This Might Be the Smartest Small-Space Plant Display Idea That I’ve Ever Seen

published Sep 12, 2022
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Credit: Natalie Doef

Living in a small space can make you a bit more particular about the things you bring home, but it shouldn’t deter you from adding to your plant collection. Dozens of crafty ways to store and display plants exist, many of which require little to square footage to pull off. One renter in Canada came up with a smart place to put her plants that’s literally the star of her apartment, and it’s a zero-floorspace solution to boot.

Natalie Doef rents a 400-square-foot apartment in a quadraplex building in Ontario, Canada, that’s cute, airy, and full of plants. Although her place is small, Doef takes pride in showcasing her style across every inch of her home. “I’ve always felt like my space is the most accurate representation of who I am as a person,” Doef says. “It’s always been a way for me to creatively express myself and tell my story without saying a single word.”

This apartment’s actually the first place Doef has lived on her own, so she was super-excited to decorate an entire home versus being confined to a single room. She considers her design style to be bohemian and whimsical, so naturally, plant babies are all over the entire apartment. “After moving in, I learned very quickly that plants would be a huge part of my personal style,” Doef says in her house tour. “My small plant collection became a very large collection and expanded to every room.” The room with the most plants though has to be Doef’s joint kitchen and dining area, where green babies line the very top of the opening between the two zones.

Credit: Natalie Doef

“The high shelf above my kitchen has become one of my favorite features in my space,” she says. “It’s allowed me to create an organic separation between my kitchen and living room.” In fact, Doef created this separation in a space that was otherwise completely open by filling every inch of the shelf with long, trailing plants.

If you’ve been trying to figure out where to put your growing plant collection, a just-below-the-ceiling, slab-style open shelf’s the perfect option for some overflow. The height of the shelf factors into why this display idea looks so good. That said, use your smaller potted guys in a spot like this versus the taller, tree-like plants you may also have. This idea is also going to look more dramatic in an open-concept home with a wall-wide opening that allows your plants to truly become a living border, but you can also try this over a smaller doorway, too.

No matter your layout, mounting a shelf this close to a ceiling will also draw the eye up, which ends up being a lot more visually appealing than just putting your plants on the ground or even on shelves or stands. This solution also takes up zero-floorspace, which again, is crucial in a smaller home. “My favorite decorating tip has always been to make use of both horizontal and vertical space,” Doef says. “It can be easy to get stuck decorating in one direction and only considering the area that is at eye-level, but I like to make use of all the space. I say don’t be afraid to put a shelf up high above your door or hang plants vertically to maximize the space.”