How to Style Indoor Plants

How to style indoor plants

A lot of people want to transform their spaces into dreamy urban jungles, but don’t know how to style indoor plants. This can mean that their green spaces turn grey, end up looking cluttered, or gathering dust.

chinese money plant made from paper

Knowing how to style indoor plants can make a huge difference and give your plants all the impact they deserve. Here are my best plant styling tips!

Gauge your own commitment

Look. Your plant dreams won’t come true if you don’t choose plants that you can keep alive. Maybe you’re a big fan of ferns, but you live in a dry climate and don’t have it in you to water and spray a plant every day. 🙋🏼‍♀️ I know it hurts, but you might need to hold off on living with some higher-demand plants until you’re a more experienced plant parent. Know yourself and get plants that you can keep alive, because no matter how well-styled your plant kingdom is, it won’t look good if it’s dead.

Here are some of my favorite plants, and you can check out their care requirements to make sure that you’re signing up for something you can handle.

Light

Make sure that your plants have the correct amount of light for the species. Some thrive in the shade, some need bright light, and many plants do their best somewhere in between. You need to consider your space and the light before you even buy plants if you want a healthy indoor plantscape.

And of course, paper plants won’t die no matter what light you put them in, but remember that they might fade in bright light.

pre-potted plants Tranquility

Temperature

Unfortunately, lots of plant parents fail to consider a space’s temperature and are confounded when their plants keep dying. If you live somewhere with cold winters, avoid putting sensitive plants near drafty areas like doors or right by a window, especially when temperatures drop. And if your living space tends to be really hot and sunny, make sure that you don’t have sensitive, cool-loving plants in places where they’ll scorch and die. Again, if you’re working with paper plants, this isn’t an issue.

Paper heartleaf philodendron in bright green in a checkered pot on a wooden table

Water/Humidity

Some plants, like ferns and other tropicals, need more water and humidity than others (like succulents and cacti). If you have a plant that needs to be cared for and watered often, put it somewhere easily accessible so that watering doesn’t become a hassle.

If your bathroom has enough light, consider styling it with some humidity-loving plants. All the steam from your showers will make them thrive.

a variety of potted houseplants

Scale

When you’re designing your planty spaces, you don’t want to just have a lot of little plants scattered around. Choose one or two larger plants (indoor trees are great here!) and make these a focal point.

While big houseplants can be expensive, you can try making your own with paper (we have some great tutorials on the blog!) or check out our next tip for height help.

outdoor potted plants

Height

In an arrangement of plants, you want the tallest ones to be at the back. Think of them like a choir, with the tallest singers standing at the back. You can also give some plants a boost to add more height and give the illusion of larger plants. Try using shelves, bricks, blocks, an overturned flower pot, stacks of decorative books, and more to add some height to your plantscape.

planter garden with a sculptural head planter

Color

Indoor plants come in all kids of colors, not just green! Consider the colors and lighting in your space before you buy or make plants. If you plan it right, you can get beautiful, dramatic, intentional looks by curating your plant colors. Imagine a room with all deep purple foliage! So regal, right??

Paper Poinsettia Flower

Paper Plants

Like I’ve mentioned, I love paper plants for their ease and also because they’re a super fun craft! You can check out this paper plant video, these favorite tutorials, and these templates and ebooks from our shop. And don’t forget the flowers!

DIY Paper Japanese maple tree

Paper pansies on a windowsill. There's a white lacy curtain next to them, and red floral wallpaper on the other.

Once you’ve become a full-fledged plant parent, you might want to treat yourself with this Plant Lady print by Libby VanderPloeg from our shop.

What are your favorite plant tips? Let me know!

Lars’ Gardening Essentials

Lars favorite gardening essentials

Lars and Gardens

If you’ve been following along for a while now, you’ll know I love gardens. I mean, anything that’s compatible with flowers is a big yes for me. Years ago, I described my dream gardens in this post. It’s a great place to start if you need a little help deciding on what types of plants to fill your garden with.

Tips for Beginners (or anyone, really!)

Speaking of tips on growing a garden, if you need some, see this post on how to grow a garden even when you think you can’t. I wouldn’t consider myself a pro, but you can see what I did to the front yard garden of our little rental (serious nostalgia here! I love our new house, but that little rental will always have a special place in my heart. And the garden turned out so lovely)!

A display of geraniums in terracotta pots

Another post that can steer you in the right direction if you’re in need of a little garden inspiration is this post on how to plant a rainbow container garden. I go through plants of every color of the rainbow! It’s a lovely and easy way to add some color to your garden.

Oh, and if you need a few more gardening tips, as well as basic tools? See this post! It’s amazing how helpful a few basic tools can be in creating your dream garden. And speaking of tools and other essentials, you won’t want to miss this garden apron tutorial.

Other Garden Inspiration

Interested in our other garden content? You might want to check out this garden transformation we did with Troy Bilt! Honestly, the before photos are unrecognizable. Also see this post, where we compiled the inspiration for our new house! And last year, we did a roundup of planters and pots for you to peruse. And don’t forget our shop! Inspire yourself with floral and garden-centric art like this or this.

Lars’ Gardening Essentials

And for your convenience, here are some other Lars’ gardening essentials. From gloves to planters, you’ll be set for spring with a variety of tools. Whether you’ve got a pumpkin patch in your backyard, a few pots on your front porch, or some herbs on your windowsill, there’s something for every gardener (or wannabe) out there!

Cyanotype Sun Prints

What is a Cyanotype?

Ever seen those iconic blue and white photographs and wondered how they were made? If cyanotypes are new to you, here’s a little background. Did you know that cyanotypes are where architects and engineers picked up the term “blueprint”? They are literal blue prints! That’s because of the traditional blue and white color of an exposed cyanotype. A cyanotype is a photo process where specially treated paper reacts to UV light (the sun’s rays) and exposes the paper. Specifically, our method involves placing foliage on cyanotype paper that turns blue when exposed to the sun, leaving beautiful white shapes of foliage behind.

Pressed Flowers

Remember this post on how to press flowers in three methods? Cyanotypes are a perfect way to repurpose your beautiful pressed flowers again and again! We love the delicate designs the pressed flowers make in a cyanotype.

In our cyanotype method, we use a simple sheet of clear acrylic to make our design first, then set it on top of the cyanotype paper. That way your design is set in place and you won’t damage your precious cyanotype paper trying to get the glue dots off.

How to Make Your Own Cyanotype Sun Prints

  1. First, create your pattern by arranging pressed flowers on one side of the acrylic. Make sure the design fits. Secure the flowers with glue dots (this is helpful to keep your design in place, especially if there is wind).
  2. Next, lay the cyanotype paper flat on the ground in a spot that gets direct sunlight.
  3. Now, position the acrylic on the cyanotype paper and set it in place.
  4. Leave in the sun for about 20 minutes, or until the design has set. Our paper was quicker than 20 minutes (closer to 5 or 10), but the time varies depending on the specific brand of paper you use.
  5. Last step is to rinse the cyanotype paper with water, and let it fully dry on a clean surface. Done!

If you’d like, you can frame your beautiful print or leave it on its own, whichever you prefer. Add it to your collection of art and put it somewhere that makes you happy!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on cyanotype sun prints? Remember to check out our post on how to press flowers in three methods! Also see this post, where we compiled all our paper flower tutorials all in one place.

Our Top Ten Posts of 2021

Our Top Ten Posts Of 2021

I have to admit, it was a fun surprise to see which posts came out on top. 2021 was an eventful year and it was nostalgic to go back through those memorable projects we had so much fun with. Keep scrolling to see what your Lars 2021 favorites were! As you reminisce with us, consider this a perfect opportunity to revisit these must-do projects and get inspiration for the coming year.

1. How to Press Flowers in 3 Methods

Winning by a landslide, our number one post of 2021 was How to Press Flowers in 3 Methods. If you didn’t get a chance to see this the first time, I would highly recommend trying out these methods for pressing flowers come Spring. Beci Orpin is a genius, and we were thrilled to feature her tutorial on how to press flowers.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

2. (Fall)ing in Love With Quilted Coats

Remember our obsession with quilted coats? We sure do. (Fall)ing in Love With Quilted Coats is a post dedicated to those oh so lovely statement pieces you’ve been seeing everywhere. An element of cottagecore (which you can learn more about in the original post), these coats are surprisingly timeless, while also being unique and one-of-a-kind in both style and class. If this is your first time hearing about quilted coats, you’re in for a real treat.

Now, we know there’s been some debating going on, so don’t worry, we’ve addressed that, too. If you’re interested in reading more about it, see our post here for more.

Brittany wears a pink and neutral quilted coat in front of a white house with green grass.

Oh, and here’s our very own quilted coat! And as an ode to COVID, here’s another variation.

3. Baby Lars’ French-Inspired Rattan Nursery

Our third post in our top ten posts of 2021 was the Baby Lars’ French-Inspired Rattan Nursery. I mean, how could that rattan in all its glory not make the top ten list?! There’s a reason we’re so obsessed with it, and you will be too once you read this post, if you haven’t already.

Dramatic Rattan bed with a criss-crossing rattan headboard

A rattan bassinet with metal legs in a light-filled nursery

4. Meet Brittany’s New Rainbow Office

An ode to all the home renovations we’ve been doing since we moved into our new house, Meet Brittany’s New Rainbow Office was such a fun renovation to add to the list! From the rainbow carpet to the rainbow calendar, I honestly love sitting in my office. Just ask the rest of the team, it’s where you’ll find me most of the time. Can you blame me?

rainbow calendar home office

5. Make The Midsummer Floral Crown

The fifth post of our top ten posts of 2021 was Make The Midsummer Floral Crown. Come summer, you won’t be able to resist dipping your toes in the water and trying out these lovely little floral crowns. Perfect for a summer tea party, picnic, wedding, or gathering with the gals, they also double as a quick and easy summer craft! We love how dainty and refined these customizable crowns feel, and would highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

waxflower and laurel flower crowns are stacked in a pile.

6. 3 DIY Lampshades Made With Unexpected Recycled Materials

Okay, I could go on for a long time about these 3 DIY Lampshades Made With Unexpected Recycled Materials. It’s amazing what lighting can do to complete the look of a room, and these DIY lampshades do just that. We had so much fun making them, and if you haven’t had a chance, head over to the original post and give them a try! The best part is, you can cut down on environmental waste while you make something beautiful for your home. Yes please!

DIY lampshade with Spoonflower fabric

7. 3 Pie Crust Designs To Wow Your Guests This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and a large reason why has to do with the pies. These 3 Pie Crust Designs To Wow Your Guests This Thanksgiving were such a fun way to still do something creative with the Thanksgiving food, while also avoiding the actual cooking (this was a requisite for me, as anyone who knows me can attest–cooking is not my thing). I’m totally okay not cooking, as long as I get to help beautify the already-made foods! And I have to say, these pies do look stunning. So! Keep them in the back of you mind as you prep for this year’s Thanksgiving. I know it’s a ways away, but it can’t hurt to be prepared, right?

8. In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design

Next from our top ten posts of 2021 was In The Mood For: Frida Kahlo Inspired Interior Design. I mean, am I really ever not in the mood for Frida Kahlo inspired interior design? It’s a merging of two of my favorite things! This post, dedicated to helping inspire your inner Frida as you decorate your home, is one that is useful for far more than just a glance through can provide. Take a look, and just see if you aren’t inspired to take a leaf out of Frida Kahlo’s book. Or painting.

9. Printable Summer Pie Boxes

Are you ready for Summer? I know it’s only January, but I have a feeling I’m not the only one already itching for those warm summer days and endless opportunities for outdoor parties and get togethers. Well, if you really want to be prepared to wow your guests, these Printable Summer Pie Boxes are the perfect thing! Everyone knows what a pain it is to get to the end of a party, only to realize there are delicious treats left but no to-go boxes to put them in. That’s where these summer pie boxes come in. They’re adorable, but perfectly functional for all your pie-storing and transporting needs. Oh, and keep them around–you can use them in November for those adorable pies you made.

Leftover summer pie box

10. DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations

Last but definitely not least on our top ten posts of 2021 are our DIY Doily Honeycomb Decorations. A variation on our Honeycomb ornaments, these delicate little decorations are the perfect thing to celebrate your relationships this Valentine’s Day. And how convenient, it’s just about a month away, so now’s the perfect time to get decorating!

What Would You Like to See This Year?

We loved getting to reminisce with you through our top ten posts of 2021. It’s sparked a lot of ideas, and we’re thrilled for a new year full of engaging projects to keep us all sane and happy!

We would love to know: what would you like to see from us in 2022?

Things To Do For Mom

Give her breakfast in bed

Breakfast in bed is the classic Mother’s Day gift! But this year you can make it even more unique by cutting out fruit in the shape of flowers. It’s a simple way even the little kids can feel like they’re contributing to help make mom feel special. To get you started, give her a hot cup of tea in this speckled loopy mug from our shop, or add a twisted candle in a flower candle holder.

Here are some more supplies to help prep for the perfect breakfast in bed:

Make dinner

Growing up, my dad would make dinner for my mom every Mother’s Day. Most of the time, he did a pretty spectacular job (though I still remember the time he forgot the cheese in the lasagna). Don’t worry, if you’re not feeling confident enough in your cooking to take on a whole meal yourself (I understand, I really do–I’m the queen of not knowing how to cook), enlist the help of siblings and friends and make a day of it! There’s also no shame in a few store-prepared elements to your meal (Harmon’s and Trader Joe’s are my favorites).

If your mom loves to cook, some great gifts we mentioned in our Mother’s Day gift guide this year are our recipe cards and this adorable new checkerboard apron!

Here are some other great kitchen supplies to make the dinner extra special and beautiful:

Give her a beautiful card

A Mother’s Day card can never go wrong. It’s simple, but something every mother loves. Luckily for you, we have a whole host of Mother’s Day cards and stationary like this Scandinavian one to get you started!

Something handmade

What mom doesn’t love a handmade gift from their child? Head straight to our blog for tons of great DIY projects that double as great Mother’s Day gifts! For example, try these photo transfer dolls, or this beautiful clay necklace. This lovely embroidered brooch is another great option your mom can wear. For the kids, check out this post with tons of great Mother’s Day ideas kids can help with!

Two embroidered plush dolls on a blue background surrounded by colorful toys

Closeup of the embroidered floral brooch on Brittany's chambray quilted coat.

Flowers

Of course we couldn’t forget flowers. You know we love flowers, here at The House that Lars Built. Why not make some paper flowers for your mom this year? Some of my favorites are peonies, foxgloves, and hollyhocks. It’s a bouquet that stays looking fresh long after Mother’s Day!

Paper peony bouquet held by a person in a striped dress

Magenta and purple hollyhocks made of crepe paper against a dark grey background

No time to make a bouquet? Here are some lovely flower-centric options to try:

Go on a mom date

Take her out to her favorite restaurant, go get manis/pedis, get massages or do a full spa day, get a yummy treat, go on a walk amidst the blossoms, the options are endless. The one thing we know is that she’ll love getting to spend some quality time with you.

Here are some spa items you could incorporate into an at-home spa day:

Clean for her

Every mom appreciates a little help with the cleaning. Growing up, I remember asking my mom what she wanted for birthdays and she’d always mention cleaning. We can all relate! No matter how on top of the chores you are, it’s nice to take a break and let someone else take care of it for a change. The best part about this is that all ages of children can do a little something to help. Your mother deserves it!

Oh, and to top off your cleaning, why not light a deliciously scented candle? Mmmm, I love a good candle, and I bet your mom does, too.

More Gift Ideas

Still stumped? Check out our 2022 Mother’s Day gift guide!