Great Plant Ideas With a French Flair
The French are known for their dramatic interior spaces, using clever furniture designs, sumptuous fabrics and colours. French designers know that the perfect ambience in restaurants, office spaces and homes can be achieved using versatile ideas. These features include beautiful faux plants that are lifelike and lush, but easy to maintain.
Canny design features are beginning to appear this side of the Channel too because the French style is casually elegant and perfect for softening formality. Using plants for interior decoration is fun and innovative. The bonus of working with quality faux plants is that they can maintain their lifelike look for a long time to come.
Make a Statement!
If you have a large space, fill it with an equally large plant. The French use huge beautifully maintained house plants to be the focus of a room. Make sure you choose the right size – monstera deliciosa and the various ficus plants are all ideal. Ensure the plant does not look squashed, faux plants should be displayed in the part of the room where it would thrive if it were natural – such as near the window but away from direct sunlight. Trailing plants can give an air of elegance draped over the edge of a statement furniture piece.
Choose the Ideal Plants for Each Location
If you have a large plain wall, choose a variety of big plants with large leaves and consider a couple of wall baskets too, filled with tumbling trailing plants. Faux plants can look stunning and so life-like that it is hard to tell them from the natural variety, but clever selection is important – if your plain wall is somewhere shady, choose plants that would happily grow in such a position.
If you have large bare looking windows, treat them with some true Parisian style – a line of large flower pots in front, each with a tall plant with numerous small leaves. Choose varieties that normally love plenty of light and choose ones that complement each other to create a similar effect to a lace curtain – letting plenty of light into the room but relieving the starkness of the bare windows.
Clever Ideas for Bannisters
Bannisters are essential, but unless they are beautifully styled, they can look bland. The French way to deal with this is to use them as a blank canvas with a dramatic arrangement of climbing and trailing plants in a rectangular planter in front of the balustrade.
The selection of plants should include plenty of different shades of green and a variety of textures too. Plants such as faux ivy and vines can look delightful interwoven in the bannister rails. The focal point of the arrangement can be a beautiful live or faux flowering plant, this feature can regularly be replaced to mirror the passing seasons.
Wide staircases look elegant and appealing, but they can look a little stark. The easy way to add some interest is to have a different faux houseplant on each stair. The plants should be different heights and textures with a range of leaf colours – adding some with variegated leaves and others such as Crotons with rich red and gold leaves. Provide additional colour by introducing indoor roses and cyclamen – you can add these as seasonal highlights. It’s fun to add some dramatic plants that can be ‘talking points’ for visitors!
The plant pots and saucers can be simple terracotta ones to give a welcoming rustic feel or they can be various designs and shapes – either antique or contemporary in style- with a colour theme.
Sometimes, there is a need for subtle screening, either to offer privacy between tables or to mask a plain-looking doorway. An easy way to achieve the ‘wow’ factor is by the clever use of plants. Tall leafy plants in stylish easy move planters are a versatile way to define areas – a fun choice is a large vine. A colourful myriad of ferns and trailing plants hanging down from the top of a doorway is the perfect way to obscure it from view.
Stunning Flower Arrangements
The French love nothing better than a huge and vibrant flower arrangement. They love tall vases which they fill with huge colourful heads of hydrangea or with arum lilies at Easter time. Flowers are always arranged very simply in a vase. The most interesting and natural arrangements are made using a variety of wildflowers, interspersed with ears of wheat or barley and wild grasses – with plenty of French style!