Styling with plants

Plants are the hottest interior accessory right now. Indoor plant specialists Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan share an extract from their new book, with tips on how to best style a room with them.

Plants have a way of completely transforming an indoor space. Homes and work spaces come alive with the addition of plants. As a general rule, it’s good to create depth, focal points and interesting shapes. Botanical styling is about being true to your taste and creating something unique, whether that’s a wild jungle or something with just a hint of greenery. Play around, try different things and see what works best for you.

Grouping plants together

Always consider the shapes of the plants you’re playing with. Are they upright, bushy or trailing? What textures do the leaves have? What patterns do they make? How do the colours and variations work together? It’s great to mix textures, colours and shapes to create a stunning vignette or “shelfie”. Place lush leaves next to more structural stunners, ensuring that your plants don’t sit in a straight

line, and remember that uneven numbers are always better. Grouping plants en masse can have a real impact, too. Think tall, short, high, low. Go wild and create an absolute jungle.

As well as looking the business, keeping plants with similar care needs together creates a microclimate that can provide much-needed humidity, particularly for tropical foliage. It’s also easier to manage watering schedules when plants with the same watering needs are close to each other.

Feature plants

Indoor trees make the perfect interior statement, creating a lush focal point in any room. On its own or as part of a group, a large ficus or strelitzia easily takes centre stage.

On stands

A great way to add depth and height to your plant displays is with the help of some well-placed plant stands. While beautiful in their own right, these accessories also provide flexibility in placing plants around existing furniture. From timber beauties to the more architectural wire varieties, you’re spoilt for choice. Mix it up with varying heights, shapes and materials.

Hanging or trailing 

Varieties such as hoya, devils ivy (epipremnum auream) or chain of hearts (ceropegia woodii) are perfect for this. Group a few hanging plants together for a floating garden or cascade a vine down the side of a bookcase. Some vines will happily be trained to grow up a wall, or around a mirror with the help of
a few small hooks.

Desert plant windowsill

Edgy and graphic, a line-up of cacti and sun-loving succulents is perfect along a windowsill. It not only creates an amazing silhouette but allows these desert dwellers to soak up some much-needed rays. Mix shapes, textures and heights for added interest.

Propagation station

An easy way to add more greenery is to place your stem cuttings in chic glass bottles
and watch them root. Unlike cut flowers they’ll just keep on growing! And once they’re ready to be propagated, simply fill your cases with a new bunch of cuttings and watch your indoor jungle quickly multiply.

Extract from Leaf Supply, by Lauren Camilleri and Sophia Kaplan, published by Smith Street Books. Hardback, AU$49.99, NZ$59.99. Out now.