Words by Sara Tardiff, AD Clever
Maybe it’s all that oxygen, but plants have a way of bringing life to any space. Interior plant designer Lisa Muñoz of Leaf and June finds plant life to be so full of personality she often names her own specimens after Motown singers (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, to name a few). The passionate Brooklyn-based entrepreneur designs plant arrangements and gardening containers for commercial spaces, editorial features, and events of all kinds. A browse through her Instagram offers evidence enough that not only has she made a made a career out of high-end horticulture, but she has filled her life to the brim with it. Her own home is gorgeously curated with plant arrangements, her photos often captioned with a modest #CrazyPlantLady. “Plants naturally remove toxins from the air, inspire creativity and focus, increase mental health, serve as natural humidifiers, and bring life to a home,” Muñoz explains.
One unexpected room in your home that might just need some green? Your bathroom. “Plant life in your bathroom adds warmth and fresh oxygen to spaces that can sometimes be sterile,” she says. Read on for some brilliant ways to refresh your bathroom by going green.
“It’s important to keep in mind that plants require natural sunlight. I wouldn’t recommend adding plants to your bathroom without it,” says Muñoz. She suggests you analyze your bathroom space and be realistic about the types of plants that won’t just survive there, but will thrive there. If you don’t have any natural light sources, “be sure to move the plant to a location with natural light a few days a week and keep an eye on the health of the plant.”
Best plants for low light: Snake plant, zz plant, pothos, heart-leaf philodendron, dracaena, and spider plant
Best plants for high humidity: Ferns, peace lily, fittonia, polka-dot plant, and rex begonia
Get Your Greens Locally
If you make a point of shopping locally for your veggies, why not do the same for your plants? “Local nurseries and farmers’ markets are my personal preferences for finding happy, healthy plants,” Muñoz says. “There are also great local plant shops and the occasional online source for those hard-to-find greens.” If you’re uncertain about the best methods of care, go straight to the source. “Ask the person or business you’re getting your plants from. Often times, they’ve learned from their own hands-on experience and can provide you with details on watering and light requirements.”
Focus on Functionality
It’s tough to brush your teeth with a giant fern poking you in the face. Muñoz emphasizes thinking about the room’s layout and how you move through it, while still sticking with an aesthetic you love. “Placing a snake plant on the floor below a pedestal sink can be both lovely and practical. They’re robust and statuesque, which means they don’t take up much room in terms of width, and they’re also one of the best air-purifying plants,” she says.
Give Hanging Plants a Go
“Kokedama, Japanese moss balls, give you the option to have some planter-free greenery,” Muñoz says. Mounted staghorn ferns are also a great hanging option. “They are stunning and resemble taxidermy hanging on the wall—only this taxidermy is a lush, green, air-purifying plant.” For a particularly stylish touch, install a plant wall in your bathroom. “Living or preserved, plant walls create lush wall art for your space,” she says. “While living walls require quite a bit of maintenance, something like a preserved moss wall requires no maintenance and remains green year round.
Opt for Arrangements
If you don’t have much natural light to work with, plant cuttings are a great simple alternative. “While I adore flowers, I find that oversize leaf cuttings add pops of green and only require a refresh of water on occasion,” she says. “If you’re lucky, those cuttings will root and give you a new plant, which can be potted and added to your space. Some of my favorite leaf cuttings to use are Xanadu philodendrons.” For a dose of fragrance, try hanging some eucalyptus. “The humidity from the shower brings out the aroma in the eucalyptus, which is not only calming, but also antimicrobial.”
Work in Furniture
“I love utilizing plant stands or vintage stools to boost plants up from the floor, providing height variation and interest,” Muñoz says. “Shelves are also an opportunity to incorporate trailing plants, giving a waterfall-like effect and really showcasing the plant.”