There is nothing a houseplant appreciates more than a warm sunspot near a window to drink in the nourishing rays. In small rooms, it’s not always easy to give our sun-loving friends adequate window light. But with a few creative techniques, we can easily adorn our cozier places with a full array of flourishing plants!
Macramé Hanging Baskets
The macramé hanging basket is one of the more elegant methods for adding plants to small spaces. Hung from a ceiling hook on decorative braided cords, these baskets allow plants direct access to light while giving them the chance to unfurl their foliage. Outside, these hanging leaves would sway gently in the breeze, but inside they float suspended in perfect tranquility. Over time, you can watch their leaflets grow and enjoy the green hues of sunlight that filter through their foliage.
Macramé is only one choice of many materials for hanging planters. Soft fabric pouches, woven reed baskets, and lightweight plastic containers all present special features and advantages of their own. Be sure to consider the weight of your vessel and the strength of your ceiling hold when choosing your basket. It’s also possible to hang lightweight planters on sturdy curtain rods when circumstances permit.
Creative shelving is another technique to increase the number of plants in snug rooms. An ornamental shelf in front of the window gives homes for plants of varying sizes. To maximize light flow to the rest of the room, you may arrange smaller pots on the top and lusher greenery on the bottom. Or, you can mix your varieties and change the display when inspiration strikes.
A shelf strategically placed away from the window can also give a venue for more houseplants in your room. An old bookshelf adds an antique feel to your collection, while minimalist shelving (without a backboard) puts the focus on the flowers.
You can also install shelves right inside of the window frame. Translucent glass or plastic ledges allow rays to pass through while providing a sturdy base for herbs, succulents, or other potted friends. If your window depth is too shallow, you can install brackets outside the frame and place shelves across the front. With the window open, the summer breeze will carry drifts of scented herbs and flower blossoms throughout your home. And when the window is closed against a blustering blizzard, your leafy houseplants will continue to decorate your winter views.
Stands provide a third, but by no means final, way to add more plants to your small spaces. Single plants elevated on supports will maintain floor space, with the benefit of remaining highly mobile. Acting like lampstands or music speakers, they let plants provide you with their vibrant colors and soothing melodies.
Large, multileveled stands allow you to arrange several pots in a column. These plant trees can reach as high as your ceiling, creating understories and canopies of your selection. Twin stands of alternating heights can double your space while adding a dimension of symmetry. Multipurpose stands with vacant shelves above or beneath your flowers can even increase the shelf or desk space of your room.
Unfinished wooden stands, ornate metal holds with spiral decorations or supports painted in bright colors—like the hanging baskets and creative shelves—provide you with the chance to give character and personality to your home.
Creatively seen, a lack of adequate space becomes a window of opportunity. Whether you’re looking to live in a jungle of foliage, with ivy chandeliers gracing your dinner table, or if you wish to bask in the glowing light of your window arrangements, these three methods offer simple and striking ways to incorporate more plants in your small spaces.
Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.