Natural Elements – Indoor Greenery in Design

Natural Elements – Indoor Greenery in Design

I love greenery indoors. In fact, I’m a little obsessed with greenery indoors – trees mainly. But pretty ones are hard to find, & even harder to keep alive.


photo: Studio McGee

My favorite, & the one that has been all the design rage the last couple of years is the Fiddle Leaf Fig. The big leaves are so pretty, & I love the ones that are kind of a topiary shape. They aren’t hard to keep alive, under the right conditions: they need lots of natural light, & they don’t tolerate overwatering. Currently I have 2 at the shop that almost died in my house – because where I keep placing them does NOT have the right amount of natural light. So once they are at death’s door, I bring them to the shop where they get great natural light, & they thrive. I have one more at home that is now outside while pray I can bring it back to life before it’s too late. Not looking good.


photo: crushculdesac.tumblr

photo: Thou Swell

What I did buy that is working for me at home right now is an indoor olive tree. Apparently they needs lots of light, too. I have it in the spot my Fig hated, but I’ve been taking it outside once a week or so to get a day of sunshine & it has lots of new growth. I looked online trying to find a tall, topiary shaped one for a long time, then I just stumbled on one at Lowe’s this spring. It’s not as tall as these, & more spindly looking right now, but I love it. It makes me feel like I’m on my own little Italian vacation right at home. OK, not really.


photo: Ralph Lauren Home

I have really always loved how Ralph Lauren Home has used palm trees in so many of their shop vignettes & photo shoots, & not necessarily always in Colonial or tropical decor. I haven’t ever used one, but I definitely would. Especially seeing this photo – I’m inspired. Love it in the big blue & white pot. And it’s not a focus in the room; it just adds texture & warmth.


photo: Ralph Lauren Home

I love how RL has used this palm – it doesn’t even have it’s own space, really. Just behind a chair in front of a built-in. Yet it adds so much!


photo: Adam Robinson Design

This giant Bird of Paradise has a tropical feel to it for sure, but like the palm, I feel like it lends itself to many different design aesthetics. The pot it’s shown in here is gorgeous, so that definitely makes a difference – keeps it tasteful, not 70’s Bohemian.


photo: Habitually Chic

Really, what doesn’t look beautiful in a blue & white pot? I would use this, absolutely. I haven’t looked into whether Bird of Paradise is easy to keep alive, but I assume most tropicals are? Love this.


photo: Ralph Lauren Home

Obviously this is a succulent – maybe an aloe plant? It’s not tall, but the pot is gorg & it’s so big & full that it looks significant in the space, which is key. I’m not sure it would work in as many looks as some of the other trees, but it adds an architectural look and feel. Pretty. And you could use it in a big pot on tabletop, too.


photo: Flora

I have had this picture saved forEVER because I love this tree so much. But I have no idea what it is. Anybody? I should probably take it to Northhaven Gardens or Nicholson Hardie & ask – no doubt they could tell me. I WANT it. In this peely pot.


photo: Williams Sonoma Home

I love this big willowly-looking one! I wonder if it was just a smaller outdoor willow that grew to this height? Very cool look.


photo: Coastal Style

I think this is a Philodendron – not an upscale plant at all, but isn’t it great-looking in this blue urn on top of the sideboard? I am a fan of going oversized as opposed to something looking “dinky” any time (lampshades are a perfect example). This look is super easy to achieve & makes a gorgeous style statement!


photo: Studio McGee

And if you can’t find – or don’t want to maintain – a tree or big plant indoors, I love how pretty simple branches with greenery look in a vase. They last a surprisingly long time. The key is finding the right branches that are tall enough to achieve the design look you are going for.


photo: HomeBunch

I use Monstera leaves in a vase quite often. I love the look, & sometimes they last for over a month or even 2. They are big leaves & typically have some height, & their shape gives an architectural statement. So you achieve the warmth of a plant but just with fronds.


photo: vintage luxe

photo: bungalow blue interiors

Philodendron leaves make a pretty grouping in a vase as well, & probably last just as long as Monstera. A nice, low-maintenance alternative to a flower arrangement!


What are your favorite indoor plants to decorate with?

















Libby Haynes