Looking to give your living room a breath of fresh air? Incorporating plants into your space is an easy and beautiful way to energize the atmosphere instantly. With these tips, you can turn any ordinary living room into a cozy retreat featuring natural elements that catch the eye and brighten up any corner.
Here are our top ideas for creating an inviting living room with plants!
The Rule of Three
This is the number 1 rule of plant arrangement. Use odd numbers to create a balanced display, whether three tall plants or five small ones. Arrange them in a way that draws the eyes around the room and creates visual interest. A sense of harmony will be created, making the room come alive (Frake, 2015).
One large plant can make an impact, but multiple plants create a more dynamic and interesting look. Grouping plants also increase the moisture level in the room, creating a healthier environment.
When grouping plants, consider the following:
- Put all of your sun-loving plants together and all of the low-light ones together. This will make it easier to care for them and give them the environment they need to thrive.
- Plants that need similar caring requirements should also be grouped.
Height and Proportion
Consider the height and proportion of each one. Position tall plants at the back so they don’t overshadow the smaller ones.
Large plants can be used to create a bold focal point in your living room. They can make statement pieces that anchor the room. Place a large plant, such as a palm or banana tree, in the far corner of the room to draw attention and act as a focal point.
Medium-sized plants are not big enough to use as a focal point yet too large for the shelf. Use plant stands to give them extra height and create visual interest as you move around the space. End tables are also great spots for these plants.
Smaller plants make great accents and can be placed on tables, shelves, or hung from the ceiling. For example, ivy vines hung from the ceiling can dramatically affect how the room looks and feels. Make sure to cluster the plants together and hang them at different heights.
Combining different shades of plants will add depth to your living room. The combination of shapes and textures will soften how the room looks (Lopez & Diaz, 2022). Different foliage can create a dramatic effect. Consider how the plant’s stems and flowers can create interesting contrasts that draw the eye.
Incorporate succulents, ferns, and trailing plants to add a variation of color and texture to your living room. Trailing plants, like the pothos or philodendron, add a touch of softness and texture to the room. Hang them from shelves, place them on top of cabinets, or even wrap them around furniture.
In rooms with a minimalist style, plants with strong shapes and textures can be a great way to add visual interest. Boho-styled rooms benefit from plants with simple foliage.
Also, don’t forget that flowers can be used as a design element. Place a few single-stem flowers in hanging planters or vases to add a pop of color and scent to your space.
Plants come in a wide array of colors, from blues and purples to shades of green and pink. Choose plants with a wide range of colors to create contrast and bring life to the room.
When choosing plants, consider how the colors will look together. Choose plants with different shades of green and contrasting flowers for added interest. Complementary color pairs, such as yellow and purple or orange and blue, can accentuate each other. Check your color wheel for other pairings that work well together.
The pot color you choose can also affect how your plants look. Choose muted colors, such as white or gray, to keep the focus on the plants. Or, go bold with vivid colors to make a statement.
Use the rule of thirds when choosing pots and planters. Pick one color for the majority of your plants, one accent color, and another neutral tone. Use this combination to create a visual story in your living room.
When choosing plants, consider how the placement will draw the eye through the space. Using the direction of plants' foliage, you can create attention to certain areas in your room! It's easiest to utilize plants with upward or downward-pointing leaves to create such an effect.
For example, the snake plant is great for drawing attention to wall art. Trailing plants like philodendrons are great for highlighting furniture, while trailing plants with small leaves, like the Maidenhair fern, can be used to highlight a bookshelf.
Don't forget how important lighting is when it comes to plants! Choose plants that prefer low light, such as sansevieria and ZZ plants, and place them in darker areas of the room. In brighter spots, use plants that thrive in light - ideally near windows facing east. Be sure to check how much water and sunlight each plant needs before deciding where to place it.
Studies have shown that using plants as décor can lower stress levels and improve air quality. So, how you arrange plants in your living room is more than just a design decision - it can have a positive effect on how you feel in your home. Get creative with how you display and arrange plants, and don’t be afraid to play around with texture, colors, and leading lines. Have fun!
Frake, D. (2015, April 13). The Rule of Threes: Why You Should Know It, Love It, & Use It. Apartment Therapy. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from
Martín López, L., Fernández Díaz, A.B. (2022). Interior Environment Design Method for Positive Mental Health in Lockdown Times: Color, Textures, Objects. Furniture and Equipment. Designs, 6(35). https://doi.org/10.3390/designs6020035
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