One simple element can provide the finishing touch for any room, and really breathe life into a space... plants!!!! This is particularly important in an urban environment where our green spaces are not exactly right out our "front" door. I find every room feels calmer, more inviting, and alive once you pop a little green in. Small plants on a nightstand, end table, or book shelf can really perk up the place! Here are some of my favorite easy-to-care-for plants and the spaces they like to inhabit:
Low & Medium Light Plants
1. Devil's Ivy: This plant you literally cannot kill. We had one fondly named Jimmy that resided in the shop for over three years. It was brought back to life at least a dozen times, and now hangs out on my kitchen table. Not only is Jimmy still kickin, but I've pulled off a few of his pieces (including the root), repotted them, and now they are new little plants themselves. It likes low to medium light, and I water mine with one cup of water once a week.
2. Zanzibar Gem: This is a wonderful plant for an entryway, or dark corner of a living room. It requires very little across the board. It likes to dry out between waterings, and like Jimmy, you can almost kill it a million times over and somehow it comes back to life every time. This is nice medium sized and mine is on the floor next to our sofa.
High Light Plants:
1. Jade: Jade is so lovely on a window sill, or table close to a window. It thrives in bright light (at least 4 hours a day), likes to be watered thoroughly but not often. Let it dry out completely between waterings. Best trait of a Jade? It's the Japanese Money Plant! It's rounded leaves are said to bring prosperity and financial success! I'll take two!:)
2. Fiddle Leaf Fig: Personally I feel the Fiddle Leaf Fig's reported "finicky" rap in the plant world is really unfounded. I have had two for years, and they have been in two apartments and a hand full of rooms, plus I've gone on vacation leaving them behind to fend for themselves multiple times (admittedly they were a little shriveled, but perked back up with a thorough watering). The key is a bright sunny room, preferably south facing. They like thorough watering, and to dry out in between as well. I used to wait on watering until I saw just a hint of drooping in the leaves. Then I'd dump a quart of water on it and they would perk back up an hour or so later.
3. Geranium: My most favorite flowering plant, indoors especially, is a big leafy geranium. They are simultaneously elegant and playful. They are also wonderful in window boxes, but alas, that's really more for an outdoor plant post! They can live for years if you take care of them well. They like to be close to a window, or in a bright sunny room. I water mine once a week with a glass or two of water depending on how dry it is. Cute large or small, a big pot, or just a little guy on a dresser. I love the fuchsia ones, that pink is just stunning!
Random Helpful Note: My Mom gave me these terracotta stakes and they really are a game changer. I use an old wine bottle (bottoms up!:), fill it with water, and put it upside down in the stake. It slowly releases as much water as the plant needs. In the hot NYC heat, I still may dump a little extra if it's a big plant/tree and the leaves are a little droopy. My friends are all mystified by the wine bottles growing up out of my plants! Ha!