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Using Interior Design Elements and Principles to Guide Your Plantscape Designs

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

By: Angela Toney

When designing plantscapes for commercial spaces, it is important to take as many interior design elements into consideration as possible. There are several reasons we may be asked to create an interior plantscape design for our clients, but for now we will just focus on two of those reasons. First, to introduce the biophilic benefits that plants provide like reducing stress, increasing productivity, connecting with nature, and enhancing mood. Second, plants and containers should contribute to the overall design of the space and make it more aesthetically pleasing. This is where we come in as plantscape design experts.

So, what are the design elements that are important to consider? The following design elements and principles are always considered and applied in my interiorscapes for my clients.

  • Space – Choose plants and containers that fit the space. Measure areas properly and use appropriately sized plants and containers that are the correct scale and in proportion to the ceiling height and furniture.

  • Line – Follow the lines of the doorways and windows to guide your plant and container selections. Use a combination of horizontal and vertical lines to keep the plantscape design interesting.

  • Form – Pay attention to the geometric or natural forms in a space and model your plantscape design to agree with those forms to give a cohesive look.

  • Pattern – Where applicable, use patterns on containers to add interest to the space. Be careful not to use too many patterns that clash with patterns on the furniture or walls. A variety of leaf patterns can also be used to add dimension to the room.

  • Light – Select plants that can thrive in the natural or artificial lighting in the space. Keep plant replacement costs in mind when making your selections. The lighting in the room should also be considered when selecting container colors to go with a light filled or dark room.

  • Color – Combine plants with different hues and colors to keep the design fresh and interesting to the eye. Use the colors in the space to guide your container selections. These containers can provide a color contrast, or a monochromatic look based on the overall design and feel of the space.

  • Texture – Plants can provide different textures through the feel of the leaves, whether they be smooth, rough or have a velvet feel to the touch. Containers are they best way to add texture to the space and should be used in conjunction with the overall design of the room. There are many finish options available when choosing containers: smooth, shiny, matte, rough, ridged, or even raised/beveled edges.

If you asked my co-workers what my most common saying is on installation day, it would be, “I love installation day!” I truly enjoy seeing how my selections have come together and how my crew brings the vision to life. Even after the many plantscapes that our crews have installed, I am always surprised at the amazing contribution that professionally designed plantscapes can provide to a space. Considering the overall design of your client’s space is absolutely necessary for an impressive, finished product that will provide great satisfaction for the client. The fine balance of proper plant selections, as well as enhancing the aesthetics of the workspace, should always be your “big picture” goal.

Happy Plantscaping!



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