Are you feeling wild today? Want to take a peak into homes where plants rule? It’s a mindset that Hilton Carter, passionate lover of all things green and author of Wild Interiors, Beautiful Plants in Beautiful Spaces, CICO Books 2020, explores and practices on a daily basis. After surveying restaurants, hotels, and public spaces as well as the countless homes he has visited and styled, Carter notes that “filling spaces where people gather with greenery has become a new way of life. To so many of us the need to surround ourselves with plants is just that: life.”
As Carter takes us on a journey through 12 very special plant-lovers’ homes, he offers styling tips. Artist Alina Fassakhova has amassed 80 plants that happily grow in clusters throughout her loft apartment. In part they act as living screens demarcating spaces in an open plan design. Shown here, Philodendron and Alocasia separate Alina’s kitchen from the rest of the space making the transition feel natural and not blocking out light as a screen would do. It’s not easy for her to pick a favourite plant, but Alina does choose the variegated Monstera because every leaf has a unique, abstract pattern.
Carter has laced his book with valuable information on a wide variety of plants including plant descriptions and instructions on light requirements, temperature, watering and repotting. There’s even a section on trending plants
In Antwerp Belgium, when Sofie and Yannick renovated a townhouse built in 1905, they had two things in mind, “finding more space for our cats and plants and finding new ways to integrate plants into different rooms and lighting conditions. In the room that opens out to a patio they built a beam and added a skylight so they could hang plants and a hanging chair. Carter calls this a plant throne, a place to sit and survey all the beautiful greenery in your kingdom. Prominent plants in this photo are Monstera deliciosa, rubber plant and fiddle-leaf fig. The jungle vibe is all around but balanced in rooms where smaller plants sit on side tables.
Carter has a few words for pets vs plants. Acknowledging that plants can be toxic to pets he suggests hanging climbing or trailing plants up high, grouping small plants along a window sill leaving no room for jumping felines, and choosing larger tree-like plants that have tall trunks, which keeps the foliage out of reach.
Plants require the right “outfits” to sit in. Another point of style for Carter is how the plants are presented. Choose a selection of pots and hangers that suit the size and growth patterns of your plants. In Sara’s duplex cottage in L.A., her living room has an intriguing display of plants. A fiddle-leaf fig, a bird of paradise, sword fern and golden pothos thrive in comely pots and a large open weave basket.
Carter offers a guide for plant selection according to the available light in each room as well as which plants suit specific rooms. Understand your light and space requirements before you bring home these new friends. It is a great source of happiness tending to the plants and watching them thrive under your care.