{Photo}Synthesis Vol 7: A Take On Being Eclectic With A Boho Artistic Flair

A stag horn plant sits on the nightstand and another hangs above the bed in addition to a spider plant and a blue star fern.

A stag horn plant sits on the nightstand and another hangs above the bed in addition to a spider plant and a blue star fern.

I am so excited to bring you Sharlene for this {Photo}Synthesis feature.

As you all probably know by now (or in case you don't), my love for plants runs deeps. My grandmother and I used to spend hours in her garden that spanned an entire acre when I was small. Also, Perry, my husband is a landscape architect by training so he too has taught me so much about both gardening and plants in general.  Needless to say, we can't get enough of these green babies at our house and I love featuring others doing really cool things with them too. Okay, enough about us; let's find out what Sharlene has to say:

View of the potted palm in the entry as well as a false aralia plant in the sitting room.

View of the potted palm in the entry as well as a false aralia plant in the sitting room.

Hi! I'm Sharlene and I am thrilled to be featured here to share some of my plant designs with you.  I live in La Cañada, a small community suburb of Los Angeles. Our property is situated at the foothills of Angeles National Forest, and has a significant amount of mature trees, primarily pine and deodar, which are 50 plus feet tall.  

A spider plant hangs in a vintage brass plant ring. To the right is a hanging lipstick plant. A blue star fern is next to the bed and standing tall is a money tree plant.

A spider plant hangs in a vintage brass plant ring. To the right is a hanging lipstick plant. A blue star fern is next to the bed and standing tall is a money tree plant.

We live in one of a relatively small number of older homes in La Cañada.  Ours is a Spanish Mediterranean that turns 90-years-old this year!  I'm a maker and artist, and a volunteer tutor and mentor for a non-profit that serves at-risk youth.  

A lipstick plant hangs in a vintage ring plant hanger. 

A lipstick plant hangs in a vintage ring plant hanger. 

As far as my design style, it's definitely eclectic with a boho artistic flair.  I would say that I'm not a minimalist and not a maximalist either.  I'm more of a "rotationalist" (I just made that up).  I have a lot of collected things, but I don't like to have them all on display at once.  As far as plants go, just a short time ago I had only one or two plants in our house.  All that changed last year after a visit to the Palmenhaus restaurant in Vienna, Austria, a former prominent greenhouse for botanical exhibits.  (It's okay to Google it now. I'll wait).

A potted palm anchors the sitting room.

A potted palm anchors the sitting room.

 Anyway, it had the most beautiful ambiance of any building that I've ever been in.  The space was surrounded with plants, large glass windows and some fun banner art.  Needless to say, when I got home I started on my plant quest.  First came some large potted palm trees. (I learned the hard way that there are certain palms that do better indoors than others).  In addition to the larger palm trees, I have a whole array of potted plants, most of which are in hanging planters.  I have plants hanging all along the curtain rod in the master bedroom, and it appears that in the Instagram community, it's a bit of my trademark.

A stag horn flanks the art in the bedroom.

A stag horn flanks the art in the bedroom.

Below are some of my favorite tips when it comes to having plants in my home:

NON-TOXIC:  All my plants are of the non-toxic variety since we have three curious kitties and two dogs.  My favorites are the blue star fern and the lipstick plant.  I also recommend the spider plant and staghorn as other non-toxic varieties.  Although most cactus are non-toxic, I fear the spines are just as much of a hazard to curious pets.  (If you are concerned about pet safety, the ASPCA has lists of plants that are non-toxic to cats and dogs).

WATERING:  Sunday is watering day.  I found it best to establish a schedule, but not necessarily stick to it!

SUNLIGHT:  Our house has a lot of large windows so sunlight isn't generally a problem, but I like to rotate the plants so they all get a decent amount of sunlight.  That being said, one of the best things I did for the potted palm trees and larger plants, is put them on plant dollies so I can wheel them closer to the windows when needed.

TIPS FOR STYLING WITH PLANTS:  A large potted palm tree can really anchor a room and have great impact.  Clustering multiple pots in various sizes, whether on the floor or table, can also make a great impact.  My favorite styling tip is to hang plants from a curtain rod like I did in the master bedroom.  Not only do the plants get great light from the window, but it adds great ambiance to the room, which goes back to my original inspiration, Palmenhaus.

A cluster of potted plants enjoy the light filled entry way

A cluster of potted plants enjoy the light filled entry way

A potted palm tree in the entry greets guests.

A potted palm tree in the entry greets guests.

Thanks everyone for reading! Let me know if you too have a green thumb and want a chance to be featured!

Photography by Sharlene Kayne