Transforming your Home with Plants

Increasing the number of plants in your home is an easy and quick way to make a big impact in your home this Spring. All the plants mentioned in this article have been in my home for months and I have found them all very easy to keep. 

What houseplants can do for you

Who doesn't love a plant? Plants are one of those things that make a dramatic difference to a room. And they make people happy. I've had comments like 'what have you done in here, it looks really different!? And literally all I've done is hoovered and bought 3 or 4 plants. They provide colour, texture, visual interest, and above all 'life' to a room. They help make a house a home buy making it feel alive, lived in, and loved. They can add a touch of boho and an element of calm. They can be added to any room, with the bigger plants making the bigger impact. They can fill an unloved corner, provide a focal point for a table or add interest to a mantel or shelf. 

How to start buying plants

I would recommend buying perhaps 2 or 3 plants at a time, and building up your collection slowly. Then you can learn about what you like and what works for you practically without wasting money. The plants I have bought range from £5 to £25. I buy them from my garden centre and I've also bought some in Ikea, and there are some lovely new online retailers like Patch that I'm looking forward to trying.  But before you buy any plant, make sure you know where it's going to go. Then you can make a decision on style (e.g. upright or trailing), rough size, and shape (is the space you are trying to fill tall or wide). 

Which plants should you buy

Spider plants are fab, massively easy to keep and they have lovely cascading 'babies' so are great on the edge of cabinets or shelves. Another perfect one for hanging or putting high to allow it to majestically drape over bookcases, sideboards or even speakers is the fabulous ivy. String of pearls and string of hearts are also beautiful and will just go on trailing down and down so are beautiful at the top of open shelving. 

Lovely trailing ivy

Lovely trailing ivy

Displaying plants on shelving

Displaying plants on shelving

For medium sized upright plants that can sit on table tops or kitchen worktops I would go for the ever popular mother in law's tongue, an aloe vera or a shade-loving prayer plant. Prayer plants (calatheas) come in several varieties, some with wonderful patterned leaves and one with a gorgeous pink underside.  I tend to avoid ferns unless they are fake as I found them difficult to keep indoors as they love humidity.

For bigger plants that you'll keep at floor level, I would go for bold and trendy swiss cheese plants, the almost indestructible kentia palm (an Ikea staple), or a majestic zanzibar gem. These plants are useful for covering bare walls, ugly radiators, or just as a space filler in larger rooms. 

Small cacti and succulents are lovely grouped into small collections on window sills, side tables and bedside tables, or even popped onto picture ledges. 

Fantastic cheese plant (monstera deliciosa) on the left, and that beautiful patterned prayer plant (calathea leopardina) on the right

Fantastic cheese plant (monstera deliciosa) on the left, and that beautiful patterned prayer plant (calathea leopardina) on the right

Stunning zanzibar gem (zamioculcas) at floor level and pretty spider plants (chlorophytum)

Stunning zanzibar gem (zamioculcas) at floor level and pretty spider plants (chlorophytum)

Cacti look lovely grouped together in different pots

Cacti look lovely grouped together in different pots

The hardy kentia palm (howea forsteriana) in a glorious belly basket

The hardy kentia palm (howea forsteriana) in a glorious belly basket

What about fake plants?

Go ahead. They are especially useful in dark corners, on shelves, and in small rooms like cloakrooms that don't get much light. With the huge trend in houseplants, has come a growing industry in fake plants and you honestly can't tell the difference. From ferns to string of pearls to banana trees, they come in a huge variety now and I would welcome them with open arms. Some of my favourite suppliers for absolutely beautiful fauxs are Abigail Ahern, and Astella Hrela

Pots, baskets and planters

Go for a mixture or different pots, my favourite supplier just has to be TK Maxx because you never know what you might find in there, most of my ceramic and metal planters are from there and hence why my collection is so varied. I absolutely love putting plants in baskets on the floor too, you can get belly baskets everywhere now, the sell them in Ikea for about £12 and they can accommodate even the largest of plants (make sure you pop them on a plastic tray or saucer first). I also buy pots from H&M Home and my local garden centre, and I've been known to pop little plants in anything from beakers to tin cans so think creatively and use what you have at home.