It might be hard to disassociate cacti from the ’70s – or their association with Mexican eateries – but the time has come. They are graphic, sculptural, and let’s not forget easy to look after!
Cacti are part of the succulent family, and comprise up to 90 per cent water – and some varieties need watering only once every six months. Talk about easy!
Tip Don’t use regular potting mix or soil – cacti require a mixture of grit, sand and small stones. Also, if you water them in spring you can get flowers.
Homes often have a “dead” zone – a space that’s too small for large pieces of furniture (sofas, recliners,…), but which left alone looks bare and neglected. Consider creating a potted corner to liven up the area. All you need is a stand or crate. Alternatively, a preloved chair might suffice. To create visual interest, mix and match plants and vessels. Play around with heights and widths to celebrate the varying shapes and heights of the plants – you don’t want the collection to look “blocky”. Vessels made from a variety of colours and materials are a good idea.
Even if you are a brown thumb, you can still introduce plants into your interior. Of course, cacti or succulent varieties are a good idea. But you could go one step further – or easier – and simply add plant cuttings. Cuttings last longer than flowers (up to three weeks), add a sculptural form to a space and they don’t need water changing. Plus, cuttings are a great idea if you have plants such as monstera growing in your garden.
Beside furniture (reclining chairs, sofas, TV,…), you can use plants to decorate your living room. Plants, such as staghorn ferns (pictured here), can be hung on your wall instead of artworks. We bought these varieties ready mounted on wooden plaques from the garden centre. The effect is as if they are framed, too. And just like with any art or photo display, consider the composition of your hanging. Here, we’ve gone for a symmetrical look. You could just as easily add the plants in amongst a selection of actual framed photos or art.
Furniture by its very nature is often boxy. So to break up the lines it’s a good idea to add something that’s sculptural. That’s where a plant can come in handy. It’s like a living piece of art. The same theory goes for plants on tabletops. You can create vignettes or mini installations. Smaller varieties don’t block the view or impede conversation either.