Decorating With Greenery: Real, Artificial + Inspired

You’ve probably noticed a resurgence of house plants in the world of interior décor. While the adage, what goes around comes around, is certainly true, this particular trend is no coincidence.

The societal shift to focus on health and wellness has resulted in a return to plants in our home.

Our tastes have been influenced by the aesthetics of yoga studios, holistic health centres, and the wellness spaces that have become more common in our lives. I’m no longer surprised when a client asks to incorporate greenery into a new room design.

Wellness benefits of greenery indoors

Scientific studies have linked positive psychological and physiological benefits to including plant-life in your interior design.

Back in 1984, Dr. Roger S. Ulrich, published a study that scientifically proved the validity of his observation that patients who had a view of the tree outside their hospital room had a better recovery from surgery than those who didn’t have access to a view of nature.

Other similar studies also support his findings and have further demonstrated the benefits to having potted plants in a patient’s room after surgery.  Another study found that workers in spaces with green or other natural features benefited from overall improved well-being, productivity, and greater creativity.

Do artificial plants give you wellness benefits?

It may come as a surprise that you do not need living plant-life to achieve these psychological or physiological benefits, but it’s true. It is not about actual contact with real nature, but rather the representation of the natural world.

You can achieve some of the same health and mental benefits by incorporating greenery in imagery, plant-theme furniture and accessories, and other depictions of greenery.

green wallpaper

leaf wallpaper

Take artwork for example. You can take a classic approach with landscapes, but there are also beautiful paintings, drawings, photography, wall décor, sculptures, wallpaper, and more. You can even incorporate depictions of natural elements such as leaves and flowers.


Can artificial plants be sophisticated?

The quality of artificial plants is so good that in the trade we referred to them as life-like plants.

When sourced appropriately, most people can’t tell the difference between authentic plant-life and artificial, life-like plants. They look real — and provide similar benefits — but come without the lifelong maintenance!

Life-like plants open a great deal of luxury design opportunities because you can use greenery in the absence of ideal conditions to sustain plant-life. I especially enjoy mixing and matching different plants for their colour, texture, and shape without having to worry whether they have compatible environmental needs.

Life-like pants allow you to add greenery to dark spaces with little or no natural life. In fact, we encountered similar circumstances with a client’s commercial space, in which we were able to hang a vertical planter. It brought both greenery and art to the space.

Artificial plants are an ideal way for busy professionals, families with young children, and those who weren’t blessed with a green thumb to have plants in the home

Decorating with plant life: real or artificial

Incorporating plants (real or artificial) into our living spaces has taken different forms. The incredible variety of options — from orchids to money trees to succulents — means any space can incorporate beautiful greenery.

Of course, our aesthetics have changed over the decades, and so has our presentation of greenery. No longer are window ledges crammed with potted plants in saucers or multi-tiered plant cards hugging the corners of rooms.

Today’s use of decorating with plants is more sophisticated. As professional decorators, we apply the elements and principles of design theory — colour, shapes, textures, scale, proportion and balance — to incorporate the endless varieties of plants species and artificial options into any kind of space. This gives us a lot to play with.

I especially enjoy incorporating potted plants on pedestals, because they really take the spotlight. If you get restless with your décor or like to change your colour palette with the season, you can easily change out your vase. For the same reason, sofa tables are also a great space for plants.


Family room with landscape painting and artificial greenery.

Sometimes the room you’re remodeling doesn’t have a natural focal point, such as a large bay window or centralized fireplace. In these cases, greenery is a lovely way to create a focal point that feels natural.

Unique ways to incorporate plants

As mentioned earlier, we were able to get creative with greenery in a recent project for a client’s commercial space. While there was natural light from the front entrance of the building, we were primarily working with artificial commercial lighting.

This particular client was looking to warm up his office space, and agreed that greenery was an ideal way to make the space feel more welcoming.  We wanted to add warmth without congesting the office space, which also needs to be functional. In the final design, we suspended glass-potted succulents to add some intrigue to a meeting room, and installed vertical planters with artificial plants. The result was an inviting, lively space that encouraged office productivity.

For a residential space, like your home, a living wall is a wonderful way to add warmth. These designs can be adapted to the scale of the space, and are a great way to play with shape, colour, size, and texture. Like the installation for our commercial client, a living wall adds warmth, life, and a bit of art to your décor.

As you can see there are endless ways to incorporate living plants and life-like artificial plants into a space. A decorator can help you find the right decorating approach to suit your preferred style. Contact us for a design consultation.

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