Add Color to Your Home with Plants Add Color to Your Home with Plants

Although I appreciate colorful homes when I see them in magazines, every single wall in my own house is painted some variation of stark white. Bold colors, in my mind at least, mean commitment. Though a blue, red, or deep purple accent wall may look beautiful for a time, eventually getting that color off of the walls when looking for a change can be a chore. As the new year continues to get underway, we are seeing what will and won’t be popular in the ways of home design in 2016, and one idea in particular offers a lovely way to bring color to a home without the commitment.

Playing off of the increasingly popular natural décor trends, many experts are using plants and natural elements to bring color to a home. This article will explain the best ways to accomplish this concept, as well as offer a buying guide for plants.

Start Small

My recollections of my grandparents' house include plastic plants everywhere. Although this was a trend in the 1970s, when I asked my grandmother about it she justified their presence by a lack of a green thumb. When adding color with plants to a home, the possibility of killing your efforts is a point of great concern. Therefore, here are some wonderful starting points to decorate with at a low cost.

Flowers

A bouquet of pink tulips in a white vase against white curtains.

Cut flowers are available in most supermarkets these days at a relatively low cost. They come in a variety of colors and sizes and when handled with care, can last for a week or even longer. This makes them ideal for beginners, and despite their beauty they are meant to be disposable. When they do die you’re out far less money than some other natural ideas to be mentioned later.

Succulents

A grouping of red and green succulents in a pot.

Yes, when I first heard this word I thought it meant some kind of octopus as well, but it is actually an umbrella term for fat, leafy plants that retain water, including those in the cacti family. For someone new to indoor plants looking to add a touch of color to a space, these are ideal because they are very difficult to kill. They require little water, to the point where they can actually die from too much moisture in the soil. Succulents make great plants to display because of the variety of their color and design. Green, pale pink, yellow, and even purples and reds are all available.

More Advanced Plants

Nerve Plant

A houseplant in a tera cotta pot.

A nerve plant (Fittonia) is a tropical houseplant originating in South America. They are most noted for their deep green leaves with patterns of bold color including pink, white, and red. They require a bit more care and TLC than some plants (including a steady temperature of about 70 degrees). Dry air or too much direct sunlight makes its leaves shrivel and fall off.

Ti Plant

A pink houseplant.

The potted ti plant (Cordyline fruticosa) is a domesticated version of a native Hawaiian plant also known as a cabbage palm, good luck plant, or palm lily. What makes it so ideal for a colorless room is its vibrant pink leaves. Though easier to care for than the nerve plant, the ti dislikes temperatures below 50 degrees, and does best in medium to bright light.

Purple Passion

Purple flower against a leafy green background.

This beautiful plant (Gynura aurantiaca) is an unusual one. Purple hairs sprouting from its limbs give the plant a lovely purple sheen despite its green leaves. Most sources claim that when young, the plant obediently rests in its pot. Yet with age it tends to expand its beauty beyond its container with vine-like growths. Of the three plants mentioned here necessitating advanced care, this option is arguably the easiest to handle as it tolerates a number of temperatures and inconsistencies. With its versatility (the plant does well placed on tables, sills, or even hung from the ceiling), this natural option is a great one if your room needs a touch of purple.

Tips and Tricks

Go for contrasting colors. I once read that decorating a home is like putting together an outfit. Just as you wouldn’t wear a combination of varying shades of blue, you similarly wouldn’t put a blue plant where there is already a blue carpet, couch, and drapes. To add variety, combine complementary colors.

Use plants to fill space. As plants come in all shapes and sizes, you'll be able to find something to fill an awkward spot or space as needed. Snake plants, for instance, tend to grow vertically with long bright green leaves. On the contrary, an aluminum plant grows out rather than up, so it's perfect for a wider space.

Think out of the box. If the plant itself doesn’t give off the amount of color needed for an otherwise bare room, why not embrace a funky pot or plant holder? Some ideas are a bright orange colander, or even a floral teapot or tea cup.

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