Bring the Outside In: How To Add Houseplants to Your Interior Design

Feeling the quarantine blues? You can bring the outside into your interior design with creative and colorful plants. Today on the blog we explore ways to bring a little life to your space 

Houseplants are known to clean the air, boost your mood and inspire creativity, adding lively energy to your space. Plus, a healthy, colorful plant is simply just beautiful.

The best part about houseplants is that they can be incorporated into any décor, color scheme, and room layout. Whether you want to add some vibrance to a small studio in the city or turn your suburban sunroom into a jungle, anything is possible. Follow these tips to transform a dull space into an oasis where you’ll love spending time.

Raven ZZ Plant

Raven ZZ Plant. Photo by Erika Giovanetti

Get houseplants in an assortment of sizes

There’s no question that petite succulents are cute — just log onto Instagram and they’ll flood your feed. But, you can’t fill up a home with just dozens of small houseplants. Determine the size of the space you need to fill, and consider these popular plants:

  • Small plants: Cacti, succulents, air plants, baby tears, aloe vera, nerve plants
  • Medium plants: Pothos, ZZ plant, snake plant, peperomia, alocasia, orchids
  • Large plants: Fiddle leaf fig, parlor palm, monstera deliciosa, lemon tree, ficus

Given enough time and care, of course, those small succulents — particularly an aloe plant — can grow into a medium or even large plant. Which can give you a good excuse to buy more pots!

Find pots that suit your décor

Burro's tail, pearl and jade pothos

Burro’s tail (left), pearl and jade pothos (right). Photo by Erika Giovanetti

For some interior designers and design lovers, choosing pots for your new houseplants is the most exciting part. You can experiment with vibrant jewel-tone colors, go for a more rustic stone pot, or stick with classic terra cotta.

Choose pots in complementary hues, like greige or something a little brighter. Alternatively, identical pots add a cohesive element to your indoor garden. Stark white pots let your houseplants’ vibrant foliage do the talking.

In addition to design, there are a few things you should consider when choosing planters:

  • Size: You don’t want a pot that’s too big or too small for your plant. Some plants actually like to be rootbound (like orchids) while others need more room to spread out.
  • Drainage: Ideally, you’ll want to buy pots with proper drainage holes. There is a trick to getting around this: Put your plant in a plastic or terra cotta pot with drainage holes, then place the draining pot inside the larger decorative pot.

Add plants to your kitchen and bathroom

A statuesque monstera plant adds life to a dull living room, but you shouldn’t stop there. Plant herbs and spices in your kitchen window for fresh seasonings year-round. Hang planters by your kitchen window for proper lighting and ease of access. Start with:


Orchids. Photo by Erika Giovanetti

  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Chives
  • Mint

You can also plant some of these herbs together in one planter. This ensures a healthy, full houseplant that you can put to good use.

When choosing plants for your bathroom, you should take a different approach. Plants that thrive in humidity, like orchids and begonias, will do well in your bathroom. If you don’t have a window in your bathroom, search for low-light plants that like humidity, such as a bird’s nest fern.

Tip: Keep toxicity in mind. Many plants are toxic to cats and dogs. To deter pets from toxic plants, put them in macrame hangers or place them in hard-to-reach places like on top of a bookshelf. 

Choose plants that can thrive in your home

Healthy, thriving houseplants add a certain liveliness to your home (Plus, they’re a great way to show off your green thumb). On the other hand, dead or dying houseplants littering your space can give off negative energy.

One of the first things to realize is that houseplants are more than just a decoration. They’re a hobby. When you first get into houseplants, you will inevitably lose a few along the way as you learn how to care for your plants.

Assess your home’s lighting, humidity, and temperature

Cactus plant

Cactus plant. Photo by Erika Giovanetti

Different plants have different lighting needs. A cactus, for instance, loves to soak up direct sunlight. A ZZ plant, on the other hand, will get scorched if it’s too close to an east-facing window.

Before you start going crazy buying all the houseplants you see on Reddit (like I do), determine the kind of lighting you have at home.

Find the space you want to fill with a houseplant. Monitor how much light it gets throughout the day. Take into account the direction the windows face: North-facing windows never get direct sunlight, while east- and west-facing windows get ideal sunlight for many plants.

Tip: Place an object in the spot where you want to put the plant. If the object casts a defined shadow, it’s a sign of direct light. The darker the shadow, the more direct the light.

Research plants that align with your home’s conditions

Once you’ve determined your lighting situation, choose houseplants that will be happy in your home. Here are a few examples of popular houseplants, categorized by lighting needs:

  • Low-light plants: ZZ plants, orchids, snake plants, nerve plants, peace lilies
  • Medium-light plants: Prayer plants, hoya plants, begonias, peperomia, polka dot plants
  • High-light plants: Aloe vera, succulents, pothos, palm plants, cacti, juniper plants

If you’re just starting out and want a plant that does well in all lighting conditions, try a pothos plant. These will survive in low light but will really thrive in medium or high light. Pothos plants have cascading vines and multi-color foliage, bringing a lively vibe to any space.

Vishion’s Favorite Designs Using Plants


Vishion is a mobile application that helps interior designers find decor, art, furniture, tile, and fabric by a specific color. We’ve feature Sherwin-Williams and Pantone colors to help design lovers search using their favorite hues.

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