How to Decorate Your Home with Houseplants

This post about decorating with houseplants was updated in December 2022.

Modern Bookshelf Decorated with House PlantsNo matter what stage of decorating your room is in, accessories are an important way of making your space feel homey and inviting. If you flip through your favorite home decor magazines, you’ll notice that in every shot and in almost every room, decorators of all styles adorn their homes with real or faux houseplants, a flower arrangement, or greenery.

Here at Ballard Designs, we’ve found that accenting rooms with house plants is an important trick in photostyling and home decor because it brings life and perks up any setting. That’s why, in this introductory blog, we make a case for why you should be decorating with houseplants and our best tips for how to decorate your own home with houseplants!

1. No green thumb required

Decorating with houseplants can feel intimidating if you don’t have a green thumb, but there are tons of ways to add in fresh plants without having to brush up your horticulture knowledge.

Long-lasting and Hard-to-Kill Plants

If you’re feeling nervous about decorating with houseplants, dip your toe in slowly and start with plants that are hardy with a long shelf life. Orchids, succulents, and houseplants like philodendron are all great options and are easy to find at the grocery store or hardware store, and most of these plant types require little watering. We like to dress them up in pretty containers and cachepots that link your plant to your decor style.
Christine Secretary Desk with house plants

Faux Trees & Branches

Faux plants have come a long way and look incredibly realistic these days. We love our Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree for it’s height and vibrant green color, and no one will ever known it isn’t real!

Branches are another way to decorate with plants, and their height and gnarly shape makes a dramatic statement, perfect for a centerpiece or entryway. For more faux plant styling inspiration, check out this post.

Moss in Every Shape and Size

The varieties of moss and ways to use it are endless, and we love working into arrangements and planters. Fill a bowl with moss balls or add a sheet of moss at the base of a faux plant.

Live Goods

Of course houseplants aren’t the only way to bring live goods into your room. A bowl of fruit can be an impactful addition to a dining room table or kitchen island. Lemons and apples are a classic look, but we love to use squash and gourds in the fall, pomegranates in the winter, and exotic fruits in the summer. Think seasonally and shop your grocery’s produce section for unexpected additions!

Miller Bed with Plants

2. Easy color for your space

There’s something about chartreuse and kelly green that can liven up any space and flatter any color palette.

Green complements so many other colors, so it works seamlessly no matter what palette you choose in your home. We like to decorate with houseplants in areas of the room that need a little brightening, like corners. Stand back and look objectively about which parts of your room might feel dead, and bring them alive with something green!

3. Interesting Shapes and Textures

It’s important to bring contrast into a room with a variety and shapes and textures and houseplants and greenery are an easy way to do that. Do you have a round table with a round chandelier? Bring in a spiky succulent onto your table. Is everything in your room smooth and polished? Think about adding a chalky, texture planter with a leafy fern.

When you’re decorating with houseplants, use them as an opportunity to fill a gap in your room and you’ll make your space come alive.

4. Add Height and Scale

Every room needs something tall and a big fiddle leaf fig is a great way to bring height to a room. Another great trick? Give your plant a pedestal with a wall mounted shelf. It’ll fill open wall space and draw the eye up!

A house plant is also a great way to camouflage scale issues. Make a small side table feel larger, a console feel wider, or a bookshelf taller.

Modern Bookshelf with Decorated House Plants5. Get creative with containers

Decorating with houseplants isn’t just about the plant. The container you put your houseplant in can be as impactful! We like to use planters and pots with unique shapes and textures to complement the shape of the plant, contrast the other elements in the room, and to create a focal point.

As a general rule, your plant itself should be about equal to the height of your planter and no more than twice the height. The width of the plant should be about twice the width of the container.

Terrariums are a pretty way to bring plants into your home and to give them a longer life. We love how self sufficient they are and the way their shapes feel both modern and classic.

Looking for more styling and accessory inspiration?

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.


  1. Reply

    Jaye Bennett

    January 15, 2021