Bring the outside in

plants in the home

My childhood memories are largely sensory.

They relate to tastes – my grandmother’s cottage pie – smells – freshly cut grass in our back garden, and touch – running my fingers through the almost alien-like petals of the garden-cut bloom chrysanthemums that found their way into a vase and onto our dining table.

Whether it was my family home, my grandmother’s house, or that of a family friend, I have memories of always being surrounded by flowers. These beautiful specimens of nature always had the ability to cheer up a dull Scottish day just by being there.

This was how my family invited nature into their homes. And, I know you’re probably reading this thinking, ‘that must have been pricey’, but it wasn’t. Supermarkets have a great range of flowers at affordable prices, making them all the more accessible. Or they were plucked from the garden, at no expense.

As I’ve grown older and started building my own home, I’ve varied my approach to bringing the outside in. In fact, when I moved house last year, my living room interior scheme was grey, yellow and green, with the latter coming specifically from plants.

Although styling had a lot to with my approach to plant life in the home, I was also conscious of the benefits of having indoor plants. I live in a city where air quality isn’t at its best. With that in mind, I sought out plants that would help to purify the air while I was at home. And so I was introduced to the spider plant.

The spider plant has long slim green leaves. These non-flowering plants are easy to grow, help get red of harmful pollutants, and look very stylish. I have one in my bathroom, one in a copper pot in my living room and another outside my front door in a hanging basket. Other plants in the ‘green leafy’ category that look the part and help to keep the air around you clean are the dracaena and the snake plant.

If you’re anything like me – by my own admission, not the most green fingered of people – I too enjoy a hardy plant; one that requires little care and attention beyond an occasional water. Succulents are excellent for this. What they lack in health benefits, they more than make up for in the looks department. I have several succulents dotted around my house, helping to bring that ‘outside in’ vibe to my home, without huge amounts of effort.

For some, the thought of having plants in the house and having to care for them is all too much. If that is the case, there are options available that help imitate the look. Maison Du Monde has an impressive range of faux flowers and ferns that are pretty convincing.

And then there are interiors that nod in that direction, like this table cloth from HM Home. Or how about this lampshade? However you’d like to do it, there’s a way for all of us to bring the outside in.