Using Plants in Your Home Part 1

A few of you have asked about some of the plants I have sitting around so let’s talk about them.  I thought we’d split this post into two parts, today I’ll show entirely too many photos of how I use plants around our downstairs (I hardly have any upstairs right now) and then in the next post we’ll talk about specifics like how I make sure they stay alive and where I buy my plants, why you will love having plants in your home, and which plants are my favorite.

Two Kimberly ferns greet you as you walk into our home.  I’d like to be the kind of person that pulls them inside in the winter and they flourish but instead I’m the kind of person who lets them die every November and then sit in the blue urns looking all decrepit until the day our Christmas guests come and then I pull them out and try to put something Christmasy there and then come January they sit empty until I first spot some fresh green ferns at my local Home Depot every March.    My next door neighbor’s mother just told me that she has a 39-year-old Boston fern that she bought from Kmart–she keeps it inside of course.  That’s what I love about plants, they can last a long time.

Sometimes I use plants to solve a problem.  If you scroll back up to the first photo you can see the view when you walk into our house.  You are looking right down the back side of our TV and it’s not pretty.  So to camouflage the wires I placed that plant (I always called it a Ponytail Plant) strategically to help hide all the guts and wires coming of the back.  I found that plant at either Home Depot or Lowe’s.  I need to pick up a little terracotta tray thing to put under the plant to protect the DVD player from any extra water.  But I always take that one to the kitchen and let it drain anyway.

It doesn’t make quiet as much sense from the front view but it’s worth it to hide the wires.  From this angle I noticed the wires coming out between the TV and the dresser and of  course that drives me batty so I grabbed some painter’s tape and taped those two wires against the TV stand.

PHEW, see, no more wires between the TV and dresser.  Forgive the wires under the TV.  That’s why I have that basket there.  There’s a HUGE NASA sized outlet strip with lights and plugs and it’s just horrible u so that basket is my current solution to hiding them.  I tried attaching the strip to the back inside apron of the dresser (they even put holes on the back of the strip so you can hang it) but we use it so often that it’s easier to leave it on the floor.

Oh I even found a year old photo on my old computer to show you how I attached it-I just hammered in some nails on the back inside wall or apron of the dresser to keep the wires off the floor.  But I could still see it a little from the sofa and any time we fiddled with it to plug something in it fell. The basket is my compromise and usually I make sure the wires are hidden behind it.  So now my plant post has turned into a “how to hide wires post” just count that as a little bonus.

I have another Pony Tail on the mantle.  This one’s from IKEA.

Apparently it’s called an Elephant Foot Palm.  I just bought these plants within the last few months so I can’t vouch for how easy they are to take care of.  And clearly I’m still looking for just the right planter for his home.

There’s a Snake Plant (I’ve always heard it  called it Mother-In-Law’s Tongue) in front of the fireplace.  We’ve had him for over a year now and he’s done fine even when we turned on our pretend fireplace.

The homework table is right in front of the window and gets great light.  So I put the light loving plants in my big planter.  I LOVE this greenish planter, I found it on clearance at Pier 1 last year for $20.  It’s 13 inches tall and 15 inches across and I’ve used it in just about every room in our house for every season…

On the coffee table…

In a grouping last year with different plants.  I always keep this big planter either on the little wooden stool or on a ceramic tray because he’s too heavy to bring into the kitchen to water so having something underneath to help stop the water leakage is a must.

During the fall…

In my office…

…and currently in the planter are some succulents, creeping fig and a few things that I forget what they are called that I just picked up because of the color.


I also like to be playful with my plants.  These mini foo dogs travel from plant to plant marking their territory.

As you can see, I move all my plants around all the time.  I found that Bonsai tree at IKEA last year.  It was a splurge at $25 but it’s served us well.

Right now we have a lot of green in our family room and I love it, it feels fresh and springy without having to get out a bin of plastic chickens and then put them back next week.  Although I’m positive my boys would like the plastic chickens and they would probably look so fun perched in my plants.

I love the planter on that shelf. Target sold them last year and if I can find them for cheap I’d buy more.  That one leaf is driving me batty because it looks like a big green tongue. It’s full of succulents that I’ll tell you about in the next post.

I’ve also just started experimenting with tiny terrariums.  This one was a Joss & Main steal from Twig from a few months ago.  I’ve made a few on my own but I’ll wait to see if they live before I try to tell you how I made them.

Of course I can’t show off my plants without mentioning my bust planter.  He’s wearing a mask because he was here for my big girl’s sleepover weekend and it just didn’t seem right.  Funny, I used to think it was a lady, but clearly sometime along the way I’ve decided it’s a fella.  And now I just like the mask because it’s unexpected and purposeless.

Lastly I’ve got this fine fella in the laundry room.  He’s some kind of curly fern.

Stay tuned for Part Two of Using Plants in Your Home where we’ll talk about:

  • where to purchase plants
  • where to purchase planters
  • how to care for you plants (lazy girl’s way)
  • and of course my discourse on why I think you would love having plants in your home

Now come on, I know you want to leave a comment telling us that you love plants but that you have a brown thumb, how many of you are out there?  And for you green thumbs, tell us your best tip!

Read Using Plants in Your Home Part 2 here

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  1. When we went to Diney world about 10 years ago my son insisted we buy a palm tree (just atwig) . When we got home to plant it (inside, we live in NY),we put it in a 4 inch pot. He asked why the pot was so small (he was 10) when it was going to get real big!. I never thought it would grow, but I’ve repotted it 4 times !! Its about 4 feet tall now! Guess he was right!!! I also have a snake plant that I’ve over watered/ not watered which is still going strong!! I also love the man with the plants in his head and have been trying to find one since I saw yours! Looking forward to part two!!

  2. Okay, here’s my comment telling you that I love plants but I have a brown thumb. And it’s totally true. The reason for my brown thumb is that I’m too lazy to water them, so I’m looking forward to your next post!

  3. Love this post. Looking forward to part two. I have an indoor plant problem you may know how to solve. What’s that moldy smell, white stuff on the side of my indoor terracotta planters? Mold? Mildew? Plant sweat? It bothers me enough to think about it often, but apparently not enough to do anything about it. It happens on the planters of my oldest plants – the ones that have been in the same pot there whole plant lives. When you sit down next to one, you smell that rank, dank plant smell, so I just light a candle and pretend it doesn’t exist. Ha..

  4. So beautiful! I just came across your blog, love it! you def have a new follower!

  5. I love having plants in the house, but they always seem to attract small flies, so I have to eventually put the plant outside. My favorite plant right now is the african violet I bought at Lowe’s because my friend suggested it was easy. She was right! I’ve had it 6 months and so far no flies! It’s in a self watering pot which I only have to fill every few weeks.

    • Anonymous says

      I never had plants in the house because of this. I insisted on getting a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree and was so upset because of small bugs that came days later. I was not going to part with my tree so I did some research and used a product from Home Depot called EcoSmart organic garden insect killer. This worked within days! No more bugs.

  6. Another brown thumb here, but now you’ve got me thinking maybe I’ll try again. I really relate to your wire dilemmas, though, lol.

  7. My problem with plants is that I cannot throw one out if it looks really bad. If there is one sprig that is still green I have to keep it and try to revive it. I have many peace lilies from funerals of my family members who have passed in the last 8-10 years. I cannot throw those away no matter how pitiful they look.

  8. I LOVE this post. I like plants in the house but could really use a lot more and now I’m totally motivated. And I love the trick about using it to hide the wires … I’ve got that problem in the living room … but problem now solved :-)

  9. Thanks for the wonderful post. I’m looking for some interesting ways to integrate plants into a community center.

  10. Forget those plants, you got my two favorite scenes from P&P. After she sticks it to Lady Catherine and the end when they’re walking to each other at daybreak. Awesome.

    Can you do a post on where to buy a nightgown like hers and where to find a field. My husband already has that good strut down.

    Please and thank you.

  11. But for reals…

    …I love this post. Looking forward to #2. And maybe more ;)

  12. My problem is that I live in a condo in western Washington state (read: Rain Rain Go Away!) with only north-facing windows, so for much of the year we get very little natural light inside. I’ve tried potted plants on the balcony…last year they all died without having bloomed once, because of the lack of sunlight. I need tips on indoor plants that require minimal sunlight, because that’s all they’re gonna get here!! I love succulents, but obviously they are sun lovers…

  13. Thank you for inspiring me!! Going to get some plants! :)

  14. Domestic Diva North says

    I love the look of plants and would love to use them but I am a decorating dunce and just do not know how to make them look cute – they just end up sitting in their cheap plastic pot on some table and that doesn’t have the same effect!

    • go back and look at all those photos and think about those planters and if and what you like!! I’ve been surprised at how much I love the actual planters themselves!

  15. Christine says

    Growing up in FL, we always had lots of plants in the house – outside too – but living through “real” winters in TN now, I find I have to have greenery inside. Btw, I love that you were watching P & P!

  16. What a very timely post for me.

    I have not had much luck with indoor plants (or any plants for that matter). I recently purchased a plant that surprisingly is still alive 6-weeks later. I think that may be due to the hardiness of the plant and not because of any green thumb talent from me. One main reason I don’t have plants (other than the fact that they like to die) is that I don’t have many places to put/display them. Your post has given me some new ideas and I look forward to more. Thanks. :-)

  17. I love plants but I don’t have any inside. I have some on my porch, but only flowers inside. You’ve inspired me to try some inside. Like Domestic Diva North, I could use some pointers on making them look cute.

  18. I love plants…I think every single room in the house should have them.
    All of my rooms do!

    Have to ask…..where did you get your mini-foo dogs?
    We bought some in China when we went to bring our daughter home!
    I have the exact same ones in her room!

  19. Lauralee says

    I would love to have plants, but my cat WILL find a way to “crap” in the pot. Any ideas to discourage the little monster from pooping in the pots?

  20. I had a Christmas Cactus once, which thrived and flourished. Then we got a cat. Adieu to the cactus! I haven’t had much luck since then. I had a coleus that lasted a while, but eventually it succumbed. Right now I’m trying to keep a pony tail plant and my valentine orchid alive. Outside I have better luck.

  21. I like your Bonsai tree but don’t they take a lot of maintenance? I also like the grouping of succulents you have. I like fresh plants but I have such a brown thumb I don’t use them too often. I have two in Kitchen box window right now. So far so good.

    • I’ve had it for a year & only watered it, maybe he’d look better if I trimmed him? But since I dpnt know where to start I leave him as he is.

  22. I just absolutely love your creativity!

    I also LOVE that you have Pride & Prejudice on the tv. That scene with Mr. Bennett is one of my absolute favorites!!!

  23. I always use old salad/bread plates under my plants. They can be from the thrift store or ones that have a small chip. That way I don’t have to worry about the moisture ruining the table top or “electronics”. Even if you put a terracota tray under your plant there is still going to be some moisture under it and moisture and electronics don’t go well together.

  24. This is GREAT! I love seeing how you arranged the plants, the kinds of pots you used, how you did the accents and cover-ups. I appreciate the suggestions. I’ll be implementing some of these in my home! I want to have a green thumb, but often I end up with a brown one. I am ever hopeful, though.

  25. That was…..incredibly entertaining and useful!I struggle with the use of plants in my home. I love what you have done. Please don’t hold back….I’m am lovin’ your commentary on ….everything you mentioned. Well done.

  26. Thank you for the great post. I love indoor plants , however I have a similar problem with the small flies. The plant is always fine for a couple days and then all of the sudden whatever area its in is over run with bugs…. What is a way to overcome this challenge?

  27. The snake plant it’s called Sansevieria . Its beautiful, and hard to kill!!!!!

  28. Hi! I love the curtains you used here. Any chance they still sell these somewhere?

  29. Hi. luv the blue urns for entry-i hav to do that. i am also interested in the curtains would luv to know where they r from! Thank u!

  30. I love plants, have almost 200 in my house & games room/workshop. Most of them go in the courtyard for the summer and they thrive. And I have plants in every room in the house…have to spread them out a bit. lol
    I work at a garden centre/greenhouse so that’s where I get most of mine. Gardening is my passion.
    Great post…going to check out part 2
    Debbie :)

  31. Michelle Nieves says

    Love it all :) especially the paint color for your office, and the brown striped curtains, would love to know the color of the paint and where the curtains are from :) please. and thank you ;)

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