If you’re like me, you appreciate the atmosphere plants bring to a room but don’t have the slightest idea on how to include them in your living space.
Not all of us are lucky enough to have an inherent green thumb, and with so many different species, styles, and combinations, introducing them to your decor is intimidating.
But don’t worry, aspiring plant-people. To help you (and myself) get more comfortable with plants as decorations, we’ve put together this guide to arranging plants in your living room.
Big or small, there’s a home for plants of every size in your living room.
Large plants are often low maintenance and make great statement pieces. Try placing a potted large ornamental plant on the ground by the sofa, a window, or in an awkward corner. Conmest.com recommends Areca palm, dracaena, or an umbrella papyrus, but a rubber plant robusta or golden pothos can also work.
Small plants make perfect living room decorations, especially in groups! They’re easy to showcase in a terrarium with sand, small pebbles, and precious jewels. Cacti and succulents are ideal because they’re low-maintenance and easy to care for.
Bonus Plant Tip: When propagating new plants, keep them in glass vases or bowls. They’re perfect for showcasing your new growth on shelves, tables, and windowsills.
Plants of all sizes have different visual weights. By selecting plants with tall leaves, you can draw the eye upwards, while a trailing plant on a high shelf will guide your gaze to the floor.
In a minimalist living room, a few select plants with stark textures become visual anchors. In contrast, plants with simple leaves offer a break in busy rooms with layered rugs, throw pillows, and blankets.
Bonus Plant Tip: Floor-level plants can provide texture to your floors while hanging plants can create a cascading effect, great for high ceilings.
When trying to mix and match plant colors, it’s best to follow the rule of three:
have a primary, secondary, and accent color. These colors can be assigned to the plants themselves.
Variegated plants like the Philodendron Brasil and Pink Rubber Tree offer leaves of different colors. The same rule can also be applied to the pots you keep them in (more on those next).
The pots that host your plants are as much a decorating tool as the plants themselves and are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Add another dimension to your decor by mixing and matching different pots, adding an extra decorative layer to your space.
Suspend hanging planters to add verticality to your living room. With small planters, it’s possible to maintain a variety of plants that add verticality, color, and texture to your living space.
Placement is just as important as the plants themselves, as you want to keep them where they’re most likely to survive. That means ensuring they have adequate light and humidity; and aren’t too close to air vents, heaters, or air conditioners.
When decorating your shelves with plants, don’t designate them as the plant shelves. Rather, treat them as shelves that happen to have plants on them.
Offsetting your books and trinkets with plants adds visual texture. Trailing plants are a shelf favorite, as they can drape down to lower levels, leading your eyes downward.
This is Going to Look Great On The Mantel
If you have a purely aesthetic fireplace, turn it into a home for plants. Use larger plants for the base and smaller plants for the mantle (Modsy suggests a large philodendron or monstera.) Add in other personal items like books, vases, bowls, and art to give your fireplace a more lived-in look.
No shelf space? A low bench enables you to organize several smaller plants, provide some extra height, and keep them off the ground.
If you have a plant that’s too large for a shelf yet not quite big enough to leave on the floor, turn a table into a home.
Whether it’s a dining table, coffee table, or end table, plants make great centerpieces.
Windows are another great spot for placing plants. Not only do they offer plenty of natural light, but they encourage you to decorate from multiple angles.
For example, place a large plant on the ground in front of your window and/or secure a hanging plant to the ceiling above. Make sure you use a plant that can handle a lot of sunlight. Modsy suggests Aloe vera, jake, African milk bush, and snake plant.
Everyone has that one awkward corner in their living room where a larger piece of furniture just doesn’t fit. That’s because it’s perfect for plants!
Transform your awkward corner into a cozy plant nook with a larger floor plant or a combo of smaller plants of varying heights and pots. If you don’t want all of your plants clustered on the ground, use a bar cart to turn it into a corner shelf.
Bonus Plant Tip: If you have a reading alcove, you can turn it into a garden hideaway with large potted plants or several smaller hanging plants.
Mixing and Matching
Group in odd numbers
A common rule of thumb for styling any space is to group objects in odd numbers. This creates a more casual vibe, whereas even-numbered groupings make the room feel formal. You can also apply this tactic to the plants in your living room by grouping them in clusters of three plants with varying traits.
Arrange By Size
When clustering plants together, a diverse selection includes plants of different sizes. Combining varying heights and proportions adds verticality and depth to your space, whereas plants of the same height can make everything blend together.
That said, if you have a favorite plant, try displaying several of the same plant in a neat row. This arrangement brings the consistency and symmetry of an entirely different look.
Grouping common themes
As we’ve said in How to Mix and Match Bedroom Furniture, when you’re combining pieces, you want some consistency among each item so they flow from one to the next. For plants, that translates to color, texture, material, leaf shape, and spread.
By using these elements to maintain a throughline, you can group different plants together without it feeling disconnected.
Not everyone has a green thumb — exhibit A, me. But, if you want the aesthetics of plants without the responsibility of keeping them alive, there are plenty of faux and low-maintenance options that can help you achieve the look.
You can expand the flora theme beyond your plant stand-ins with patterned pillows, wallpaper, and other decorative items.
Now It’s Your Turn
Adding plants to your living room is a great way to add greenery, life, and good vibes to your home. With so many options and combinations with all of their own needs, arranging them in your living room can be intimidating. Hopefully, we’ve made that project a little easier. Leave a comment letting us know which plants you’re hoping to fill your living room with!
Popular Articles for Arranging Plants in Your Living Room
- Better Homes & Gardens — Decorating With Houseplants Add Greenery and Freshness to Your Space
- Bloom Box Club — How to Arrange Plants in Your Living Room
- Houzz — 8 Fabulous Ways to Arrange Indoor Plants
- Léon & George — How to Arrange Indoor Plants Like A Pro
- Wikilawn — Top Tips for Arranging Indoor Plants