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Sprucing Up Your Living Room With Indoor Plants

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Indoor Plants

Weighing in with a predominant wavelength of 495-570 nanometres on the visible spectrum of light, the word “green” stems from the Middle English word grene, mimicking its Germanic root word, meaning grass or grow. Conceived of a combination of blue and yellow, green has long been associated with the natural world, vitality, freshness, health and youthfulness for time immemorable.

Humans are intrinsically linked to the natural world; as our only home, Earth and its abundant greenery have clothed us, fed us, sheltered us, and protected us from disease. Now, unfortunately, it’s estimated that human beings spend about 87% of ourtime indoors. So the question surfaces: with so much riding on our time indoors, how can we bring plants, the natural world, and the benefits of the outdoors back into our lives in ways that spruce up our surroundings?

In this post, we’ll teach you how to spruce up your living room with indoor plants, ushering in a sense of renewal and freshness, all thanks to the humble houseplant.


Living Room Aesthetics

Close your eyes and picture the most stunning view you can imagine. Was it a cityscape? A flat desert horizon? Probably not. It was likely a luscious mountainous vista or a forested valley - both abundant in greenery. See? Even in your instinctual mind's-eye, you think of plant life and greenery as the most beautiful things imaginable. Our point? Plants and indoor greenery look incredible. They’ve long been a staple of good design aesthetics and principles, helping to boost the visual appeal of our man made dwellings.

Plants help to add a flash of colour and a taste of zen to any living space through form. Colour attracts the most attention via the human eye, so inserting a vibrant green focal point into a dull or blank room immediately boosts the style of the space. The University of Florida Environmental Horticulture department notes that some plants have more of a visual impact on their surroundings because of physical characteristics, like height, leaf structure, texture or colour - and most people recognize plants via their form first, citing specific plant types like grasses, trees, shrubs, vines and palms.


Mental Boost

Spending time on integrating plants in your living room design can go a long way - it’s not solely about improving the aesthetic of your space. Subconsciously, plants and greenery have profound effects of the human psyche.

A study from the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology states that exposure to nature improves and protects mental health. In fact, the study says that even a small amount of time interacting or in the presence of nature - 5 minutes - can vastly improve both mood and self-esteem. Another study from the NCBI concluded that ornamental plants in hospital rooms enhanced the health outcomes of patients recovering from surgery, showing significantly more positive physiologic responses, lower systolic blood pressure, lower pain ratings and anxiety. Patients with plants in their rooms also noted that the plants brightened up the environment, reduced their stress and helped them develop more positive impressions of hospital employees and the patient/support staff relationship.

Finally, plants can hugely help to improve your overall happiness, productivity and memory retention skills, found a study from Exeter University. Plants were found to boost the productivity of office workers by as much as 15% when one plant per square metre was placed in an office. The study found that just the sight of a plant helps to increase levels ofhappiness and enabled humans to engage psychologically with their surroundings better.


Air Quality

There’s a big misconception that we get colds and flu’s in the winter from the cold outside - wrong. We get sick because the level of interior air pollutants in our homes are often inflated when circulation is reduced. Healthline tells us that indoor air pollutioncan increase risk for stroke, ischemic heart disease, respiratory infections and even lung cancer over time.

A study from the University of Technology in Sydney says that indoor plants contribute to 75% of Indoor Environmental Quality criteria, reducing all types ofurban air pollution, absorbing toxic emissions, absorbing noise, and even stabilizing humidity. The study found that even by placing 3-6 plants in an interior environment, plants helped to reduce volatile organic compounds in the air to below 100 parts per billion; 500 parts per billion is recommended.


What Plants Should You Use?

That’s a lot of statistical info to digest - but it’s clear the benefits of including plants in your living room design are vast! From visual aesthetics, to boosting your psychological mood, to improving the quality of air in your home, indoor plants are key to sprucing up the living room. So, what plants should you use?

The options are endless, but for most of us - a low maintenance plant that can withstand forgetting to be watered is key.


Snake Plant

A broad leaf succulent that can add significant greenery to your home. They require small pots, and low-light sun exposure, making them easy plants to have around. Even when left for weeks at a time, snake plants looks fresh and vibrant, and are capable of removing toxins from the air like formaldehyde and benzene.


Bromeliads

These are plants that benefit from bright light and modest amounts of water, meaning they’re the perfect companion for a living room flooded in natural light. Bromeliads add a big boost of colour to your space, thanks to their almost tropical looking foliage, and stay in bloom for long periods of time.


Devils Ivy / Pothos

Ivys are great for interior plant use because they grow very quickly, and help to encourage a feeling of coziness and fullness in lean or open concept spaces. They prefer low-light areas and dry soil, meaning they are wonderful additions to those of us new at keeping plants. They were first used in India, China and Japan as a way to rid spaces of negative energy and bad luck.


Jade

One of the most popular interior plants around the world, Jade is affectionately known as the ‘lucky plant,’ and believed to bring good fortune. A succulent, it’s very low maintenance and is perfect for occupying window sills or small ledges, as they need direct sunlight. They also like consistent heat, making them great indoor companions. 



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