The Power of Plants

When I was growing up in Oak Park Illinois, my best friend’s family lived in a house designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students.

I loved this house for many reasons, but the main attraction was the parents’ exquisite taste. The father, an horologist, was a collector of important clocks, paintings and bronzes. While the mother, a jewelry designer, chose paint colors and furnishings. What I loved best about her decorating sensibilities was that she made seasonal changes. As the warm weather approached, she rolled up the oriental carpets; slip covered the furniture in white linen, and took her many plants outside. The formerly dense, cozy rooms took on an empty, ethereal look that made you feel cooler, even though it was hot and muggy outside.

I always tried to emulate her and though I leave my carpets in place by necessity, I do change the linens, bedcovers, and throw pillows in my condominium. What makes a significant difference in the look of my rooms are the plants. I have about fifty, ranging from huge rubber trees to tiny African violets. Out they go in May. In they come in October, transforming my home into an almost Victorian indoor garden. While the days get greyer and colder, I am indoors surrounded by greenery, and that in itself immediately lifts my mood.

The most amazing property of plants is that they connect us to the outdoors, to nature and the cycles of life. Plants can transform a dull lifeless room, perk up empty corners, add texture and color, and function as living sculpture. Moreover, they are good for us, since many are noted for their ability to clean the air of impurities. The best part is that they are cheap, and you can buy them at the grocery store or grow them from seed.

Try grouping them by shape, color, or type, setting them in matching pots, and allowing them to spill over from shelves. Yes, even the dreaded macramé and hanging plants are making a comeback-and they look great!

Regardless of how you choose to display your pants, they will immediately signal warmth and joy to any buyers who are viewing your home.

Next time we will look at dining rooms.


Guest post by Lily Temmer

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