House plant ideas – creative ways to display indoor plants

Stylish, fresh and easy to look after – what's not to love?
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  • With the power to lift spirits and help purify the air, it’s no surprise that house plants are making such a comeback. There’s a huge array of variety in all shapes and sizes to choose from to dress your home with a thoughtful house plant idea.

    Rest assured, your home is not too bright, too hot, too cold, too damp or too dry for you to successfully harbour an indoor garden, or at least one or two potted beauties. There is more than one plant for every one of those situations, and caring for them is relatively simple. Look for the best house plants for low light, clean air, bathrooms and easy care.

    In fact, the hardest thing is often selecting your favourite container. From sleek ceramic to rustic terracotta, perfectly patterned to organic and shapely, there are so many beautiful designs hitting shop shelves at the mo!

    House plant ideas

    From lining up trailing plants on shelves, putting ferns in pockets against white walls or grouping cacti on side tables – there’s a display for every room. Bromeliads will bring a tropical feel to a cool city interior while a flowering cactus a hint of desert to a country cottage.

    Here, we share our top tips for displaying foliage around the home with our house plant ideas. With the right conditions and a little TLC, they’ll keep that fresh feeling going all year round.

    1. Curate a wall display

    house plant wall display

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Take house plants to a whole new level, quite literally with a curated wall display. This imaginative house plant idea uses cube shelves hung on a wall amongst art prints to add real life plants into the mix. this type of display works best with low maintenance plants, to ensure you don’t have to constantly tend to the foliage to keep it looking its best.

    2. Introduce a hanging rail

    house plant idea hanging in living room on a rail

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Joanna Henderson

    Create a feature wall of house plants by suspending a mixed variety of plants from a hanging rail. A simple IKEA curtain pole can become a handy DIY rack to create a wall display of plants. It comes in black, white and grey to suit all interior tastes.

    3. Layer the look

    grey living room with plants surrounding sofa

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Joanna Henderson

    ‘By incorporating plants into your living area, it instantly adds a variation of colours, textures and focal points’ says Kenneth Freeman, Plant Scientist from foli8.

    ‘Bold floor-standing plants, such as the Dragon Tree ‘Cintho’, can act as a statement piece and is a great way to introduce different heights and dimensions. Alternatively, smaller plants such as the Echeveria ‘Lipstick’ succulent, can be used to create a striking centrepiece.’

    4. Dress the mantelpiece

    house plants dressing the mantel

    Image credit: foli8

    Allow your plants to take centre stage by dressing the mantelpiece in any room lucky enough to have one. Use various heights to frame a mirror and create a scale of interest to the display.Using the slim plinth above the fireplace means you should choose smaller pots, and ones that enhance the decor.

    5. Welcome calm to a work space

    home office with house plants

    Image credit: foli8

    ‘The use of houseplants within your working area can help improve creativity and productivity’ explains Kenneth Freeman from foli8. ‘If you are limited on space, choose a small desk-top plant such as the Begonia Rex ‘Indian Summer’ to add a striking pop of colour, thanks to its pink-red foliage, and its unique shape and pattern.’

    ‘Or perhaps, add character to a space with a hanging plant, such as the Creeping Fig, that can trail from a shelf. If your workspace tends to be darker than other rooms in your home, low-light plants such as the Monstera Monkey Leaf plant is the perfect option.’

    6. Add character to kitchen herbs with teapot planters

    Kicthen herbs planted in teapots on shelves

    Image credit: Future PLC

    Add an element of fun to practical kitchen herbs by choosing characterful planters such as teapots and mugs. Pop a handful of large stones in the bottom to ensure the soil has an element of drainage – and of course don’t over water.

    ‘Plants can not only enhance your decor, but with a wide range of aromas and spices that often get conjured up in the kitchen, plants are a great way to help keep your kitchen air cleansed and smelling fresh’ says Kenneth Freeman from foli8.

    7. Invigorate a bathroom with plants

    Black bathroom makeover with patterned floor tiles plant and roll top bath

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Using bold colours such as black, slate and navy has been a growing trend for gardens in recent years because they enhance greenery. The darker the backdrop the more the natural tones of foliage really ‘pop’.

    If your bathroom is painted in an on-trend dark shade, you can’t go wrong with filling it with an abundance of greenery. But which ones?

    ‘You’ll find Boston Ferns in the wild in humid, shady areas, like swamps and forests’ explains Megan Spink, plant doctor at Patch. ‘They love anywhere wet, hot and not too bright. When looking after one at home, the rule is to never let a Boston fern dry out. Make sure to keep the soil moist and humidity level high.’ See all our bathroom plant ideas to discover the best plants to create a tranquil oasis in bathrooms.

    8. Utilise corners with handy brackets

    house plant idea hanging from wooden brackets

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Use a cluster of plants to add a decorative edge to an empty corner of the room. Elevate the plants out of the way so they are not taking up valuable space, by using simple wooden brackets. Stack the brackets in a way so that the plants hang in a uniformed manner to fill the space.

    9. Restore zen with house plants

    Living room yoga station with house plants

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Tim Young

    Being surrounded by greenery is proven to have a calming influence and is therefore a perfect option to decorate a restful corner. Fill a yoga or meditation station with a variety of house plants to benefit from their calming influence.

    10. Play with display

    Image credit: Dobbies, Houseplants, from £3.99 each

    Think of plants as you would accessories and go for shapes, colours and patterns that appeal to you. When arranging in groups, use stools, low tables and shelving to create different levels, placing plants at varying heights to avoid a cluttered look.

    If you’re short on space, line up smaller varieties on windowsills and mantels, or create a stylish hanging display with suspended terrariums and upside-down planters.

    11. Find the perfect position for plants

    Image credit: Patch

    ‘To keep your houseplants happy, think about the natural environment that the room most closely matches and choose plants that like those conditions,’ advises Freddie Blackett, founder of Patch.

    Keep sun-loving plants thriving by positioning them in front of windows – hanging planters make a great alternative to blinds, providing privacy without sacrificing natural light.

    12. Clear the air in a bedroom with plants

    Image credit: Marks & Spencer

    Certain plants have properties that make them well-suited to particular rooms in the home. Unlike most plants, peace lilies emit oxygen throughout the night, improving air quality 24/7, making them ideal in bedrooms, while English ivy helps to reduce mould – handy in humid bathrooms.

    13. Plant a mini garden

    homebase smartplant app

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Brittain

    Choose a hanging terrarium for a corner feature or create your own free-standing centrepiece. Shallow bowls or glass hurricane vases offer the perfect habitat for growing dry-climate houseplants, such as cacti and succulents, while moisture-loving ferns or peperomias prefer glass domes or lidded jars. Add pebbles, moss and wooden branches for a finishing touch.

    14. Choose plants that you can care for

    Image credit: Dobbies

    While greenery has been proven to boost your mood, there’s nothing like a wilting plant to make your day feel a little dreary. With that in mind, be realistic about your green-fingered abilities when considering house plant ideas.

    Monsteras (cheese plants), spiky aloe vera, classic spider plants and lush aglaonemas are options anyone can grow. Or look for the EasyCare plants range at Dobbies.

    15. Make the most of unused corners

    white living room with tall houseplant in corner by sofa

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Use every nook and cranny to your advantage to welcome plants into your home, even in the most compact of spaces you’ll have corners that lends themselves brilliant to housing a plant pot. Elevate the pots so you can see the decorative element, while benefiting from the leaves reaching higher towards the ceiling to fill the free space. Corners behind sofas is the perfect unused spot for a pot or two.

    16. Make a vertical display

    blue wall with rails of hanging plants

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore

    Use rails stacked one above the other in a kitchen to hand and store fresh herbs. The vertical storage frees up valuable worktop space and also creates a pleasing visual display that acts as an alternative kitchen wall decor idea.

    Happy indoor gardening!

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