Plant Styling with @calathealove
It was Michelle’s striking collection of houseplants which first drew us to her Instagram account, her ability to keep calathea looking stunning is quite the talent! But what really makes Michelle an Instagram favourite is her ability to style her plants in such a way that almost resembles a carefully curated botanical garden. Here, she shares some of her tips for displaying your plants using reclaimed items.
Hello, my name is Michelle, also known as Instagram’s @calathealove.
I use the skills I learnt as a visual merchandiser to display my much-loved plants using reclaimed items.
Have you ever purchased a dream plant, brought it home, put it on the windowsill or sideboard and then felt a little deflated?
When you buy a plant online or from a shop, they’re styled in situations to maximise their selling appeal. A number of well-planned elements within these 'situations' come together to create that 'Urban Jungle' look we’re all striving to create. Think shop layout, photography lighting, the choice of pot and the way that the plants are grouped together. It can almost be a disappointment that we can’t live up to that aesthetic in our own homes.
The good news is that with a little practise and some creative thinking, you can create your own 'Urban Jungle' too, and for very little cost!
I've been combining my window dressing and merchandising knowledge along with my interest in reclaimed items to style my home for many years. Reclaimed pieces and plants make a perfect partnership, the lush plants together with the old items given a new lease of life.
One of the easiest ways to start styling your own plants costs literally nothing...
Fruit crates are a great place to start styling your own plants. I pick them up for free from my local greengrocer. Fruit crates have a vintage look about them and they look quirky and interesting.
Here you can see where I have gathered some baby plants which are individually planted in vintage terracotta plant pots. They sit so well together in this fruit crate and with minimal effort. I'd also recommend experimenting with them upturned as plant stands.
There are so many reclaimed things you can use for plants. Glass jars, old fish tanks and glass bottles make brilliant terrariums. Piles of old books, baskets, drawers and pieces of wood can be used as plant stands and to give varying heights with a display of plants. Wicker wastepaper bins make cheap pots. Old ladders make a great alternative to curtain poles and hooks. Here's an old ladder that I have suspended from my kitchen ceiling.
If you’ve got the space, there’s nothing better than a large arrangement of plants. My favourite plants are Calathea and I like to display them in groups. You could just go and buy a shelving unit from a department store or place them on the floor, but through reclamation you can start to create your own signature look. It can also be cheaper, better for the environment and gives a great sense of accomplishment!
Two of my favourite reclaimed pieces I use to style my plants are vintage wooden carts that I picked up from a second-hand market. They’re really versatile- you can move them around easily and they give my room a quirkiness that I really love.
I make regular visits to charity shops, especially the ones that sell used furniture as cheap chairs, cupboards and tables can be up-cycled easily with a bit of paint. A good tip if doing this is to paint the furniture the same colour as walls so the plants stand out more.
At the end of the day, have fun and experiment. My style is constantly evolving. I change displays every week, add new pieces, remove some. Your home is where you can express yourself.
I hope you are inspired to go looking for some treasures to get started. Thanks for reading and please do follow me on Instagram for more tips and inspiring photos @calathealove.