Along with considering the origin of any interior greenery, Rimes says it’s equally as important to base your choice on where, exactly, a plant or arrangement will live in the home. “Plants work best in spaces that are welcoming growing environments,” she says. “While a bird of paradise might transport your mind to somewhere tropical, it isn’t the right solution for a lowlight environment or moody library or den.” Instead of a plant for those spaces, she suggests, try filling a ceramic vessel with lots of dried eucalyptus at varying lengths or a cluster of branches or twigs clipped from your favorite backyard tree. “The result will be a very satisfying sculptural work of art.”
Plants as art
Plants and flowers can also inject an artistic element to a space, the experts say. “Until recently, ikebana-style minimalism was popular in flower arrangements,” says Enis Karavil, creative director of Istanbul interdisciplinary design studio Sanayi313. “But nowadays there is a tendency towards more artistic creations featuring a medley of bold, vibrant colors and textures that result in unique and expressive arrangements. By using sculptural flower pots or vases made by artists, art is somehow integrated to the landscape or the arrangement.”
That said, if bright and bold isn’t your thing, there’s room for simplicity, Karavil adds. “Regardless of color or design aesthetic, I believe green brings in a dynamic and peaceful feel to any room. I prefer plants that are primitive, those with large leaves in dark tones.”
Rimes advises also considering both texture and scale. “Choosing plants with a variety of leaf sizes, heights, shapes, and textures can make the space feel more inviting and natural,” she says. “Grouping potted plants in sets of two or three in varying heights can feel sculptural and anchor any room. Long, creeping branches and low-maintenance, unruly, leafy greens can be centerpiece-worthy on their own, bringing drama and impact to any space.”
Flowers with staying power
A vase of fresh flowers is an instant mood booster, but as soon as their vibrance starts to wilt, the vibe rapidly shifts to depressing. There’s also the sustainability factor to consider—not everyone likes the idea of regularly acquiring fresh flowers, which often get shipped long distances. Still, artificial flowers can be hard for some aesthetes to stomach. Fortunately, a happy medium now exists.