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Using Plants to Customize Your Living Space

I love garden centres. I always manage to discover something new and fresh—no pun intended!  They’re alive with greenery and full of rich coloursMost of all, they’re filled with ideas about how to bring a space to life, be it indoors or outdoors.

Finding Your (Houseplant) Match

If you live in a studio apartment, creating different areas for living, working and sleeping can be key to making your home work for you. Greenery can be a great way to create separation between different living areas without making your space feel smaller or cramped. Here are three ways to do just that:

Add a Potted Plant or Two

The simplest and least expensive option is to purchase a plant or two, plus pots that match your style. Choosing a plant isn’t just about what looks prettiest; plants have needs, too, and you want to make the right choice for both of youThis may mean doing some research on plant care before making a purchase, getting professional advice in the garden centre, or at a minimum, reading the instruction card that usually comes with the plant.

If space is at a premium, avoid plants that spread out too much. You don’t want to be brushing up against them when you walk past, as this may damage them. At the opposite end of the spectrum, opting for small succulents may save you and your wardrobe from the scratches and snags that can happen when you brush against a plant.

Tall plants or trees can be used to create different areas in your living space, they can also add an interesting new element to draw the eye. Take advantage of beautiful tall plants to bring an additional dimension to your room.

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How much light does the room get? Are you north or south facing? Is the light direct/indirect? Different plants will have very different light needs. A little planning can save you from the sad sight of drooping leaves.

And finally, how much care do they need? If you enjoy travelling frequently, you may need to have someone water them in your absence or opt for artificial plants instead. Even if you’re not a frequent flyer, artificial plants can be a beautiful option. With faux greenery, what you buy is what you get: no need to worry about plant care.

DIY Your Own Planters

If you’re a creative soul, consider making your own planters! You can find inspiration everywhere, from local businesses to PinterestInstagramHGTV and Canadian Living. Closer to home, visit your local garden centre; you’ll undoubtedly find a professional to chat with in person. By DIYing, you can create the perfect planter for your space. Whether you need something large that will sit on the floor or something small for a table, DIY is as customizable as it gets.

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To help narrow down your options, decide whether you want to use real or artificial plants and establish a budget. Are you working with a tight one, or is the sky the limit?

Now that you know what you want, it’s time to bring it together. If you have the resources and the know-how, get started and have fun! If, however, you’re like me and notsogifted, consider taking a course. Many garden centres offer workshops on how to make your own planter. By taking a class, you’ll avoid ending up with leftover materials you don’t need, and you’ll learn a new skill.

Add A Living Screen

The absolute simplest way to divide a room is to add a screenThey come in a variety of different materialsfrom bamboo and wicker to metal, wood, and plastic. You can choose a screen based on size and colour, and they’re easy to change up when you decide to redecorate.

But for truly next-level décor, consider a living screen. Living screens are often used outdoors instead of fencing or to create a sense of privacy. Indoors, they add chic greenery as well as privacy, and can still be built using outdoor supplies. You may need to use different plants indoors than you’d generally use outdoors, though—outdoor plants don’t always do so well when brought inside.

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To keep it simple, buy a shelving unit and simply fill it with potted plants of various shapes and sizes; maybe even vine or two that will hang down. You can turn a simple shelf into a unique living screen that will differ from side to side, depending on how the plants grow.

In the words of composer Richard Wagner, “Imagination creates reality.” A small or open space is an opportunity to flex your creative muscle and make your home truly unique. But if you find yourself needing a little help, there’s always your local garden centre.

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