This Unexpected Spot Might Be the Best Place to Put Your Growing Plant Collection

published Apr 12, 2023
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living room with blue loveseat, white walls, lots of plants, built-in shelves, art/photography on walls, wood art details
Credit: Ivan Sorokin

Custom shelving goes a long way in any space, from kitchens and living rooms to bedrooms and beyond. Typically, shelves get hung or built into walls, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only place to install them. Interior designer Serafima Gavrilenko found an unexpected way to install bespoke shelving in her client’s industrial 410-square-foot loft in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and not only does it take advantage of the apartment’s high ceilings, but it also provides the homeowner with another stealthy spot for her houseplant collection.

Gavrilenko styled her client’s home with elements like wood, faux leather, fur, and glass blocks, so she wanted to continue that airy, nature-inspired modern mix in the living room, too. With so much light pouring in through the windows, the area was ripe for plant life, and Gavrilenko took to the ceiling — yes, ceiling! — to hang an open, box-like shelf for a potted plant display, which you can see here.

Credit: Ivan Sorokin

Many elements of this plant display work for this smaller loft and could potentially pay off in your home, too. First, this display idea takes up zero floor space, as the entire shelving unit is suspended in the air. Furthermore, the shelving itself resembles a box with no sides and has a glass bottom, so the green babies are getting light from every angle, making it a hospitable place for display. Sure, watering might require carefully climbing up on one of those bar stools you see below, but it’s well-worth the effort to have this stunning, vertical space-maximizing feature overhead. From the shelf itself to the tiled tall console table beneath it, this whole setup is giving total fancy bistro vibes, if I’ve ever seen them. 

Credit: Ivan Sorokin

Sometimes decorating conundrums can be solved simply by looking up and trying to find a way to utilize all of an area’s surfaces, including the ceiling. You might want to call a pro to help you copy this look in your own home, but rest assured: Even a novel idea like this won’t cost a fortune to execute. Perhaps Gavrilenko sums it up best: “The budget for this project was indeed super small. The size of the apartment was also,” Gavrilenko says. “But we managed to make every inch of it functional.”