Wellbeing

The Case For Filling Your Home With Plants

Plants, plants, everywhere, plants. Café’s are filled with cacti, markets are swimming in succulents, and you can’t open Instagram without being hit in the face with a peace lily strategically placed next to a light-filled window. String of hearts hanging in macramé holders are on trend, tell your Nan.

But get this: it’s not a phase. Humans have been decorating spaces with greenery for centuries. The Greeks and Romans were pretty in to it, decorating their bathhouses and courtyards with ferns in marble pots, while the Japanese have been creating bonsais since forever.

We discovered that there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to foliage-based interior design. From creativity to clean air, here’s five very good reasons you should fill your house wall to wall with plants. And if you’re worried about caring for them, don’t, because we have this handy guide to keeping them alive.

#1 Plants are nature’s air filter

OK, so this is a big one and it asks you to call on your high school knowledge of photosynthesis. Nature filters and regenerates the air that we breathe, so yeah, it’s a big deal. Surround yourselves with plants and you’ll not only have plenty of fresh air at your disposal but the plants will rid the air of nasty chemicals and pollutants that might be lurking.

A photo posted by Lucy (@thedesignfiles) on

This is so important in fact, that it’s even on NASA’s radar. NASA began studying houseplants as air purifiers during the late 1980s in search of finding new ways to maintain air quality in space. Luckily for us, the results are still applicable so you can add NASA approved plants to your shopping list.

#2 Greenery is known to increase creativity

We know we live in a fast-paced world, no need to hashtag it. We look at screens all day in our professional and personal lives, adjusting spreadsheets and budgets, typing emails, and scrolling through endless social media feeds. 

Recent studies show that constantly being pulled towards our devices leads to mental fatigue and feeling overwhelmed. The answer to reducing gadget-associated stress? Well, if you aren’t ready to quit Facebook, try going green. Being among greenery and foliage reduces frustration and increases meditation levels, a cerebral response associated with creative thinking. So, if you are searching for inspiration in your home or studio this year, spruce it up with houseplants to help get you back on the creative path.

#3 Plants are natural mood-boosters

Put down the mindfulness app on your phone. Nature was around long before all that. Decorate your space with a burst of green hanging from the ceiling or sitting in a pot (or simply move your desk so you have a nice view of greenery through a window). This way you can tap into a sense of peace without looking at a screen.

A photo posted by Rui (@cactus.man) on

Researchers are continuously promoting the benefits of interspersing your day with a little bit of nature, whether it taking a walk in outside or simply taking a short pause staring out the window. Like the scientists, we think nature bathing is pretty important.

#4 You + plants = productive

Heard of the ‘lean’ office? It’s basically an office that lacks ‘green’. Curious to know what elements of an office space boost productivity, researchers have compared the two to see how greenery in an office impacts work produced, concentration levels, and workplace satisfaction. Results show that workers with plants in their office are 15% more productive than those who don’t. Fact.

Imagine how many to-do lists you would cross off just by embracing your green thumb and having more ferns and succulents dotted across your space.

#5 Boost your immunity

Linking back up to our first point, let’s finish by explaining that having plants in your working or living space boosts your immunity and leads you to be more resistant to common colds and hay-fever. Why? Because plants filter dust and germs from the air, clearing toxins and and airborne microbes that irritate you and cause infections.

Plus, when the seasons click, so too do the behaviours of houseplants. In colder months, plants release water vapours that help to increase humidity indoors. In the winter time this means less dry air causing a scratchy throat and itchy skin. Thank you, plants.


Claire Dalgleish is a freelance writer and art curator who currently lives in Sydney. She woke up like this. You can read more on her blog art/writing/projects and follow her via @art.writing.projects