5 Unexpected Places to Add a Plant to Your Home, According to Experts

updated May 10, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

If you own any houseplants, you’ve probably situated them in the obvious spaces — perhaps you tucked a few on your windowsill or bookshelf. But if your plant collection has grown considerably over the last year — which is the case for many — you may be wondering where you’re going to stick that new pothos or snake plant. To help you incorporate plant life into every inch of your home, we asked four interior plant designers for the unusual places they like to add some greens. 

A quick note before we dive in: All plants need some level of natural light. If any of the mentioned rooms don’t have a window in your space, make sure to pop in a grow light to set your plants up for success. 

And a quick heads-up: Note that any specific plants mentioned in this story or any others may be toxic to pets or humans. “Toxic” plants can induce symptoms that range from mild (upset stomach) to severe (possible death). If you have a cat, dog, or kid, make sure you research the plants ahead of time on a reputable site like ASPCA.orgPetPoisonHelpline.orgPoison.org, or by calling your vet or pediatrician.

In a Hallway

Hallways can be notoriously tricky for plants, as they don’t typically offer much natural light. That being said, a little creativity can go a long way here. 

Danae Horst, founder and owner of L.A.-based plant styling studio Folia Collective and author of Houseplants for All, says this is a case where she’d grab an item such as Modern Sprout’s “Growframe,” a metal frame with built-in LEDs that supplies natural white light to your plants. “I think that would be a really fun way to add a plant to a hallway in a gallery wall setting,” she says. “And then you could have a plant in there and it could have light, even if it’s an interior hallway with no skylight.” 

Alternatively, Anthony Watts, founder and owner of New York-based design company Layer, recommends focusing on giving the plants height and volume when you introduce them to pass-through spaces like this. Grab a large planter, or add in a plant stand or small table. If placed on the floor, he suggests the living decor be at least 16 inches tall and equally wide. It should feel substantial, he says, or the plant could seem like an afterthought. 

Credit: Photo: Sarah Crowley; Location: Publishing House, Chicago

In the Shower 

Turns out, some plants love the steam of a hot shower just as much as you do. So take your humidity-loving plants in there if you have a window in your bathroom, suggests Lisa Muñoz, Brooklyn-based interior plant designer and owner of Leaf and June

“It kind of saves you from having to mist or spritz your plants if they require more humidity, particularly in the dryer, cooler months. Just being in the shower takes care of that for you,” she says. “And of course, just be careful to not get any soap onto the foliage or into the soil while you’re in there.” 

Muñoz is a fan of incorporating trailing plants in this setting. She also recommends adding a few hanging planters or mounting epiphytic plants such as ferns onto wood slabs. Due to the added moisture, you’d likely want to choose a rot-resistant wood like cedar for the latter option. 

In the Laundry Room

Another place your plants can get a dose of humidity? By your washer and dryer. 

Calatheas and nerve plants would do well here, but typically any houseplant should work in a humid environment, according to Morgan Watts, the Bay Area-based owner of Revive and Bloom, an online shop that offers plants and plant design services. 

As for styling in this space, Morgan Watts says shelves are the key. “There are so few spots that come with a laundry room,” she says. “I would definitely custom build shelves and then just mix in some plants with towels or some decorative storage. Just mix it in so it gives off that balance of the plants with practical things.”

Credit: Liz Calka

Hanging from the Kitchen Ceiling 

Do you have a spot in your kitchen you just can’t hack design-wise? Horst says this tip has caused her clients to have an “‘aha’ moment.” This might be your answer to beautifying the area where you keep your trash can, or adding a little extra oomph to the point where your breakfast bar meets the wall. 

“Often there’s kind of weird corners in a kitchen that could easily have a plant hanging from the ceiling, just to give another little moment of life to a corner that might otherwise be a little awkward or hard to style,” she says. “The thing I love about hanging plants is they have the visual effect of a tree in that once they’re a little bit longer, they really fill that vertical space nicely. But you don’t have to worry about having the floor space for them.”   

On Top of the Refrigerator

If you’re working within the confines of a smaller space, this one’s also for you. Muñoz likes to group several plants of varying sizes here, especially in homes that don’t have a lot of floor or shelf space.  

“The only thing to be mindful of up there is obviously when you’re opening and closing the refrigerator door, you don’t want any foliage to be dangling and getting in the way of you opening and closing the fridge,” she warns. “Also, just being aware that a fridge does generate more heat, so your potting soil may dry out a little bit faster and therefore you would need to adjust the watering accordingly.” 

Apartment Therapy’s Styling with Plants vertical was written and edited independently by the Apartment Therapy editorial team and generously underwritten by Greendigs.