small houseplant as an accessory on a bookshelf
Recently I was staying at The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas and from the moment I walked in the door I was keenly aware of the accessories. Or, should I say how many of one particular accessory they had on display. Any guesses? Whoever said houseplants, you’re the winner!
Friends with benefits
Biophilic design is a hot topic in the design community. Essentially, it’s the practice of connecting design with nature. The one way to do this – and what I recommend – is to add houseplants to your accessories, just like I saw at the hotel in Dallas.
There are many benefits to incorporating plants inside. Houseplants have an abundance of homeopathic benefits. Incorporating a houseplant into your home adds a living organism in your room–they instantly bring in life, color and texture all of which can enhance and boost your mood.
Plants also give off oxygen, which can improve air quality and soak up volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We often think of VOCs coming from paint, but they can also be emitted from something as simple as your home printer’s ink and tone.
Julia selecting a cachepot at Southwood
My Recommendations

To find houseplants in Tulsa, Southwood Landscape and Garden Center and Ted and Debbie’s Flower Garden carry some of the best houseplants out there, and both shops always offer an exotic variety. If you’re using a plant as an accessory, often you need some visual interest, something really striking and different whether in shape or color.

Here are some of my favorite houseplants that are easy to care for and add visual interest.
Click each plant name to see what they look like and start pinning ideas and inspiration for your next houseplant.
A Bromeliad in tropical foliage at the Tropical Plant Show at Southwood
A couple of tips when it comes to using plants as accessories: First, before you pick your plant, find a nice cachepot you like the look of. Then find a coordinating size of plant. Remember you do not have to plant the plant- just keep it in the container it came in (that 4-to-6 inch pot you bought at the store). 
Secondly, you may need to move your plant around the house from time to time. Perhaps you want the plant as an accessory for your bookshelf but it doesn’t get enough light there? That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have it where you want it, you just may have to let it spend a little time in a more sunlit part of your home.
Houseplants displayed on a large vintage console table at the Adolphus Hotel
Pro Tips
Most people know to water plants and perhaps even feed them, but were you aware you need to clean them, too? The leaves give off oxygen so if they are dusty, they won’t be able to get the CO2 they need. Don’t use a fancy cleaner. Simply take a wet rag and wipe them off. Or, if the plant has a very fine leaf you can even take it outside and use your blow dryer or leaf blower to dust off the plant. 
Additionaly, if you’re going to be gone for a week or two, fill your sink with an inch or two of water and set your plants in it. They will self water as needed for the duration of your trip.
Julia admiring a large palm at Southwood's Tropical Show
Surviving and thriving
Not only will local plant nurseries help you find the perfect plant for your lifestyle, they can also be somewhat of a plant doctor … take in a plant on its last leg and they can tell you exactly what’s wrong with it.
However, if you’d prefer to troubleshoot at home, there are several apps that can help you identify what could be wrong. We’ve used Planty, PlantSnap and Planta and had good results. 
Above all else, don’t fret! Don’t overthink your next plant purchase. There’s nothing wrong with a good old five dollar plant from Trader Joe’s. If you kill it, you say goodbye, move on and buy another! The main thing is to enjoy the many benefits of bringing nature inside – one beautiful houseplant at a time.
We would love to help with your next home improvement project – no matter how big or small. Submit a design request here.
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