Image: Ivy Muse for DuluxCan I create my own pots? Last year we were part of the Dulux Design Collective where we used paint to transform a range of glass, ceramic and terracotta vessels that we’d picked up in op-shops. But you don’t even have to apply paint to create an eye-catching display; a collection of pots and vessels with interesting shapes and of different heights can look fabulous when displayed with greenery. Another idea is to propagate plants from those you already own and simply add the cuttings to glass jars for a budget-friendly yet effective green display.
Or use technology to help with difficult spotsDon’t despair if you want pot plants in a dark area of your house or an area with no windows: there are options. It’s possible for plants to live under fluorescent lights, as they replicate the natural solar spectrum, providing the kind of light plants need. This is particularly useful when you use plants to brighten up dark bathrooms, or as a way to enliven a ‘dead’ area, such as a hallway. In this home, a trough filled with two plants and an arrangement of foliage makes a beautiful vignette in an otherwise dead end. With judicious watering, the right light bulb (full spectrum is best) and careful monitoring, it can work.
And rugs? Rugs are a great way to bring a furniture grouping together. They provide a border for furniture to sit on and can help you create individual dining and living zones in an open-plan room where furniture has a tendency to ‘float’. Ideally rugs should sit under the front legs of the sofa and occasional chairs – this helps visually link the pieces together. 10 Brilliant Ways to Make Small Spaces Appear Larger
Time it rightDisplay home centres get busy on weekends, so it’s best to visit during the week when you can have more quality time with your sales consultant. Be aware, however, that most sales consultants have their weekends on a Monday and Tuesday, so avoid these days.If you can only attend on the weekend, research exactly which homes you are interested in in advance, to narrow down your visiting time. It’s also worth booking an appointment with a sales consultant so you can be guaranteed of having all your questions answered.
In choosing a neutral wall paint, you select a paint with a tint of colour; it may be only a fraction of colour, but it is colour all the same. That small tint then becomes the most prominent note within your colour scheme – it still amazes me how a little bit of tint can do a whole lot of design damage. Although a colour may be neutral, its base may not match your colour scheme as perfectly as you had hoped. I have spent some serious time with colour samples and have found a process for deciding on a neutral wall colour that suits both the house I am creating a colour scheme for, as well as my style.
The tall and skinny varietyThe process of ‘pleaching’ trees (removing the foliage from the lower stem) has been done for hundreds of years, however, in recent years, many landscapers have began to pleach the stems of Bamboo. Pleaching the stems creates a negative space below the foliage that can either be left bare or under-planted with a creeper or low shrub.Bamboo is an excellent privacy solution for the modern home as it grows up to 6m high without the width that comes from most privacy plants, making it perfect for smaller block sizes.While the old running bamboo received a bad reputation for creeping and spreading into neighbouring properties, the new cultivars such as slender weavers (Bambusa textilis ‘Gracilis’) are what’s called ‘clumping’ bamboos. Clumping bamboos don’t spread like the old style and will only clump and thicken up directly around the base of the plant.
If you want bright foliageAlmost iconic in name and appearance, kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos spp.) is your go-to should you require a bold burst of colour and interesting textures in your Australian native garden. To achieve the best look, mass plant them in groupings. Bloom colours range from reds, yellows, oranges, pinks and even black and white. They will provide an incredible contrast against the more plain foliaged plants in your garden.TIP: To get the most out of your kangaroo paws, plant them in full sun and well-drained soil.