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Decorating every room of your house with houseplants

 6 expert tips for decorating every room of your house with houseplants

Hilton Carter finds life interesting when she meets Frank, a fiddle-leaf fig. It was 2014, and Carter, inspired after dinner at a cafe in a greenhouse, bought the tree in an attempt to inject a similar aesthetic feel into his New Orleans apartment. Today, more than 200 plants (including the now towering Frank) fill the Baltimore apartment he shares with his wife, Fiona. His models climb the walls and take up every last inch of windows. "I started bringing in plants to create a space that made me feel better, and somehow ended up with a lot," she says.

It's no doubt a familiar story for the plant fanatics featured in Carter's second book, Wild Interiors: Beautiful Plants in Beautiful Spaces ($17, Amazon), which showcases leafy homes in the U.S. and Europe. What all the places have in common, as he likes to say, are citizens who have been bitten by the botanical bug. "Plants are a way to create a moment of escape into your own home and bring the outside world in," she says.

And, of course, that feeling is never welcome. Carter documents her plant-collecting adventures on Instagram, where you can sign up for her virtual workshops on potting and propagation. He believes there's no such thing as too much green, so here are six easy ways to fill every room in your home with houseplants.

1. Surround seating areas with plants.

"The power plant life has in a house is transformative," explains Carter. Floor-to-ceiling greenery surrounds a hanging chair in this Antwerp, Belgium, apartment. "By gathering these intentional plants, the homeowners were able to create a space that appealed to everyone," says Carter.

2. Decorate your dining room.

"Unlike a vase of flowers, a plant can breathe life into a dining space for a long time," says Carter. In this Los Angeles dining room, a dwarf umbrella bonsai tree serves as a centerpiece (its small size means it doesn't block sight lines) while tangles of golden pothos and philodendrons brighten up a neutral corner.

3. Use a group of closely spaced plants as a focal point.

Carter says of Credenza, who grew up deliberately in a Berlin apartment. "I love the feeling of wildlife taking over a space," she says. "It's almost like the ruins of an old building where people left and the plants moved back in." However, to keep things from getting too out of control, Carter advises, "only bring what you can take care of."

4. Go vertical.

This patio in Barcelona is surrounded by tall, white walls that conquer the space. Owner's solution: Hang small ferns, spider plants, and more in brackets. "The great thing about this arrangement of small containers (like this Better Homes and Gardens Terramo Round Planter, $6, Walmart), as opposed to ivy or another climbing vine, is that the pots add real depth," says Carter...

5. Pull plants in unexpected places.

Add excitement to a rustic vignette with a few well-placed plants. Here, a simple cart doubles as a plant stand and bar. "I'm always looking for ways to put small plants in an unexpected place like that," says Carter. "They will become a space." Additionally, a heart-shaped philodendron trained around a glass frame "really adds depth and interest," she says.

6. Green up the bedroom.

Hang trailing plants from the ceiling or place them on a shelf above your bed. "Sleeping under plants makes you feel like you're camping or on vacation," says Carter, whose wife made a mini macrame hammock for her plants.


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