Instant Gratification: Houseplants

exotic house plants

ZZ house plant

Last year when we moved, I saw how important plants are to making a space work. We placed all the furniture, hung art on the walls and it still felt empty and staged. It was only when we added indoor plants and trees that it really felt like a home.

Especially after all the holiday greenery has been cleared away, adding a few houseplants is a quick way to enhance your rooms and bring a touch of nature inside. There are many wonderful plant options out there; you can find something sculptural or wispy, a structured shape or something wild.

exotic house plants

Rex Begonias are known for their multicolor leaves.

Plants and indoor trees can solve those design dilemmas we all face. An awkward corner that looks empty, a lamp on a console that is begging for balance, or a sitting room that needs some company can be helped out with a plant or two.

For inspiration I love to scour home magazines, books, websites and specialty shops. I study what plants they’re using and figure out how it might work in my home. When you spot something you like, tear/print out the page/snap a photo and stash it in a folder.

house plants

Cymbidiums are a wonderful addition to a household in the winter months. I love the tall foliage and lovely blooms.

Then, you can bring your wish list to your local nursery and find out what they have in stock, possible substitutes and what will work best with the lighting in your home (just like your garden, sunlight makes all the difference on what thrives and what dies). Even artificial light makes a difference, so keep that in mind when shopping.

A couple of my favorite local spots for plant inspiration and sourcing are Bonita Foliage in Goleta or Island View Nursery in Carpinteria.