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5 reasons why you need to interior decorate with plants

by Carlene Duffy
Posted: August 10, 2016

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I have an uncanny knack of killing indoor plants no matter how carefully I follow the water and sunlight requirements so helpfully provided by the picket tag that comes with the plant, writes Interior Design and Renovation TV Personality, Carlene Duffy.

The true number of plants I have killed is evident by the number of now empty pot plants clogging up my garage. I refuse to get rid of the planters because I am holding on to hope of replacing those dead plants with flourishing new plants that I will most certainly keep alive.

The real shame in my plant carnage is not the large amount of money I’ve wasted on plants but the fact that I really, really love houseplants (tall or short, cascading hanging plants, lined up along a window sill, grouped in plant stands, in pots, and in baskets). So when they start to look sad, I get sad.

The ones I have managed to nurture work for me and my home in so many ways and here is why.

1.    Plants fill dead space 

Aerial view of ways to interior decorate with plants in living room

I hate dead space in a home. I’m the antithesis of a minimalist (I’m not cool enough). 

I love layers and a filled home, so when I see empty corners in homes (any home) I am compelled to fill them. The easiest, most obvious and most effective way to do that is with a plant.

2.    Plants can fill out walls 

Plants fill out empty walls

When you are faced with a large wall to fill, it’s important to fill it out with furniture that is proportionate to the scale of the wall so that whatever pieces you have sitting on or in front of the wall won’t be dwarfed by the wall. 

I recently encountered this issue whilst consulting on an interiors project. My client had large walls to fill but fell in love with a bench seat that wasn’t long enough for the space.

So that they could have the piece of furniture they wanted we plumped the wall out by positioning a large plant next to the seat. Problem no more.

3.    Plants help soften angular lines

Living room and television softened with plants

I often use plants at the end of side boards, bench seats, and TV units to help soften the hard edges of these flat surfaced pieces of furniture. There is a softness in plants that helps warm a home by finishing off those angular edges. 

I particularly encourage plants in bathrooms, which can be otherwise cold, hard-surfaced spaces.

4.    Plants add life

Plants add life

Yes, you might argue that this is obvious, because plants are in fact alive, but they are also an indication of a home that is lived-in and loved. 

Greenery also adds life to a space in the figurative sense, which I suspect has something to with the fact that nature tends to invigorate us. 

5.    Plants add colour without competing with other colours

Beautiful lights and plants working in harmony with colours

It doesn’t matter what colour scheme you have going on, plants will always work with it and although being generally green, they don’t ever conflict with other colours. 

If you are scared of bold colours and lean towards a more neutral colour palette, greenery is an ideal means of injecting some colour into your interior that you have absolutely no reason to be afraid of.

Inspired by Carlene Duffy's creativity, passion and design flair? Read more of her Interior Design articles on our Creative Careers Blog.

Enrol in Diploma of Interior Design to get started 


Carlene Duffy

Carlene is best known as one half of Michael and Carlene Duffy; the down to earth Gold Coast couple who shared their highs and lows with Australia on 9’s series The Block ‘Glasshouse’. The dynamic duo also featured in Renovation Rumble, and have together established their business ‘Cedar & Suede’.

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