Plants are an integral part of any interior design. They add a source of vitality, freshness and allow spaces to look finished. Have you ever watched those interior design shows and competitions on TV? Invariably, you see the designers use plants as a finishing touch.
Caring for plants, like petting a cat or walking a dog, also lowers stress and blood pressure. Simply having green and blooming plants around comforts and helps prevent the blues. Just as outdoor plants can be used to highlight featured areas or cover up problem areas, houseplants can be used in the same way.
A key point to be made here is to know what your decorating style is before selecting plants. If you want to showcase your grandmother’s heirloom teacup collection in an antique armoire, you probably don’t want to use cactus. Something light and frilly, such as a trailing ivy, delicate bridal veil or an airy fern would be a better match. Or if you have a modern, contemporary design and want to add a focal point, a large-leaved, bold Philodendron or a multi-level grouping of bromeliads might be a more appropriate choice than a grouping of fluffy azaleas and ferns.
Green and flowering plants improve the aesthetics of our homes and offices. To some, that in itself is enough reason to have them around. But the benefit of having plants around goes far beyond décor. Adding plants to any living or working space is actually making your environment healthier.
Indoor air quality has been an area of concern in commercial settings for years. “Sick Building Syndrome” — defined as an acute incidence of indoor air pollution that can occur in closed or poorly ventilated offices has become an issue in residences as well. Poor air quality is blamed for “nuisance” type health conditions, all the way to serious life-threatening health issues.
In a joint study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and The Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ACLA), plants were put to the test. Inside a Plexiglas box, many plant species were isolated while toxic pollutants were injected into the chamber. The results were compelling.
Simple plants like Philodendron, Spider Plants and Golden Pothos were labeled the most effective in removing formaldehyde molecules. Gerbera daisy plants and mums were best at removing benzene.
Plants do not replace properly functioning air systems. But, these little natural ‘air purifiers’ can sure be a key component to your indoor air quality plan.