Plant Ideas for Every Space: Indoor/Outdoor Designs & Mistakes to Avoid

If you are a lover of interior design hoping to break into outdoor projects, gardening is a wonderful way to carry elements of your home’s style between indoor and outdoor spaces. Just as home decorators curate room designs with pieces that fit a particular color palette and vibe, you can do the same thing with plants.

Properly manicured, smartly chosen indoor plants can add to a room’s overall look, while themed outdoor gardens can make a home’s style feel expertly executed and cohesive. Below are some ways to effectively incorporate greenery into your home designs for a beautiful effect.

Bringing Nature Indoors: When & How to Pair Plants with Décor

In addition to the proven benefits of keeping indoor plants, adding potted plants to a room can enliven a stark interior or add interest to a minimal design. For instance, large indoor plants like monstera, pothos, and fiddle-leaf figs can add volume to a large open space, making the room feel fuller and more complete without adding expensive furniture or cluttering floor space. These plants look especially beautiful in spacious rooms with plenty of natural light, offering a pop of brightness to balance dark wood furniture and flooring.

For rooms with little floor space, like cramped offices or kitchens, hanging plants like ferns and hoyas will add interest and break up a stuffy, small seeming room. You can purchase rope or chain hangers to suspend planters near windows and above countertops, tables, and desks, and the flowing tendrils of trailing plant species will fall over the pot’s edge to add a whimsical touch.

Extending Your Style: Plan a Themed Outdoor Garden to Complement Your Home

If you want to keep your plant life relegated to outdoor spaces, you can mimic your interior design elements when you plan your garden. For instance, you can choose outdoor furniture that aligns with a particular color scheme and style that you used indoors to make the flow between spaces feel seamless. Select plants and flowers in colors that complement the tones of your hardscape.

In some cases, you can even choose plants that can be kept indoors or outdoors in your area. Jasmine, for example, is an attractive and fragrant trailing plant that can be planted in an outdoor garden or kept inside in a pot with a trellis. To tie your spaces together, you can keep those versatile plants in both places.

Alternately, you may want to choose plants that match or complement the characteristics of your actual house or the region in which you live. Leaning into your home’s location as inspiration for design is a sure-fire way to create a cohesive, beautiful result.

Things to Note: Indoor and Outdoor Plant Problems

If you are new to gardening, you may be surprised to find that your beautiful plants draw forth some undesirable pests. When planted outdoors, certain plants attract more bugs than others, some attract very specific types of bugs, and some even attract small animals. In many cases, stray bugs that find their way into your home in the warmer months may also migrate to your potted plants.

To maintain their aesthetic effect and keep pests away from your beautiful outdoor designs, you may be tempted to use pesticides or herbicides to easily maintain your garden—don’t! Many of those treatments contain harsh chemicals that are seriously detrimental to your health, and some are even linked to cancer and neurological disease. Avoid spraying your outdoor garden and opt for organic solutions to keep weeds and bugs at bay.

Also, be cautious when incorporating trailing and climbing plants as elements of your outdoor designs. While beautiful, they can damage the structures that they grow on and (if unmaintained) will even cause damage to your home’s exterior.

Ultimately, incorporating live plants into your indoor and outdoor decorating plans can be a stunning design choice. Whether you choose to stick with indoor plants, go for a large garden, or tackle both, plant life adds another layer of life and richness to any setting.