Go Green, and Keep Calm

Most often a great space isn't about the colour of upholstery on the sofas or the painstakingly created wall treatment- the most eye catching and impactful accessories are most often the plants. A splash of green adding life in a true sense to everything around it. We may not all be tree huggers or hippies, but can unanimously admit that nothing feels better than a breath of fresh, clean air. Plants are well known to improve the quality of the air we breathe, especially in the polluted cities a lot of us live and work in. 

How can we find more beautiful, long lasting alternatives to the terracotta pots that seem to stain our beautifully polished marble floors so heartlessly? Here are a few guidelines for anyone who wants a more picturesque setting for their indoor foliage.

Plants feel (and look) best when cared for. Do your research before you purchase them or ask the nursery to help you understand the needs of your plants. There are plants that like shade, and those that like direct sun, but none that can thrive without light. If you have a dingy hallway or corner to decorate, make sure your plants are circulated or ready yourself to replace them with new ones regularly. Beautiful orchids, lavender, chrysanthemums can really add something to your space but make sure you are willing to make that commitment for they require a lot of love and care. Stick with hardy leafy vines and shrubs if you are less inclined.

Plants come in varied sizes, shapes, smells and colours. Make a selection that appeals to you. If your style is more graphic- chose lines that are bolder like snake plants and palms or if you would like something more feminine, try something with flowers like a small champa (frangipani) or mogra (jasmine). 

There are really a lot of options out there, from marble, concrete and stone to handmade pottery, glass and even timber. Pick materials that blend well with your space's core aesthetic. Your gardener or neighbourhood nursery can help you understand what works and what doesn't. The smaller the planter, the more decorative it can be without being imposing or distracting. Tabletops need heavy materials that won't move easily, while floors are versatile and can just as easily lean into solid rock as they can to clear moulded glass. 

Get creative with the setting, using all the options available for varying heights, different lighting and texture. Beautiful plants demand attention, so place them where they will be seen. You can use smaller arrangements as centrepieces while larger plants help create protective fences near precious art you don't want harmed. Make sure you take into account that the line of sight to the great view outside your window or between you and the TV isn't hampered.

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