How to Decorate With House Plants


Houseplants can add a living element to many spaces within your home. Once you have determined the amount of natural light you have and how much care you can provide, you can transform a cold, uninviting space into a lush comforting retreat that you and your guests can enjoy. Buy healthy-looking plants that are visibly free of pests to get the best start for decorating with houseplants.


Step 1

Make notes of the natural light in each room of your house that you'd like to add plants to. Different varieties of plants have differing light and humidity needs to grow well.

Step 2

Determine what areas of each room can house a plant. Make notes of bookshelf heights, floor space and counter space.

Step 3

Look at the overall decor of your home and decide what style containers you want to use to coordinate with your existing look.

Step 4

Make your purchases. Buy a variety of plants and decorative planters in different sizes, along with potting soils and drainage dishes to place under the pots.


Step 1

Place small plants on the kitchen counter top. Violets do well beneath under-counter lights or small counter top lamps, and pothos plants look great on top of a refrigerator or over cabinets and do well in lower lights.

Step 2

Place large palm tree plants, ficus or rubber tree plants near a window in the living room to create a lush backdrop for furniture.

Step 3

Use a traditional wicker plant stand to hold a low-light loving Boston fern in a kitchen breakfast nook or den.

Step 4

Create interest on a bookshelf or mantel with small low-light plants like a spider plant or pothos.

Step 5

Dress up a bathroom tub area with a tall standing mother-in-law's tongue plant that does well with little light and minimal watering or pot changes.

Step 6

Create a desert oasis in a sunny window with a grouping of cactus plants in a shallow container filled with cactus soil, sand and decorative gravel.

Step 7

Top a sunny bedside table with a jade plant in a decorative container to match your bedroom linens or furniture style. For darker bedrooms, use English ivy under a table lamp to add some life to the room.

Tips and Warnings

  • Read care labels carefully and be sure to place and care for plants as directed. Think of your plants as an investment you want to protect with good care. Don't buy poisonous plants if you have small children or pets that may chew on plants. Plants like poinsettias, rubber trees, English ivy and croton are just a few to avoid.

Things You'll Need

  • Plants
  • Decorative plants
  • Potting soil
  • Violets
  • Pothos
  • Palm tree
  • Ficus
  • Rubber tree
  • Boston fern
  • Plant stand
  • Spider plants
  • Mother-in-law's tongue plant
  • Cactus plants
  • Gravel
  • Jade plant
  • English ivy


  • University of Ilinios Extension: Types of houseplants
  • Apartment Therapy: 5 Hard to kill houseplants

Who Can Help

  • Natural Pet Health: Common Indoor Houseplants that can Kill you Pet
  • Some Houseplants Are Poisonous To Your Pet
Keywords: houseplant decor, decorating with plants, buying houseplants, houseplant decor ideas

About this Author

Diane Steinbach has been writing for a variety of professional, educational and entertainment publications for over 15 years. Her work consists of three books on art therapy including : "Art as Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas" (Steinbach, 2005.) She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art therapy and behavioral science from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.