The keys to a great indoor landscape
We still have the genetics of wild animals. We see plants as our source of safety, our home, our habitat. They help reduce the chaos in our concrete jungle. But they don’t only belong outside our premises. We need them inside our houses, our offices, our wellness centres, our schools –literally everywhere.
While this sounds like a great idea, it is important to know where to place these plants and how to fuse them to get the right flow of energy especially in the commercial, retail or hospitality setting. This can only be achieved by having effective indoor landscaping techniques. And for such an effective indoor landscape to be realised, we must consider these key elements:
1. Size of your interior space
The size of your interior is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for effective indoor landscape. This goes without saying that lack of space directly translates to less placement of indoor plants. It could mean you can’t have greenery on the corridor when there's barely enough space to walk through.
However, there are different types of indoor plants that can accommodate such inadequacies. You can place a windowsill garden along your windows to give the illusion that the outdoor vegetation seamlessly transitions into your premises. You must ensure that these plants are similar to those on the outside for the best results.
On the other hand, if you have larger spaces, large plants will fit the bill. Again, you don’t want to use minuscule plants that will go unnoticed especially in wide rooms. Placing a palm plant at the corner of the room will give that corner some natural ambience. Always ensure when using live plants, natural light hits them as much as possible. That way, they won't dry off or grow unhealthily.
2. Form of indoor plants
Plants come in various shape and forms. They can be pyramidal, round, columnar or v-shaped. Not all shapes are fit for every indoor landscape. But depending on your preferences and interest, you can choose which form to use.
For instance, placing a pyramidal plant between, say, two furniture items along the wall will give the room some symmetry. Round plants tend to fit well in a space of their own where there are no other items. This makes them stand out and be visible from all directions. You can also place a round plant at the center of a room.
Be sure to experiment with different shapes of plants and see what fits perfectly in your interior. The idea here is to try and be consistent as much as possible with the outdoors.
3. Texture of plants
Indoor plants can be used to create a contrast to grab everyone’s attention. For instance, rough plants can be placed in a room with fine polishing. Say in a music room with a fine-polished piano, violin, guitar, benches and smooth walls. Place a cactus against any of these fixtures and see the magic that the simple addition could create.
On the other hand, you can recreate a contrast in other rooms too. Placing a young soft plant in a "chaotic" office room will make a difference.
Another rule of thumb is to let pots be of the same texture and be consistent throughout the room. This means to not mix up planters to avoid a disorganised or unprofessional look. Try to ensure that the colour of the pots match or complement the colour of the room.
Obviously, plants come in different colours. Now, your office walls provide the theme colour of what should be placed in that space. For example, having a sky-blue wall means that most of the things will be of matching hue. However, you're not restricted from trying out something new. It's all about creativity and balance.
When placing plants indoors, consider the colour of the pots too. You can select a shade that is dominant in the room or you can opt to choose an entirely different colour if you plan to make it the focus of your indoor landscape.
You can use artificial plants that resemble natural plants and select the colour of your choice. In fact, they're much easier to manage. They are also your best option for interiors where live plants won’t thrive.
Indoor landscaping and interior design in general are like music composition. You don’t want to be too predictable but you need a little repetition and consistency. Your indoor landscaping should envisage such repetition too. When placing your plants, consider making a pattern that is repeated all over. Along your hotel corridor or office hall, you can alternate different types of plants to achieve this.
Consistency can also be achieved by simply using pots or planters. So instead of the plants, you can either use the same planters or mix them with other styles to create a different impression. Just ensure that whatever style you choose, it should be consistent to your brand and should match well with the rest of your interior.
6. Focal point
Think of your premises as a magnifying glass. What's that area or item in the room that you'd like your guests or clients to focus their attention to? Take a contrasting plant and place it in such an area. It will capture their attention as soon as they walk into the room.
Say you have a corner with two chairs and some decors, try placing a large plant in that corner and see the amazing attention it gets. It invites people in. This is especially important in a large room with lots of different things that it may become hard to notice some important elements.
Equally, you can use the plant to direct attention from some place in the room. For example, you might want to direct visitors’ eyes away from a certain area in your office so you place a beautiful greenery on the opposite side. It's psychologically proven that people will tend to sit facing the plant.
When poorly done, the interior design may make a room appear uneven with more objects on one side. But you can correct that by placing plants in symmetry. For a start, you can place equal number of plants on both sides of a room to restore the balance. You can also position tall potted plants at the doorway.
To enhance this, you have to ensure that the plants are similar in type, colour and size. Otherwise, you'll be working against the purpose. Equally, ensure that the pots or planters have similar appearances to achieve a perfect balance in your landscape.
Ever been to a room and the chaos around it was almost tangible? Seats facing in all directions, different artifacts placed randomly? How did that make you feel? Uncomfortable.
Plants can be used to reduce chaos in rooms. In fact, plants by definition are a source of calmness in every way. They resemble peace. If simplicity is your slogan, then throwing in some plants around the room will sure achieve that theme. Look for a plant that's almost unnoticeable yet so visible. A large tree plant with less leaves and beautiful green colour placed at the corner of a room will do the magic.
If your room has few items, then adding some plants will still retain the simplicity and give the room nature's ambiance.
When deciding the type of plants to use on your indoor landscape, it is worth noting that not all plants are suitable for indoors. Equally, the type of plant you choose should be one that transitions one from the outdoors into the indoor environment seamlessly. You can achieve this by trying to match the plants in your outdoors with those in your interior.
Plants that crawl up the walls may be a nuisance if not well-maintained. Approach them with a caveat and only use upright plants. If you love a rough interior, you can consider using plants that show roughness and grit. Equally, plants that don’t require too much maintenance should be given priority.
Use simple plants too. Don’t go for the extremely leafy varieties if you can’t maintain it or if you don’t have someone to take care of it for you. They’ll make the room feel congested later on. Avoid large plants indoors unless you have a lot of land space.
You also have to remember that some plants don’t do well indoors. When selecting the type of plant or tree to include in your landscape, ensure you understand how well it can withstand indoor environments. Otherwise you'll have a withered plant indoors in no time, taking you back to square one.
10. Mass of plants
As mentioned above, larger and bulky plants are harder to maintain. They occupy more space and are way heavier but they can come in handy when the room is spacious. When placed strategically in a large room, large plants will occupy the extra space and give the room a homier feel. It can also become the focal point of your landscape when the right type of greenery is chosen.
We spend most of our time indoors, be it in office, home, wellness centers or schools. The indoors therefore deserve just as much care as the outside when it comes to landscaping. Having beautiful plants placed systematically can serve so many purposes. They can help liven the area, lift the mood, clean the air, and so much more. However, indoor landscaping is not a walk in the park. A lot of factors need to be considered as stated above. There's the size of the room, the texture and shape of the plants and more.
Those are some of the most important factors to consider especially if you have no background, skills, or tools about indoor landscaping. That's where we come in...