It’s not a secret: Nature is calming. And, in the era of COVID-19 and its lingering effects, we could all use a little more calm right now. What better way to make that happen then to bring nature into your home?
In fact, house plants have been proven to provide allergy relief, lift moods, purify the air, provide relaxation, aid in better sleep and more. We wanted to know more about the importance of house plants, so we spoke with Modern Foliage founder Nikki Norton.
Modern Foliage provides professional plant design in Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, including high-end interior plan design and maintenance, creating plant decor for events, custom floral arrangements and personalized, in-home plant care. See highlights from our conversation with Norton below.
Why are plants important to have in the home?
Plants bring a sense of calm and a bit of nature inside your space. Although we have evolved over the years to not live in nature and in cities, remnants of our psyche still desire that connection with nature. Bringing plants inside your space then offers that touch and allows a sense of relaxation for you and your guests. There are many studies out there that show correlations between lower blood pressure and plants within a space.
Why do plants ring a sense of calm to a space?
Aside from the scientific argument, I love plants in a space because they are perfectly imperfect. In spaces and rooms where you design and can control every little detail, a plant adds a touch of organic and softness to a room. Something that, while still beautiful, isn’t perfectly manicured. To me, that’s calming, especially since I know I’m not perfect.
Which plants are the best to use to decorate an apartment or home in the DMV region?
Whether you’re in Virginia, Ohio, California or Florida, your interior plant selection are all pretty similar. If you are brand new to the plant world, I would start with an interior tropical plant. They are generally pretty sturdy in our homes, with some light and at room temperatures. You can, of course, progress in difficulty level, but start with some of the tried-and-true basics first. I love fiddle leaf figs (ficus lyrata), snake plants (sanserveria), schefflera and dracaenas.
How can readers teach themselves to enjoy plants in their homes, instead of thinking of them as a chore or “one more thing to water?”
It starts by selecting one that makes you happy. If you don’t smile when you look at it, you won’t take care of it. If it doesn’t fit your personality, you won’t like it. If you don’t like it, you won’t take care of it. Plant’s aren’t for everyone, but I think they are for most people.
How often should a new plant be incorporated into a home’s design?
Always! Designers can often forget to incorporate plants; I’ve worked in homes where the owners love plants so much that they can see their gardens from every angle of the house. I’ve also worked in homes where designers have completely forgotten to include plants in the master design all together, and I’m called in afterward to add them to the design. I like to add at least one plant to every room. Many rooms can hold more!
What are the top plant trends you’ve noticed this year?
Pottery is the biggest trend in plants. This year, people are going for a more natural stone or terra cotta pot. I’ve also noticed a lot of white, earthen tones in plant pottery.
How can plants make us all happier as the world faces a pandemic?
Well, for one, they don’t talk. I find that having a plant that doesn’t talk back to me makes my job a lot easier! But they can really just give us a sense of ownership and a piece of the world we can take care of.
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