Living Your Best Leaf
Pro tips for making your greenery tops
Photos by Charlie Neuenschwander
Plants are too often an afterthought in a home’s interior, or a reflection of the homeowner’s personal affection for a particular look or species. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, there is something to be said for purposefully choosing plants so that they complement the space itself, as well as your other design choices.
Oklahoma City metro denizens can rely on Calvert’s Plant Interiors — a company that offers multiple services for a variety of indoor plant needs, both commercial and residential — for expert leadership when consideration for the plant element of design is taken to the next level.
A trip to the nursery or local plant place for the do-it-yourselfer can be either confusing or fun, depending on your appetite for researching plants and deciding what will look good where. However, even if you’re knowledgeable about types and what you like, it can benefit your project to enlist the help of experts.
Calvert’s absolutely qualifies for that role. For more than 30 years, they’ve provided guidance on interior, and exterior, plant choice, installation and care … and they have over 10,000 square feet of showroom and greenhouse space. Lack of plant variety or volume are not issues their customers have to face.
If you’re thinking about the green side of your upcoming decor for new digs, adding to what you already have in place, or giving the interior of your home a total plant life makeover, here are a few principles that could guide your plan:
Go Big. Trees are a dramatic addition to indoor spaces. While they aren’t for everyone, if you have a recurring dream about a cute citrus tree by your living room window, or a dramatic cactus standing guard in the kitchen … you may want to take the plunge.
Calvert’s says: Take a good look at the space available to you. Trees – and hearty green plants that grow to the size of what we might call “trees” — need room. They also need light, and some species need it in abundance; if you have a great south-facing window, but live in an older neighborhood with lots of shade trees, your plants’ sun may be obscured. Making sure that trees can be moved is a good precaution for success.
If your only vision when you hear “indoor tree” is the scraggly ficus, famously fickle and frequently dropping leaves when stressed, have no fear; several varieties of ficus exist, as well as palms and cacti that can get immense. Calvert’s can offer container counseling — as well as the containers themselves – and even maintenance services, if you want someone to do all of the thinking and legwork for you.
Calvert’s suggests: varieties of Dracena; (top left) Ficus benjamina, Kentia palm.
Go Bold. You can make a serious statement with unusual plants — thinking outside the box can bring interest to your living decor and provide an additional artistic touch.
Calvert’s says: Succulents and cacti can add textural variety, and a number of plants can provide a splash of color, to either complement decor or act as a visual piece all their own.
Calvert’s suggests: Bromeliads, cacti — Euphorbia tirucalli or “Sticks on Fire (below left),” particularly — or for a more delicate exoticism, orchids.
Go Up. If your space is limited, you can still make waves with your plant decor, by taking it vertical.
Green walls are integrated plant housings that cover a wall, with the result being both a practical and aesthetic marvel; it brings a home or office design scheme to life in a way that traditional container-based greenery cannot, and can also provide some sound diffusion in certain cases. Small, street-adjacent domiciles that are almost perfect could get a little closer to paradise, with a vertical plant installation that can both beautify the surroundings … and muffle car noise.
Calvert’s says: For a high-level project such as a green wall, consult with an expert.
Calvert’s suggests: If paying for or managing routine maintenance for something such as a green wall seems like too much, but you love the idea, green walls can also be made from replica plants. (Yes, Calvert’s will advise you on artificial plant choices, as well.)
The options for the green side of your home’s decor may not be limitless, but the limits can certainly be challenged. If you’re trying to give your interior a little more life, some creative and professional direction can help your home’s plants serve their highest purpose.