More than ever, we’re looking to the great outdoors as a source of design inspiration. “Overgrown interiors have become very popular in urban environments,” says Marissa Pretorius of Opus Studio.

Indoor plants breathe life into a space and create a sense of well-being. Few things are more soothing than being enveloped by vibrant layers of deep woodland greens, patterned variegated leaves and colourful foliage.

Living design

When choosing plants for indoor spaces, focus on function, suggests Pretorius.“Does the space require height, or partitioning to create privacy? Or is it merely for decorative purposes?”

In terms of applications, options abound. Mount plants against a wall, suspend them from your ceiling, add a plant screen or create a vertical garden.



What sets them apart from other non-living design elements is their ability to blend seamlessly with most décor schemes.

Dan Isaac Wallin

Mix bold tropical leaves with delicate, intricate foliage to create an indoor oasis. “Ferns, peace lilies, mother-in-law’s tongue, dracaena, crotons, ivies are good indoor options,” says Craig de Necker, managing director of The Friendly Plant.


Play around with colour, texture and leaf shape to create lush layers of verdant foliage. String of beads (Senecio rowleyanus) (top left) and the versatile maidenhair fern are popular, fuss-free options.

Garden Trading

Medium-height trees are a must have. For a mid-century modern look, anchor your living space with an architectural dragon tree. Add one or two fiddle-leaf figs to create depth and dimension.

TREND ALERT: According to Pretorius, hot indoor plants to look out for are hoyas, Peperomia “Rosso”, Pilea spp., (also known as the wandering Jew), Oxalis, as well as verigated and creeping delicious monsters.

TIP: For some green-fingered design inspiration, follow Urban Jungle Bloggers, Haarkon and Homestead Brooklyn on Instagram.

A water-savvy approach

“Locally, hardy, low-maintenance, water-wise plants are popular. The challenge is to save water, but still be able to keep indoor plants,” says Pretorius.

Unexpected additions

There’s a growing trend towards transforming homes into indoor urban jungles. According to Pretorius, “Unusual and rare plants are sought after for their interesting foliage, textures and colours.”

Life is a Garden

Did you know? Plants with patterned foliage are one of the hottest trends right now, according to the Pinterest list of 100 top searches.

Take Care

“As with their outdoor counterparts, indoor plants need light, water and maintenance,” says De Necker. He points out that areas with low light levels are not suitable for indoor plants.

Aesthetic appeal

With indoor plants, it’s all about presentation. Disguise unsightly plastic plant containers with interesting pots and designer planters.

No space?

No indoor jungle is complete without hanging baskets trailing with verdant foliage. If you’re tight on space suspend them from your roof.

Dulux Playful Home palette 2018

Shop the look:

Mia Melange

For a boho-inspired look, opt for this small pot plant holder by Mia Mélange. Available from

Sarah Jane

If indoor plants seem too much of a commitment, prop architectural strelizia leaves into these ceramic jug vases by Sarah Jane. Available from

Hertex Haus

For a touch of drama, fill an ensemble of Konin glass vases from Haus with different plant speciments. Bulbs are especially striking additions. Available from


Raise the bar with this hanging wire basket available from Weylandts. Available from

Opus Studio

Kokedamas are popular. Opus Studio stocks a range of interesting specimens. Visit