It’s the year of the cactus, according to Meridith Mueller and Jon Neubeck, the husband-and-wife owners of Grow Plants and Home (1025 N. Astor St.). The low-maintenance plant only needs bright light and a monthly watering to keep it healthy.
“A well-placed statement piece like that can totally transform a room,” Mueller adds.
She points to other popular options as well: A large bird-of-paradise by a window can add a pop of color, or a 12-inch monstera on a cabinet top can give the room a focal point. When arranging your plants, Mueller and Nuebeck suggest intermingling them with other home furnishings.
Adding a trailing plant like a pothos or mican to the top of a bookshelf adds an unexpected touch. Putting a succulent on a decorative dish creates a lively table centerpiece (although they both warn about the finicky watering needs of succulents).
Mueller also advises using plants to block out open floor plans and create an aesthetically pleasing marker between, say, an open kitchen and dining room.
“It really comes down to knowing your environment,” she says. “Some rooms have more light, some less. Some have white walls where a splash of green really draws focus. Think about the setting for each plant so it can thrive.”