I’ve gone green this summer, and I don’t mean converting to a Hybrid car or turning vegan (heaven forbid!). I’m talking about styling with botanicals!
Whether it be lush tropical palms to miniature succulent plants, there’s something about the vibrant greens and browns that are calming, bringing a touch of nature indoors.
While plants have always been around (my mum has had more than Kew Gardens itself), the botanical theme in interiors has become more popular in recent years.
And it’s not just visually pleasing, but beneficial for your health too. ‘Each person should have between 5-10 hip-height and head-height plants to ensure maximum health,’ suggests interior designer Elizabeth Danon, founder of EDIT.
‘You need plants for oxygen. If you’re feeling unwell or getting headaches, your environment may be to blame. Plants will naturally purify the air for you even if there isn’t any natural air circulation.’
Nowadays, you don’t even need a huge outdoor space or be a gardening expert to get your dose. Many city dwellers live in more compact spaces, or have a balcony (that often gets forgotten about), which can all benefit from plant power.
Here are some top tips for styling with botanicals…without even stepping outdoors.
Place your botanicals in the right spots
Living plants need the right spaces to thrive, and so it’s important to group them in suitable areas. Most people tend to have them either in their living rooms or kitchen window sill. ‘Based on the concept of having a certain amount of plants per person, placement depends more on sunlight and how often they need to be watered,’ suggests Elizabeth .
‘In a hallway, you may forget to water your plants. So places you don’t use that often would benefit from succulents and cactus’s which require little to no watering as they absorb moisture from the atmosphere.
If you don’t want a jungle in your home, unique pots and planters can make a big difference. They come in different shapes and materials to suit your individual style.
This eye-catching range of hanging and floor planters from WestElm, shows that you can make a bold statement without having to go large.
There are various styles available online or in home decor stores. You can easily incorporate into your existing interior style without having to change much.
Glass and geometric terrariums are a modern way to showcase plants, especially in small spaces. These are essentially mini greenhouses where you can house succulents or cacti plants that need very little water.
These make fabulous centrepieces on a table, shelf or mantel, and much more creative than a boring old vase.
If caring for plants and flora are not really your thing, you can still reflect this style in furnishings and accessories. From curtains/blinds, cushions to bed linen, bold floral designs can brighten up a space.
You can blend and contrast colours to create a serene atmosphere.
I’ve never been a fan of fake plants. They’ve always reminded me of those bric-a-brac shops as a kid, where they had hideous, cheap plastic flowers wherever you turned!
But when my friend introduced me to a company specialising in life-like florals, I literally had to blink twice. They are a little pricey but look so authentic, it’s worth it – as long as you do your research to find a good range!
‘Faux flowers are great but faux plants are just a no no in my opinion,’ says Elizabeth, ‘they defy the entire point of having plants. I love to nurture and look after plants and help them survive.’
Remember that your fake florals still need care, so be sure to keep them well dusted, and if you have silicone leaves, just wipe with a damp cloth .
Botanical art and accessories
Botanical drawings and pictures can look elegant in gold or silver gilt frames. The green palette works well with warm gold.
Bright large canvas pieces can also add colour to a room, along with pretty accessories.
What are your favourite botanical styles? Do you have any other useful tips for decorating with plants?
Thanks to Elizabeth for her plant tips!
Elizabeth Danon is owner and director of Elizabeth Danon Interior Therapy (EDIT).
She has heavily researched the link between your environment and your physical and mental health.
To find out more head over to EDIT: http://elizabethdanon.co.uk/about/