It’s official: houseplants are good for you.
To be fair, it has been official for some time, but it’s something that often gets overlooked when furnishing a new home, so it’s worth mentioning.
So, why are houseplants so good for us? Well, let’s start with the visual aspect. Have you ever entered a home and felt that something was missing, but couldn’t quite put your finger on it? Despite it being beautiful, it seemed just a little lifeless and sterile and you couldn’t quite figure out why? Well, chances are that there were no plants in the house.
Plants mean life, they mean nature and these are elements that should be present in any home. Ask yourself a simple question: where would you rather be, a forest or a concrete jungle? Which one will make you feel happier and calmer? If the answer is ‘concrete jungle’ then stop reading right here. However, if your answer is ‘forest’, then you’ll understand how important plants are to a home.
Plants help to make us feel relaxed and they affect our emotional wellbeing more than we might think at first. Did you know that having houseplants can reduce negative emotions like anxiety, stress and anger? If you’re not convinced, then just have a little think: how many gardeners or plant lovers with anger management issues do you know? Not that many, right?
Feast for the eyes
Apart from turning you all mellow, there is of course also the aspect that plants simply look beautiful. There’s something about a living room (or bedroom, kitchen, bathroom for that matter) with even just one single, oversized plant that is very welcoming and warm. People are naturally more attracted to rooms with plants, which is down to the room feeling like it’s been taken care of as well as giving the impression of being more upmarket.
Whether your home style is more minimalist, boho or Hollywood Regency, plants will always elevate the look that little bit further. A great example is the bathroom; by adding plants, it will immediately gain a little of that relaxing and upmarket spa feel. So, whether you’re trying to sell your home and are looking to make it look more expensive or you want to feel like your home is an oasis of calm for yourself, adding a few plants is always a great idea.
So, an emotionally balanced and wealthy looking home are great things, but there’s yet another way in which plants benefit your home: they’re good for your physical and environmental health. We often live in homes with double glazing, have insulated walls and ceilings to minimise the loss of energy, spend a lot of time at the computer and unfortunately often use cleaning products which are anything but environmentally friendly.
Plants have the ability to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which means that you’ll literally be breathing in healthier air in a home with lots of plants whilst reducing your carbon footprint. Higher oxygen levels do in return help you to concentrate and boost productivity, so if you’re working from home and struggling with some of your tasks, then adding some greens might well be of benefit to you.
Choosing your favourite
Now that we know that plants add a wealth of benefits to your home, how do you go about choosing the right ones for you? Part of it will be down to personal taste, of course. As with everything in our homes, plants should ideally integrate beautifully in our décor and fit in with our aesthetics.
There are the classics like the Split Leaf Philodendron which can grow to an impressive size, but doesn’t like to be moved often, so if this one is to your taste, make sure you choose its place wisely and leave it there. A huge Fiddle Fig Leaf tree is very ‘now’ and looks stunning in pretty much every home, but they’re not the easiest to care for as they can be a little temperamental.
A plant called ‘Mother-in-law’s Tongue’ is great if you really don’t have a green finger: they’ll forgive any neglect and don’t require much watering - in fact, overwatering them is usually a sure way of killing them.
I hope this post will have given you some inspiration and – if you needed one – the best excuse to go out and buy some greens for your home. You won’t regret it and your home as well as your family will be happier and healthier for it.
Carole Poirot is a freelance photographer and stylist who lives and works in London. Originally from France, she has also lived in Germany and uses these influences to help inform her own style and advice. Her ideas are also published on her blog at mademoisellepoirot.com.