and praise your unearthly levels of creativity. It might even make them green with envy that they didn’t come up with the idea first.
Faux plants are not an interior décor faux pas. They offer many of the same aesthetic benefits as houseplants and they’ll set you back considerably less... green. Strange as it may sound, the fake plant field is flourishing. Ferns, fiddle leafs, ficuses... if you crave the leafage but can’t commit to the spritzing, the pruning, and the watering, faux plants could be a great way to go. Here are seven of the best, according to the green thumbs over at The Spruce.
Lifestyle Magazine calls it statement greenery. We just like how much more welcoming plants can make any living space feel. They’re bright, they add a splash of color, and they can contribute to an environment that feels healthier because it is healthier. Pick a plant, choose a corner, and start reaping the benefits of “going green.”
And if you want, get a dog too!