Houseplants have exploded back onto the scene in a huge way in recent years. Interior magazines and blogs, Pinterest and Instagram have all been flooded with aspirational images of flourishing foliage adorning immaculately styled homes. And the more the better. Houseplants have been accompanied by botanical prints on fabric, wallpaper, stationery and all number of accessories for the home.
Not since the sixties and seventies have we seen such a massive surge in the popularity of houseplants. Remember all those potted plants suspended from the ceiling in macramé hangers? Yup, they are back in style and are part of one of the biggest interior trends we have seen in years.
It’s no surprise really. It is said that design trends come and go in fifty year cycles and it’s about that time since they were last popular. Back in 2011, Apartment Therapy posted an article declaring that “Popular House Plants from the 70's Are Making a Comeback” and the trend has been gathering pace ever since.
Millennials seem to be particularly fond of our leafy friends as a way of getting back in touch with nature. So many of them now live in small city apartments, so bringing the outdoors in provides a perfect way to reconnect. But filling our homes with greenery is about much more than simply how they make our homes look.
Plants offer a real multitude of benefits. They can improve our mood, reduce our stress levels, make us more productive and boost our creativity and generally promote a feeling of wellbeing. Plants have also been proven to regulate humidity levels, produce oxygen and improve indoor air quality by filtering out air pollutants and reducing airborne dust levels. They can even help us get a better quality of sleep.
Igor Josifovic is the author of Happy Interior Blog and co-founder of the hugely popular Urban Jungle Bloggers, a global community of plant lovers who inspire each other to live with plants in new ways and to make their homes greener. Igor says, “Plants contribute to a better and healthier living environment, so it comes as no surprise that plants can also be beneficial in bedrooms. There are certain plants that release fresh oxygen during the night and thus enhance our sleep.”
The other co-founder of Urban Jungle Bloggers is Judith de Graaff, a graphic designer and blogger. Judith highlights the concerns that some people have about bringing plants into the bedroom. She says, “There is a bit of a divide in opinion when it comes to keeping plants in the bedroom, as most common houseplants emit carbon dioxide at night, which is a reverse response to photosynthesis. During the day they do the opposite, converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. But don't worry, humans and pets produce much more carbon dioxide at night than plants, so you're good to go and add a few plants to your bedroom.”
So what kind of plants should we be looking at for our bedrooms? “I like trailing plants that you can trail around a windowsill or a canopy bed, like different kinds of Philodendron,” says Judith. “Their heart-shaped leaves are also a subtle romantic touch for the bedroom. Other bedroom favourites are Rubber trees and Euphorbia as well as small potted succulents and Pilea peperomioides for the nightstand.”
Igor, on the other hand, is a big fan of snake plants. “The Sansevieria, aka snake plant, is a great plant for bedrooms as it releases oxygen during the night. Opt for a larger snake plant in a corner of your bedroom as this plant is also great in semi-shade. It doesn’t require a lot of light or care. If you haven’t got the space, snake plants also come in smaller versions.”
A potted lavender is also something Igor recommends as the delicate scent has been prove to aid a restful night’s sleep. He also suggests opting for an aloe vera plant, a spider plant or an English Ivy for a more romantic look.
Not everyone is naturally green-fingered when it comes to plant care. However, Judith has a few suggestions to help keep our new bedroom buddies alive. “Open the curtains throughout the day to give your plants enough (indirect) sunlight, so that they can thrive. Get yourself an extra pretty watering can that blends in with the interior decor of your bedroom, so that it's always there when you need it, while looking good. Especially in the bedroom, you may want to check upon your plants regularly to avoid bugs and gnats.”
She also urges us to enjoy the experience of living and sleeping with plants. She says, “Like with the houseplants in the rest of your home, have fun decorating with plants. Try mixing and matching different kinds of potted plants, bigger plants in baskets or make a simple DIY plant hanger that you suspend from the ceiling. This creates a nice dynamic in the bedroom without taking up precious floor space. You can find the DIY instructions for a plant hanger in our Urban Jungle book.