Plant Decoration in Living Room Spaces: 6 Common Mistakes

Room decor with plants

Before we get things right, we often need to get them wrong first.

This is a general rule which applies to many things in life, interior design included. With so many choices to make in terms of style and space, it takes most people quite a while to master the art of arranging interiors in a clever and deliberate way.

Why not just take a shortcut then? Have a look at our guide below – first, we will learn why plants are an important part of room decor, and then run through how to avoid rookie mistakes in interior design and get a better feel for what it takes to please the eye of every visitor, as well as your own eye, with a well-arranged room with plants.

Benefits of living room decor with plants

Why should you use indoor plants in your living room?

Our life has become really busy and full of stress, but there are simple ways you can make your home a healthier place. One very simple way is to put some potted plants in your living room.

Plants have a big effect on the air quality inside our homes: producing oxygen, filtering the air and remove airborne toxins and chemicals, and adding to our physical health and wellbeing in numerous ways.

Plants also have a very deep and lasting effect on our mental health. With new studies showing that simple gardening helps to reduce stress even more than reading! Not just that, but the luscious colors and fragrances from plants are part of any interior designers dream.

Healthy indoor plants

You may wonder which plants are best for your home. Some of the most famous healthy plants are:

  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale),
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix).
3 healthy plants
Jasmine, Spider plant and English Ivy

These plants are known to remove toxic chemicals and allergins. Who wouldn’t want such team-playing plants in their living room?

Most beautiful plants for your living room

When selecting your indoor plants, try planting some of the following:

Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)

With time the bright green leaves of this palm will form a luscious crown around an upright trunk.  It is adaptable to different light and water conditions, so you can plant it in your living room or put it outside on the patio.

Areca Palm
Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens) @ pixelshot / Canva Pro

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera Deliciosa)

This is a classic living room decor plant with large glossy leaves that are both decadent and tidy. The Swiss Cheese plant is such a crowd-pleaser that it is readily available as a live or faux plant in most decor outlets and garden centers, and the added bonus – it’s relatively low maintenance!

Swiss Cheese Plant
Swiss cheese plant @ Odua Images / Canva Pro

Ficus tree (Ficus Benghalensis)

The ficus tree is a large houseplant with dark green, glossy, ovate leaves that grow up to 4 feet. It can lift and brighten the atmosphere of any room it’s placed in.

Ficus Benghalensis
Branch with figs of Ficus bengha @ seven75 / Getty Images

With these indoor plants, you will create a relaxing and healthy living room experience for you, your family and guests. And be creative – experiment! Find out which varieties of each plant you prefer. Whether it is a certain shape, size or texture that works best for you and your space.

6 living room decor ideas to avoid

1. Mistake: Keeping plants out of the room

Many people feel they don’t have the time for looking after plants, let alone themselves, seeing them as nothing more than an unnecessary distraction in their busy routines.

Solution: Find low maintenance plants that look after themsleves

With a little research, it’s easy to learn which plants are high maintenance and which plants just need a touch of care once in a while. We even wrote a guide on it to make it easier!

Cactuses in pots, view from above
Cactuses in pots, view from above @ Alleksander / Getty Images

Choose low-maintenance plants like cactuses or other succulents if you have a busy schedule and not enough time for gardening work. These little furry plants are so cute and come in a million different varieties, all with incredible personalities!

Solution: Put in a little effort for big effect

A living room will never appear as pretty if you choose to leave plants out of it. Add plants to the mix and the place suddenly springs to life. Plants bring a cheerful twist, a more welcoming environment, and an altogether different vibe to your home. With just one day of effort, you don’t need to go on vacation anymore to enjoy all the benefits of nature outdoors.

Keeping plants out of the room
Plants in living room @ Luisa Brimble — Somekind™ / Unsplash

2. Mistake: Insufficient light in your home

The living room is the most common communal space in a house and, as such, it’s often the first place guests go to when they walk through your front door. It sets the tone for everything else about your home.

But if you have dark or shadowy areas in your living room that make it feel like a cave, what kind of message does that send to visitors? And how will plants survive with a small amount of indoor light?

Here are a few creative ideas to tackle a light problem:

Solution: Bright and colorful flower pots and reflective objects

One way to reduce the gloominess of your space is to use light-colored furniture and planters so that even indirect light reflects off of it.

Mini colorful garden in the living room @ Zurijeta / Canva Pro

Optimizing the light that is already in your room with reflective surfaces such as a mirror goes a long way to keeping your serotonin and vitamin D levels in the happy range, not to mention the benefits it can have on your plants!

Solution: LED fixtures

Another idea is to light up shelves, bookcases, or any other item that is actually in the dark with LED lights. LED options are cost-effective, easy to install, and low-light plants will love them.

Artificial light is necessary for houseplants
Artificial light is necessary for houseplants @ Rang Dong

Solution: Living room skylights

Put in some skylights – while this might have a high initial cost, it will let sunlight from the outside come inside and brighten up your living room. Sunlight is always free, so why not take advantage of it? Depending on your home, it’s also easy to install and can be the best, most efficient way to give light to your plants in a totally natural, healthy way.

skylight window
Beautiful nature view through roof skylight window @ halfpoint / Canva Pro

Solution: Lamps, wall fixtures, and spotlights

Rather than assume that one overhead lamp will solve the problem and cast sufficient light even in the darkest corners, remember that the most pleasant way to light the room is in layers. Lamps and wall fixtures will add favorably to any light deficiency – regardless if you live in Florida or in Alaska!

wall-mounted light wall fixtures
wall-mounted light fixtures @ Angela Guthrie @ Getty Images

3. Mistake: Cluttering the place with, well, everything

We just love collecting all those tiny figurines and old vases, don’t we? Unfortunately, this habit does tend to get out of hand a bit, and the result is that rooms sometimes feel terribly jam-packed with excessive decoration. Yes, over-accessorizing is a sin of many of us that we must change.

Shelves used for storage
Wall decor with plants and stuffs @ Manja Vitolic / Unsplash

Solution: Cut down clutter, or optimize your clutter with plants

Time to declutter! Less is more, right? Remember that groupings of two or three decorative items have a far greater impact than an entire army of porcelain cats or other figurines, so why don’t you give your room a touch of minimalism this season? For those looking for ways to change, how about replacing all those age-old dust collectors with a nice, breathing plant instead? Your allergies will love you for it.

4. Mistake: Storing junk on a shelf or table

It’s hard to resist the temptation sometimes, isn’t it? A problem related to over-accessorizing to some extent, using display space for storing purposes has the exact same effect of turning living rooms into junk rooms.

Solution: Plants in bookcases

Box as many things as you can or consider throwing them away altogether – but do keep them out of sight, by whatever means necessary. Open shelving isn’t for storage; rather than documents, use it to display visually pleasing items instead, like flowers and other plant-related material.

Plants in bookcases
Plants in bookcases @ pundapanda / Canva pro

Solution: Hanging plants from shelves

Hanging plants from these small surfaces on the wall offer a different kind of aesthetic and won’t create more clutter, yet will add a touch of color in ways your dusty books can’t.

Hanging plants from shelves
Hanging plants from shelves @ Internet

Solution: Table plant ideas

The table is another place where plants should be featured but usually aren’t There are many plants suitable for tables that are small, neat, and tidy such as the Snake Plant. This type of plant is ideal for your space as it doesn’t shed its large leaves and looks stunning in any home decor.

Pot plant on the table
Pot plant on the table @ Huỳnh Đạt / Pexels

5. Mistake: Home decor limitations

There are limits to how much you can decorate your room with plants. This applies to plants as much as it applies to all types of furniture, color, and style. Home decorators often do too much work and follow 2 or 3 different plant design trends instead of focusing on one unifying design.

As you decorate your space with planters and plants, think about the style that you are trying to create, or the style that already exists.

Solution: Less color less confusion

Remember that whatever plant or plant pot you choose to put in the room will need to agree with everything else in that room too. This means a little forethought about color arrangement. For a quick rundown on the best plant pot color arrangements to follow, check out our article.

Insufficient light in the room
Plants in living room @ Stanislav Kondratiev / Unsplash

Wall plant decor ideas

As a rule of thumb, rooms look more interesting if you add feature plants to provide focus. Walls are a great location for hanging plants that add depth to your space. This way you won’t create clutter on the table, or on shelves.

Wall plant decor
Wall plant decor @ SasinParaksa / Getty Images

Solution: Don’t go too big with plant decor

If there are big things in it, consider adding little things for the sake of contrast. And as for plants, avoid shooting for the ceiling with them! If your room’s ceilings are at 8 feet high, your plants shouldn’t be any taller than 6 feet.

The showroom feel
Balance indoor plant decor with your space @ Yehleen Gaffney / Unsplash

6. Mistake: The plant showroom feel

Have you ever felt like you were walking into a furniture catalogue, rather than an actual living room? Dubbed ‘the showroom feel’, this particular problem boils down to a frequent lack of originality in modern interior design – how could the room feel unique if all the furniture was purchased at the same store?

Solution: Mix up your living room plant decor

The best way to stay away from this trap, according to experienced interior designers, is to mix new and vintage elements. Add some intrigue to your room decor, keep it eclectic and less obvious.

Issues with scale and proportion
A modern vintage living room @ Anastase Maragos / Unsplash

Solution: Create a table of DIY plant pots

One unique yet inexpensive decor idea is to paint your plant pots. There are various ways to do this, either with spray paint for large plant pots or acrylic paint works just fine for small little table pots. Find unique looking flowers or plants for your new feature plant pot and prove you’re the one setting living rooms trends rather than following a magazine.

DIY plant pot
DIY plant pots @ Ravi Kant / Canva Pro

We do hope this little guide will get you started on the right footing with your adventures in interior design. To find more advice on how to turn your home into a plants paradise, check out our downloadable cheatsheet here.

On the other hand, if you don’t need any more inspiration, it’s time to pick out that perfect planter!

Jay Scotts Fiberglass Planters

19 Best Indoor Plants As Recommended By Gardening Experts

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