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Beyond house plants: using greenery in your décor

Sheila Byers Sheila Byers
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Are you planning a home, or renovating your apartment and looking for ideas to make your space more personal and original without spending too much? Why not look to nature and its trees, shrubs and flowers for the solution? Although they may seem like small details or added accessories, plants, both in the apartment, on the balcony and in the garden, may be the key to transforming the décor of your house into something truly unique and unprecedented: it all depends on how the green elements fit with the style of your house. With some help from our experts, we are going to dissect the most innovative ideas for bringing a little bit of nature in our homes, discovering that having a beautiful green corner, whether in a greenhouse or on the porch, is not only a factor that adds to the aesthetics of our four walls, but is also a valuable ally for our health. 

Winter garden

Over time, people have discovered that by surrounding ourselves with flowering plants, we make the environment healthier, as the plants cause the air to be purified and oxygenated. The results are very beneficial for our health. In addition to the fact that plants can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide and particulate matter in the air, did you know that being surrounded by greenery can reduce blood pressure, anxiety and stress? It seems incredible, but studies carried out on gardening patients admitted to hospitals do not lie: the influence on physiological and psychological level is undeniable.

Why not then create our own winter garden? Here, our plants and our flowers will flourish even at low temperatures, giving us precious gulps of oxygen within our own home, right through the sliding glass door! The expert responsible for the project in this photo, for example, has seen fit to create a small glass veranda in the bedroom, bringing an impression of green light and health.

In the courtyard

As we glance into this scene, with its hanging ivy gently decorating the wall, and the orchestrated harmony created by the potted plants and flowers, this project for a villa in Piemonte inspires more thoughts on our topic of today.

This design is especially well suited to the more discreet, to those who, in short, do not like to be seen by their nosy neighbour. Here you can sit in the garden after lunch, enjoying in peace that well-deserved cup of coffee in the fresh, open air of an inner courtyard. You can enjoy the view of geraniums, jasmine and roses in privacy, without worrying about prying eyes.

An inner terrace

Here we have another example of a lovely, green courtyard, this time in the centre of the house.  Its location ensures that light will be the undisputed star of the house, plus it gives the inhabitants the opportunity to enjoy the fine view of the plants that, with care and attention, grow day by day before the eyes.

From another view, the visual effect on the internal space of the house is also quite remarkable. For example, look at the vast difference that occurs once you climb to the second floor of the steps and the background changes from the transparent wall that overlooks the garden to a simple white facade. The contrast between the natural space and the sparse, industrial decor is quite captivating.

In the living room

But now let’s turn the focus more specifically to the plants within the real domestic space. Here for example we have the creation of a greenhouse garden… but in the living room! The idea of creating these mini-verandas in glass near the two large windows, then filling them with hanging ferns and cacti of various kinds, proved to be also a great way to diversify the space without closing it off and making it feel smaller. The use of different flooring also helps to distinguish the transition, creating two spaces, one for a garden and one for relaxing on the comfortable sofas.

A tree grows in the living room

 Living room by KJBI DECO

Loft ancien entrepot


If in your living room ceilings are very high, you can then even consider having a small tree inside! If you live in the city, perhaps overlooking a busy street, then keep in mind yet another useful property of having a tree in the living room: the effect of soundproofing. Yes, you read that right: Some tree species are able to reduce noise pollution, lowering the decibels of noise inside buildings, by absorbing, reflecting or reducing especially high frequencies.

Sound decorating

Among the species that help to protect our eardrums—and even our nerves—are, for example, many varieties of Chamaedorea (minor palms), Pothos, Ficus, the Hedera helix, and the jade plant ( Crassula ovata.)

In this villa, the walls of the living room are completely open to the outside, and holes in the ceiling allow the trees to keep growing closer to the sky. What useful and original decorative elements!

In the bathroom

As we said at the beginning, plants are very useful in stimulating ventilation. What better place than the bathroom to accommodate them? While soaking in this tub, you will have the feeling of bathing in the waters of a forest stream, surrounded by leaves, shrubs, and nature. Also, given the proximity of the taps, these plants will be easier and faster to water.

In the kitchen

Going back to the availability of high ceilings, if the usual basil and marjoram are not enough to decorate your kitchen, look at what is growing in this adventure-themed hotel in Mexico! Here, the roots of the tree lay directly in the ground, letting the exuberance of nature enter into the living spaces.

On the walls

We close this ideabook with a suggestion suitable for every area of the house, an idea that helps to decorate and bring more colour to walls that might otherwise be boring and empty. This vertical garden made of felt, a fine example of creative recycling and sustainability, will add to your hall or your bedroom that little bit extra that has been missing. Also, in winter when the heating system tends to dry out the air in the apartment, the seedlings with their production of water vapour will help to humidify the environment: a valuable aid in the prevention against seasonal ailments that affect the respiratory system. 

So, have we convinced you to bring a little more greenery in your home? 

How do you decorate with plants in your house? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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