These potted plants add life and visual interest to any space.

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated June 11, 2020
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If your goal is to turn your home into an indoor garden but you don't have an endless amount of time to care for your plant babies, then you're going to want to be strategic about the plants you buy. If you diversify your plant picks and place them thoughtfully (some hanging up near the ceiling, others in large pots set on the floor), you can give your home a lush green look without caring for dozens of plants each week. In both the 2018 and 2019 Real Simple Homes, you'll find five types of houseplants the designers used to give the impression that the houses are filled with greenery. Follow the ideas below to turn your own home into an indoor oasis.

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2019 Real Simple Home: Living Room
Credit: Christopher Testani

1 A Large Potted Plant

To add interest and dimension, a large floor-standing potted plant is a must in every home. Several small plants can look bitsy by themselves, but one large plant grounds the room and adds a touch of drama.

Want a plant that makes a statement, but is also low-maintenance? Opt for a palm plant, which is generally easy to care for and can tolerate some neglect, unlike the popular, yet notoriously fickle fiddle-leaf fig tree. No matter which variety of plant you opt for, use good potting soil and make sure to set it in a location with the right amount of light. Your new potted palm plant (or bird-of-paradise or monstera) will thank you.

Real Simple home Bathroom with small green plants
Credit: Christopher Testani

2 Tiny Cheer-Me-Ups (for the bathroom and bedside tables)

No matter your home decor style, every home can benefit from tiny plants that cheer up bathroom ledges, bedside tables, and living room side tables. Small, low-maintenance plants like succulents are ideal in this situation. Order a set of several potted succulents, then scatter them on all the little surfaces around your home.

To buy: Assorted Live Potted Succulents, from $23, worldmarket.com.

Real Simple Home Laundry Room with plant
Credit: Christopher Testani

3 A Faux Plant (Shh...no one has to know)

Most homes have at least one spot that gets absolutely zero sunlight—in the 2018 Real Simple Home, it was the pretty patterned laundry room. Rather than move real plants periodically to the window, go the no-maintenance route and invest in a faux plant (or two) that will thrive without light or water, yet will still perk up the space.

Follow these tips to find faux plants that look identical to the real deal.

Real Simple Home Bedroom with plants
Credit: Christopher Testani

4 Trailing Plants (for shelves and window sills)

Plants set on countertops and tables are great, but to add more visual interest, invest in trailing plants that can sit on shelves or in a hanging basket. Ivy, pothos, string of pearls, and spider plants are all great options.

In the master bedroom of the 2019 Real Simple Home, designer Mandi Gubler of Vintage Revivals arranged multiple hanging plants in the window to act as a creative alternative to curtains.

Real Simple Home Kids Bedroom with elevated plant stand
Credit: Christopher Testani

5 A Large Plant in an Elevated Stand

Sometimes the best way to get a plant more attention is to set it on an elevated plant stand. In the stylish kid's bedroom at the 2018 Real Simple Home, a tall metal plant stand not only lifts a leafy plant to new heights, but it also adds some sophistication to this playful space.

To buy (similar): $97, plantwares.etsy.com.