With more people than ever working from home, lounging at home and just about doing everything else from home, we’ve been increasingly searching to bring natural beauty indoors – mostly via plants. Even prior to the pandemic, indoor plants were having a huge moment in the spotlight, with more young people getting into cultivating and caring for their balcony gardens and indoor jungles. And why not? They’re air-purifying, inexpensive, vibrant and look fab in any room. Here are some of our favourite ways to style your garden rooms.
Published February 2, 2018, Updated on February 3, 2022.
A window seat is the perfect platform (or should we say plant-form?) for grouping greenery. Otherwise unused, this light-filled space now packs a punch with a variety of shapes, textures and shades of green. Intentionally mismatched pots keep the eye moving, and the addition of accessories among the plants, like the metal hand and driftwood, add cohesion referencing the room’s hits of black and the warm earthy tones of the furniture. For more inspiration, check out the best indoor plants for every room in your house.
Take a Back Seat
Placing greenery behind a large piece of furniture, like the comfy sofa in this Montreal home, layers in depth and visual interest. It also avoids that static feel that happens when all the furniture is pushed up against a wall. This is a great idea on its own, but it really resonates here thanks to little complementary touches like the potted jade on the coffee table, the cactus on the windowsill and the side table’s melange, including a terrarium and that old classic – the fern.
We love symmetry (the way these chairs frame the fireplace really ground this space) but it isn’t reserved for duplicate forms. Placed in corners of the room, these two different plants echo the balance of the chairs but look dynamic precisely because they don’t match. Their mix of fronds and full leaves feels fresh and in step with the textures and patterns at play. Note the use of the plant stand – it keeps the greenery at the same height to play up that symmetry. See inside this Palm Springs-inspired apartment or check out the signs you’re overwatering your plant.
Even casual spaces crave greenery. The bright and light living area of this country cottage feels finished thanks to a few well-chosen plants – imagine the space without them and it just wouldn’t be as riveting. We like their staggered heights and the way they meld beautifully, and naturally, with all the wood tones. For more ideas, check out these plants that’ll help with anxiety, stress and depression.
Against a Wall
The other side of this cottage’s living area will make you rethink the way you display plants. A living wall is a directional alternative to traditional planters and (bonus) acts as a natural work of art. Its fresh quality is even more compelling in this vignette, where it’s teamed with the tactile finishes and patinas of old leather and distressed wood. Learn more about how to make your own DIY living wall.
You don’t need many plants to make an impact. In this cool modern condo, three of them do the trick. We like the way the sofa isn’t centred with the window, allowing room for the potted plant that’s placed directly on the floor – no stand necessary. These low-maintenance greens also introduce an organic element, a bit of nature in a resolutely city space.
In this gorgeous space, designed by Fixer Upper‘s Joanna Gaines, plants are more than just something to set on a table. Yes, there are two plants on the coffee table, but what cultivates interest is how they’re incorporated into almost every bookshelf, as though they’re mementos or knick-knacks. The fern between the armchairs has a fresh appeal too.
This dramatic room, also designed by Fixer Upper‘s Joanna Gaines, feels cool and contemporary with its grey-blue tones and vaulted ceiling. The sofas, in the most delicious caramel shades, introduce warmth that the plants riff on. They make a statement when lined against this focal wall and we like the mix: two different plants on the shelves and three Cat’s Tongues in matching white pots. You can also check out these easy to car for plants that go beyond succulents.
Re-imagine hanging plants! They don’t have to be in a basket and they don’t have to be out of the way. Potting one in a terrarium livens up the expected presentation, and this positioning is just genius: let it hang in plain sight. Its undulating lines are a nice foil to the potted jade and aloe on the trunk. Tour this Nova Scotia family home for more inspiration.
Easy Being Green
Sure, there are fresh and dynamic new ways to introduce plants to your space, but sometimes the old-fashioned approach works too. This sunny room isn’t about artful arrangements, rather an inviting mix that includes a hanging plant (hello macrame!) and lovingly scattered potted plants – a small one even on the rug. It’s a welcome reminder that you really can’t go wrong wherever you place them. Check out these plants that are safe for children, cats and dogs.
This West Coast space brings the outdoors in with nature-inspired artwork that is perfectly complemented by a floral arrangement and branches of greens. The effect is especially cohesive because the leaves aren’t solid green, rather variegated. Their mix of white and green echoes the painting, the roses and the view to the great outdoors.
This utterly contemporary room with minimal bells and whistles comes to life with a few simple arrangements: a tiny pot of English ivy on the coffee table; a potted cactus on the floor and two stands of lush greens tucked in a corner. They soften the minimal space, layer in colour and energy and, as all plants need water, tie in nicely with the artwork.
This sophisticated room is brimming with design details – a leaded glass window, a modern pendant light and furniture, an original fireplace – so it didn’t need much in terms of plants. One large potted palm behind the sectional and two small plants (one on the mantel; the other on the side table) offer just the right amount of natural verve, and we love the homeowner’s choice of metallic planters. Here’s the full tour of this Toronto photographer’s stylish home.
From the Floorboards
While we love hanging plants (whether resting on a shelf or suspended from the ceiling), there is something so appealing about this sunny vignette. Two plants on a low-profile side table and one on the floor are all it takes to balance the high shelves and pick up on the artwork.