Every room in the home calls for a bit of life. Some of my fondest memories are of rolling back the rug in the living room to dance to big band music with family and friends after a holiday dinner and witnessing the blowing out of candles on a birthday cake. On a quieter note, I’ve always loved reading a book in front of the fireplace in the company of my healthy, yellow Labradors. My dog Bertha was sure to lay her head in my lap while her mother, Daisy – named after my favorite flower – would be fast asleep at my feet.

Study with plants added

Floor plants were added to the room to avoid blocking important light and warmth.

Photo Credit: Helen Norman

After adding plant

A spider plant with equally interesting shape and spiky foliage becomes a welcome and living object of art.

Photo Credit: Helen Norman

Not everyone can enjoy these pleasures. A small apartment, a dorm room, retirement home living, or a demanding job often prevents the joys of family gatherings or owning a pet. But I contend everyone still has the place, the time, and the longing for a living thing in their home.

The “right” plant can introduce life to any room, instantly improving the look and feel of a home. Plants do this in many ways. Some become the focal point of a room. Others enhance what’s already there, lending seamlessly with the décor. Some shout “look at me” with their attractive shape and color. Some merely whisper their greeting and quietly offer comfort as you go about your business.

The Purpose of Plants

Make Connections: A plant placed in just the right location can seamlessly connect the inside of a home with the outside, as if there were no wall at all. The right container can help with this as well. A well-planned container can connect different plants within a room for a more unified look, or continue a decorative theme already defined by furniture and accessories.

Add Privacy: Placed properly, a plant can create privacy in a way that is still welcoming and attractive. While obscuring a window view, a plant allows sunlight to enter, offering an alternative to window coverings.

Create A Mood: With its shape or foliage, a plant can introduce a bit of needed drama or softness to a room, changing the mood. Its mere presence in a space can encourage a more relaxed and pensive feeling or add needed energy. Plant choices for low-light are available to further enhance an already softly-lit room.

Showcase An Attractive View: Framing a photo or painting places emphasis on the subject. Likewise, with a beautiful view, framing each side with plantings guides the eye in the desired direction.

Block An Unattractive View: Most people have them somewhere in their home, and a well-chosen plant will take attention away from the background. We use plants outside to hide air-conditioners, trashcans, and neighbors – why not use them inside as well?

Create Balance: The size and shape of plants can be utilized to create balance in a room – symmetrically or asymmetrically, it’s a matter of taste. Use plants to offset small or large accessories as needed.

Protect Interiors: Although not as protective as a closed shade, a dense leaf covering will help prevent sun damages to fabrics, floor coverings and important keepsakes.