How to Think Green and Update Your Home for 2018

Not only is “living” décor beneficial to your personal well-being by filtering harmful chemicals from the air and regulating humidity, but can instantaneously add a vibrant glamour to your home’s interior.

Patone, a persuasive color predictor may have transitioned from green to ultra-violet in 2018, but that won’t prevent people from “thinking green”, keeping their interiors on par with designer’s use of living foliage.

Not only are plants good for our health by cleaning our indoor air, but is artistically attractive too. Designer Rowena Gonzales, Founder of Liquid Interiors, sees that homeowners are willing to pay a premium for “living” décor, and that it is heightened by a larger trend – wellness.

This option is far more inexpensive to those more luxurious interior choices. Shop locally or harvest from your own backyard, then add them to a beautiful or unique planter.

Gonzales acknowledges some people more than others are “a houseplant kind of person,” but she contends that we all should be filling up our homes from top to bottom with plants.

“Introducing plants into our homes is one of the ways we can easily and practically counteract the negative effects of city living,” says Gonzales.

Indoor plants can improve air quality by creating oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, regulating humidity and absorbing harmful chemicals, such as, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds,” she continues. Plants are great stress relievers “and gives us overall higher levels of well-being,” Gonzales states, allowing for the possibility to increase people’s creativity and production.


The most important thing when enhancing your spaces is “to have fun with it,” says Gonzalez. “See your plants as a form of art to be placed as vignettes on shelves, in corners, and spaces where there are natural gaps,” she advises.

Bring additional depth to a room’s features by hanging plants as well. Oversized glass baubles are an invaluable way to liven up a room.

Add some spice: Layer plants by sizes while adding in a sculptural plant – making a cluster arrangement. Odd number assemblies are more pleasing to the eye. “Even numbers create symmetry; off numbers create interest,” she explains. Green, “living” walls, first seen at the corporate level, are finding their way into residential spaces, especially smaller ones where there’s limited placement options for pots. But be careful to choose the appropriate plant for the conditions.

One exception is Polarmoss, indigenous to Finland, and is being marketed in Hong Kong as living artwork. It can be found at Wah King Garden Arts in Sai Kung and thrives in indoor settings, with limited effort.

At the Liquid Interiors office, Gonzales preserves a formula of 1 large plant between every 4 people, using plants as artful decoration. When at home each plant’s pot is chosen and tied into a room the same way we do it with furniture.

“I find that ivy and jade plants grow well in bathrooms, where there is not much daylight,” she said. “In the bedroom, lavender in a large pot brings in subtle fragrance to relax at night.”

In the living room you would observe a Swiss Cheese plant along with a jade plant located in an elevated pot. While the dining table sports a fish bowl, fish included, with some greenery of its own.

Gonzales suggest using succulents since they are smaller in size and  easily upheld, while adding a sculptural form to every minimalist’s aesthetic.

“Introducing plants into our homes is one of the ways we can easily and practically counteract the negative effects of city living.” Rowena Gonzales

The majority of houseplants do require effort to maintain, including fertilizer. Gonzales prepares her own plant nutrition by creating fertilizer from table scraps. This process takes as little as 4 hours in her Smart Cara indoor composter. More labor intensive micro greens into an edible garden are also a nice touch.

Australian architect Jason Chongue believes that most people are put off by adding plants into their spaces for fear of disappointment.

The passionate grower put his professional practice behind for the ability to work exclusively in his own business, The Plant Society, in Collingwood, a neighborhood in Melbourne, Australia. His store operation includes design services and gardening workshops.

“We do a lot of education,” says Chongue, who published a how-to indoor gardening guide in November. (The Plant Society, Hardie Grant Books)


The book highlights the 25 indoor plants best suited for you based on how easy they are to maintain to the more unusual, labor-concentrated plants. The guide also includes styling advice, such as, how to decorate different rooms in your home with plants; and how to obtain personality with the use of unique pots and planters.

When he hears someone say they’ve killed every house plant in the past, Chongue responds that, “it’s not so difficult to keep them happy.” His book covers it all from basic plant care, repotting to the plants best suited for pets.

His goal is to inspire everyone to set their fears aside and create their “very own indoor rainforest” – like Chongue and his partner has done.

The couple shares a 5 meter wide and 30 meter long urban-fringe terrace home; that they have jam-packed with 400 plants. Chongue believes the maintaining of healthy and happy plants is achieved by choosing those best suited to the environment at hand.


He suggests starting small with just a few plants and fostering your collection as your gardening skills progress.

Use different leaf textures, and layer them up,” he says. Optimize window ledges and vacant corners by placing flowing ivies from them, or adding a smaller piece to a dining table.

“Plants bring a lot of softness to a home and remind everyone that we really do rely on the environment,” he says. Smaller spaces, like flats, often lack finishing touches plants can give.

Not sure if you are ready for the commitment of maintaining plants? Hong Kong-based stylist Marilen Faustino-Montenegro believes nature in any form whether it is fresh cut flowers, pebbles or driftwood, can not only spruce up a room, but generate stunning displays as well.

Lastly, to help you manage your home renovation projects, we recommend using our Browzzer app to simplify the process.