clock menu more-arrow no yes
Living room with two windows, brown sofa, patterned carpet, and lots of plants. Gabriela Herman

Filed under:

7 ways to create a lush oasis with houseplants

Find inspiration inside gorgeous homes where plants work their magic

Whether it’s a succulent garden made for the black thumbed or the fiddle-leaf figs and monsteras overrunning Instagram, houseplants have flourished as one of the decade’s biggest home decor trends.

It’s easy to see why. Houseplants are often embraced for their air purifying quality, which jives right along a growing obsession with all things wellness. It also helps that the direct-to-consumer era has ushered in a whole crop of online plant stores, making it easier than ever to have indoor plants delivered to your doorstop, complete with an aesthetically pleasing pot.

Indeed, thriving plants can look pretty darn good around the house, and there’s no better proof than the many lush homes featured in Curbed’s House Calls home tour series. If you’re looking to change up your plantscape in the new year, or finally start decorating with plants, these homes are sure to inspire you to make the most of your greenery.

Inside cookbook author Dorie Greenspan’s New York City apartment

In this renovated Upper West Side apartment, home to award-winning cookbook author Dorie Greenspan for almost 50 years, a wooden platform serves as an unexpected stage for sculptural houseplant collection. The composition here is no doubt intentional: Rounded white planters tie together an ensemble whose variations in hue and stature feel effortlessly alive. And the plants’ funky shapes must make for some stunning shadow shows.

A bright living space with an old dining table surrounded by black chairs and a cream sofa farther back. Plants can be find on the dining table, on a side table, and hanging from the ceiling. Max Burkhalter

A creative couple makes a home in a former chocolate factory

The airy Brooklyn duplex of Adam Squires and Sofia Alvarez leaves plenty of room for a personal touch, from the large antique dining table anchoring the expansive common area to the artwork scattered throughout. Houseplants do their part in creating a laidback vibe as well, with some clustered on and around a small table, some trailing from the ceiling, and others hanging from a custom apparatus built around a large column support. The result is lush yet organic.

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a couple trades in city life for an 1800s farmhouse

At the renovated farmhouse of print designer Renee Shortell and artist EJ Herczyk, we learn how “the more the merrier” applies to greenery—even in a bathroom. The plantscape here unfolds in layers: The vibrant fiddle-leaf fig is striking yet homey sitting in a woven basket, then we notice the two lanky, unfettered plants on the sink and wall, and finally, the darker, low-slung ones come into the picture. This rich visual interest is not only helped by the plants’ natural variations, but also their size and the range of the vessels they reside in.

A creative director embraces color, houseplants, and space to entertain

If you love plants—and don’t mind a comprehensive watering routine—sometimes the way to go is to just put them wherever you want, wherever they fit. Case in point: the Brooklyn apartment of creative director Dan Pelosi, where an abundance of greenery can be found all over the living room (pictured in the lead image of this story), bathroom, and bedrooms. In the master bedroom, plants line up on a wooden bench (which also serves as a nightstand), perch from a radiator, rest on the ground, and hang from the ceiling.

Berlin couple centers their home on plant life—indoors and out

The Berlin apartment of tech entrepreneur Yiliu Shen-Burke and artist Taylor Dover houses 30 to 40 plants, a group of which can be found near the windows of their living room. Like the canopy of trees outside—a dreamy view afforded by a fifth floor flat in a building next to a public park—these living room plants take on a vertical orientation, bringing home that “living in a forest” feel.

Midcentury modern gem offers two city dwellers a dream home in the suburbs

In Robert and Tami Jamieson’s breezy midcentury home near Philadelphia, a striking fireplace surrounded by fleshy plants and a leafy backdrop together create a campfire-like experience in the living room. But it’s also worth zooming into each plant to appreciate the unique vessel it nests in, proving that picking the perfect home for a plant is a whole other source of fun and personal expression.

Designer’s own apartment embodies a quirky, open ethos

A handful of houseplants make just the right amount of splash around designer Michael Yarinsky’s two-bedroom apartment. Displayed either alone or in pairs and trios, the plants enliven various corners of the living room, dining room, and bedroom. Their bright greens also pop beautifully against the brick and white-washed walls.

House Calls

A Rhode Island farmhouse that’s beachy without being ‘overly nautical’

House Calls

A Back Bay brownstone that’s “highly, yet invisibly” functional

House Calls

Bringing pattern and color to a ‘simple box’ of a home in upstate New York

View all stories in House Calls