HOW TO | Decorate with plants to create your own indoor sanctuary

May 24, 2020

HOW TO | Decorate with plants to create your own indoor sanctuary

Breathe life into your home with plants

Decorating with plants is a simple and affordable way to add a strong dose of heart to your space. This timeless approach is also a great way to connect with nature - bringing the outdoors in.

From large and hardy plants like the much-loved Monstera Deliciosa to small and delicate ferns and orchids, your plant choice can either calm, captivate or invigorate. Pairing your selections with natural baskets and an assortment of well-chosen pots will help to create a decorative feature of these elements in your home. Over time, it can be incredibly rewarding to see them flourish under your care.

So whether you are looking to liven up an empty corner or want to further embellish your favourite nook, here’s a few plant selection, styling and care tips to help you develop your own indoor sanctuary.


Decorating with plants is good for your physical and mental health

Adding greenery to your home is good for body and spirit. Cultivating plants inside your home is akin to building your very own healthy microclimate because plants help to filter toxins in the air, replenish oxygen and change the overall atmosphere. Nature also makes us feel good. Countless studies have shown that productivity, concentration, creativity and general well-being are all improved when we have a more regular connection with our natural world.

But one of the best bits about cultivating a natural oasis is the richness this can bring to our daily routine. Just as caring for a pet or loved one returns these intentions in kind, the small steps required to tend to plants with a quick water or prune can be a relaxing and enjoyable part of each day.


Why plants work so well as decoration in our homes

Indoor plants help to blur the boundaries between hard surfaces - making things feel more grounded and harmonious. A well-placed plant can provide a focal point in a room or hallway, particularly when placed in an obvious sightline such as by a window or at the end of a hallway. Small plants can warm cool spaces, changing the vibe in bathrooms, kitchen counters and shelving to make things feel a little more balanced.

The plant kingdom offers an abundance of shapes, colours and textures to choose from, with each one expressing a unique personality. Your plant choices can easily change the tone of your space; some selections will add a bold and dramatic touch, whereas others can soften. You can work with your existing colour scheme to solidify what is already in place or mix it up a little in much that same way that we use cushions, artwork and textiles to tie colour schemes together and make things feel more cohesive.


How to decorate with plants

If you would like to hero one plant, consider the size of the space and select both basket and plant accordingly. Tall and narrow baskets like the Jute Laundry Basket in Natural or Charcoal and the Boda Basket in Natural, Charcoal and Earth are a fantastic way to feature a large palm or Fiddle-leaf Fig.

Smaller plants can be grouped in baskets and complementary pots. The Woven Pot Duo and Trio of Tall Grass Baskets have been created specifically for this purpose. Used in tandem the Jute Bowl and Minikin Bowl work equally well. Or you might like to stagger pots on the floor to work with those on a nearby sideboard. The Short Round Basket is a great medium-sized pot to style floor plants. Keep things visually appealing by experimenting with combinations of texture, colour and form. And play with heights to create interest and overall harmony.

Mix things up by combining plants and baskets with other natural forms, such as branches and raw, decorative items. Creating a vignette of small plants and mementos is a good way to cultivate meaningful arrangements in your home - this approach works particularly well on sideboards, coffee tables and bookshelves. Think about incorporating artwork, photographs and natural sculptural items. And mix it up at the start of a new season or whenever you feel like things need a little refresh.

If propagating plants is part of your thing, hide glass jars in one of three sizes available in the Individual Jute Baskets whilst bringing things to life. For personality, layer plants with bold furniture and textiles. And don’t forget trailing plants - these work particularly well on bookshelves, bathroom windows and the top of kitchen cupboards or stairwells.



How to use woven baskets to style your plants

Woven baskets are a great way to display your favourite potted plant and create a focal point. They help to dial up the texture and add layers of natural, neutral elements.

Because The Dharma Door baskets are crafted from natural fibres, it is important to protect them from harsh sunlight and damp to maintain them in their original condition for years to come. Place a tray in the bottom of the basket that is larger than the plant pot to catch any excess water. Ideally the sides of the tray should be at least 1cm high. This will also allow you to use a simple pot with a hole at the bottom, providing better drainage for healthier plants.

To give your plants a deep water every now and then remove them from the basket if possible and take them outside or to the laundry sink or bathtub. Allow them to drain thoroughly before placing them back into the basket. This will also give you an opportunity to shake out any dust or debris that may have found it’s way into your basket. You could even give it a quick vacuum at this time.


How to care for your indoor plants

Start by choosing the right plant for you: observe what types of plants you naturally gravitate towards and then consider the level of maintenance and care required. Rainforest plants work particularly well indoors as they are used to growing on a forest floor and have evolved to be quite adaptable. The amount of light and warmth each room receives should also be considered - so take the time to observe how this changes throughout the day and across seasons throughout your home before making your purchase.

Most plants will prefer one of three environments: full sun, dappled light or shade. So one of the best things you can do is place a plant where it can receive its natural yearnings. By grouping plants that have similar needs in terms of light and water, it is easier to take care of them all at once. Striking a good watering balance will also help foliage to flourish. While drying leaves and dropping leaves show us plants are not receiving enough water, it is easy to go the other way and give your plants a little bit too much attention in this regard. It is important to let your plants dry out between watering - sink your finger 3cm into the soil to test this out.

Where outdoor plants will sometimes receive a natural clean in wind and rain, indoor greenery can accumulate dust, so wiping leaves down with a damp cloth occasionally will help them to thrive. Keep in mind that they love a good long drink sometimes too. So if you can, place them outside in the rain once in a while or even place them under the shower from time to time, allowing them to completely drain before returning them back to their decorative basket or pot.


Some recommendations to get you started

Throughout our styling days we've come across a few plant and basket combinations that are a match made in heaven. We've also loved using the following pairings in our own home spaces:

  • For a large, statement-making piece, pair a Monstera Deliciosa, or Fiddle-leaf Fig with the Jute Laundry Basket. These hardy and forgiving plants like a bright position in your home and should be with you for many years to come.
  • For a medium-size floor plant by a door, sideboard or full-length window, a Peace Lily or Rubber Plant works well in the Short Round Basket - Natural. Or pair a Zanzibar Gem or Palm in the Large Woven Pot.
  • Small ferns, succulents and trailing plants will love living in the Jute Bowl or a Small Jute Basket - Devil's Ivy, Hoya and Bird's Nest Ferns are some of our favourite plants for this pairing.


To view all The Dharma Door's indoor plant baskets, head to our specially curated collection page HERE

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