Biophilia: How to style your house plants with Dani from @danisdomain
By now many of us heard about the benefits of sharing our homes with house plants. These leafy angels can take toxins from the air, help us sleep better at night and just the sheer joy of tending to and watching plants grow is good for the soul, it's a great mindful living practice to bring into your life.
Another great reason to share you home with plants is suggested by Bristol University and University College London who conducted studies finding that friendly bacteria in soil activates brain cells to produce serotonin and can alter behaviour in a similar way to anti-depressants.
Sharing our lives with plants give us a direct visual connection to the natural world, a view of real elements of nature inside our homes. As we experience nature at different focal lengths it's a great idea to position your house plants at a variety of heights - hanging, trailing and on several (or all in my case) surfaces throughout your home. This replicates a sense of how you would experience greenery outdoors - its not all on one level.
More people now recognise plants are great at helping to remove toxins from the air indoors- good news when you consider the 2012 report from the Environmental Protection Agency found that indoor pollution can be up to 5 times higher than outdoors.
NASA's 1989 Clean Air study published a long list of house plants that are most effective at purifying the air, these include:
It's worth remembering though that NASA's study was carried out in controlled test environments not in domestic settings. One or two house plants won't be enough to generate the same results at home, but that's good news if you have a plant buying habit and love an indoor jungle.
So you've started caring for plants in your home, your plant collection is ever growing (addictive isn't it), you might now want to get creative with how you style them as part of your decor. Dani from @danisdomain has created a gorgeous home beautifully styled with greenery, favouring plants over ornaments. I asked Dani to share how she styles plants in her home to great dramatic effect. Over to you Dani...
I’m Dani, I’m 34 and live with my Husband Tom, our 2 year old Son Cooper and 7 month old daughter Banks, plus our two beloved dogs Beau and Ruby.
Our home is a 3 bedroom Georgian style maisonette and offers all the things you would expect with a period property, including high ceilings and a number of original features including parquet flooring and beautiful coving details in every room.
I’ve always had a love for plants, however this has grown organically and unexpectedly in the last few years since moving into and renovating our house. Initially I introduced plants as a way of breaking up the mainly grey and white decor we chose for the house and to add some colour.
I gradually began to find that by adding more greenery, one house plant at a time, I could easily achieve the feel of being at one with nature and started learning more about living with plants as I went. This has now become a hobby of mine and something I am very passionate about.
I find nurturing plants very rewarding and along with all their proven benefits I find caring for them extremely good for my wellbeing and believe everyone can experience the same.
I’ve always loved the idea of bringing the outside in, and I like the feel of nature mixed with interiors so I suppose using plants in my decor was always going to be a good option for me - plus the air quality in our house is fantastic! I use plants to add another colour element to a room, all with slightly different shades, and to add different textures, heights and points of interest.
Styling wise, and with such an array available to buy and choose from, I am really into hanging plants at the moment and have created several living walls using simple Ikea peg boards which work really well in small, or difficult to fill spaces and has resulted in several online features for my Instagram page too.
I tend to choose plants over ornaments at home and I see any surface as an opportunity to add to my collection of green, including shelves, window sills and cabinets. Many plants enjoy being grouped together and thrive this way, so I often style my plants together in uneven numbers (3’s, 5’s etc).
When grouping plants, I usually start with a blank canvas and add one at a time, taking a step back to see how they look together. I would recommend mixing plants of different shapes and sizes – think upright, trailing, large and small.
Consider the colour of your planters and how they look together, and you could include some other home accessories to break things up a bit – for example a disco ball which gives great light reflections.
The biggest tip I have is to keep things simple, especially to start with. Get to know what plants work for you and learn where they thrive.
Every home is different in terms of natural light, temperature and humidity and I stick to the rule that if a plant is doing well somewhere, I leave it there, and if it’s not I move it!
I always keep plants away from direct heat sources, for example radiators (or I turn the radiator off), and in the winter I water my plants half as much and keep them away from any drafty spots as this can often be a difficult time of year for them.
I would recommend starting with some easy to care for plants, for example Pothos (aka Devil’s Ivy), Snake Plant, ZZ Plant or I find Monsteras really easy ones too. All of which are really rewarding and give a lot back.
My top plant care tips:
I always water when the top two inches of soil is completely dry to touch (rather than sticking to a particular day/ routine) and often ‘drench and drain’ a plant to ensure roots do not sit in any excess water.
Don't forget to dust the leaves of houseplants. A layer of dust will block sunlight and reduce the plants ability to photosynthesize
Yellow leaves are usually a tell take sign of over watering - so keep an eye out for them and reduce watering accordingly.
Winter care - whatever amount of water your plants usually needs I would halve that amount during the winter months when they don't grow as fast. Most house plants like a regular misting which helps increase humidity especially during winter
Remember to mist the moss pole in your Monstera - this encourages the aerial roots to attach and help vertical growth.
I am extremely passionate about plants in décor and enjoy styling plants, ensuring they are happy and well cared for. I could never now imagine a home without them!
Thank you Dani for sharing your gorgeous wild and green interior with us. I absolutely love how Dani style her plants and I am off to se where I can fit in a peg board in my home - great idea!
You can follow Dani in her house plant domain HERE where she shares styling tips and plant care advice.