Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: decorate with plants

Tropical-blooming-plants-Little-Big-Bell Introducing you to a world of Tropical blooms, all beautiful in their own way.  Tropical-plants-for-the-home-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell Just look at this collection that I have managed to purchase from my local garden centre.

Don’t they just transport you to somewhere far and exotic?

For this post, I would love to introduce you to the 3 Tropical Houseplants for the month of May, and show you a fun DIY plant storage idea, which I have customised to display some of my Tropical finds. Gloriosa-houseplant-of-the-month-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The first houseplant of the month is the Gloriosa or flame Lily which is native to India. It can be found in Southern Africa and other parts of tropical Asia too. Its generic name Gloriosa means full of glory.

Its a perennial tuberous plant that can climb up to 4 metres. Gloriosa-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The Gloriosa’s flowers are stunning. I love how the fiery coloured petals fold back to reveal the radiating stamens.

Being a medical doctor, I was interested to learn that the Gloriosa contains Colchicine which is frequently used to treat Gout.

However, just a word of caution, the Gloriosa is poisonous to ingestion.

It can be kept both indoors and outdoors, but the temperatures have to be above 18 degrees Celsius. Regular watering and feeding once a week is advised. Anigozanthos-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Next, is the Anigozanthos or Kangaroo Paw. It is found growing wild in South West Australia. Its name is derived from the Greek words ‘Anises’ which means uneven and ‘Anthos’ which means flowers. Anigozanthos-houseplant-of-the-month-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell I’m loving its rusty Autumnal hue with red edges,standing out against that lush green of its foliage.

So the Kangaroo Paw is a ‘long day plant’. That means it only flowers when the days provide more than 15 hours of daylight. Unsurprisingly, it only likes warm and dry conditions. That would be the perfect houseplant for those who forget to water their plants, like me. Medinilla-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The final Tropical Houseplant of the month is the Medinilla or Kapa Kapa, as the natives call it.

It originates from the mountains of the Phillipines, found growing on trees. They are epiphytes, which means they don’t draw nutrients from their hosts.

The flower when in full bloom produces sprays of flowers that hang down and can reach up to 30cm in length. It requires a light position and water only moderately. Medinilla-photo-1-by-Little-Big-Bell It’s such a shame that my Medinilla hasn’t fully bloomed yet to justify its beauty, but here is what it looks like under the petals.

I mentioned at the start of the post, that I would customise a DIY plant storage idea. Here is the one created by The Joy of Plants to house the May Houseplants of the Year mentioned above. Blooming-Tropical-plants-on-Little-Big-Bell How pretty are those hanging pink Medinilla in full bloom.

Isn’t that plant shelf amazing? I decided to set myself the goal of making one too, to house the smaller Tropical blooms that I have amassed.

Here are the DIY instructions: tropical-plant-holder-DIY What you need:

1.Depending on how much tropical madness you want around you, at least 2 Medinilla, 2 Gloriosa and 2 kangaroo paws

2 planks of wood, 180 cm high and 35 cm wide

3 watertight window boxes (so without a drainage hole, or seal the hole)

4.Sticky back plastic with your choice of extravagant print

6.Jigsaw, knife

7.Paint and brushes

8.Small bag of potting compost

How to make it: plant diy Step 1

Measure the boxes and planks carefully and mark out the holes so that they will be at the same height in due course. Cut three holes in each plank in the shape and size of the window boxes.

Step 2

Stick the adhesive plastic on the window boxes. Start with the sides, finish with the bottom (no-one will see that part, so it doesn’t matter if there is a slight overlap there).

Step 3

Slide the boxes through the holes. If the rack wobbles too much, nail a crossbar on the back to provide greater stability. Place potting soil in the boxes, distribute the tropical beauties across the boxes.

I must admit the cutting holes bit was a little tricky. I had to enlist the help of my husband for that. Painting required at least 3 coats too.

So, below is the reveal of my humble reproduction. Houseplant-of-the-month-May-Tropical-plants-created-and-photograph-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell What do you think?

I have customised it slightly. I used gold wrap that didn’t stick right onto the window boxes.

I wanted to create a 3 dimensional effect to the surface that reflected light at different angles, giving the boxes a sculptural texture.


I also wanted to create a ‘frame’ effect for my display.

I decided to do that by using a bright accent strip of colour down the edge of each plank.

Naturally, I chose bright pink. Rather than painting the edges and potentially making a mess, I decided on a quick and easy option of using my roll of bright pink Washi tape.

Tropical-plant-stand-DIY-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell Here you can see the close up sculptural effect of the gold wrap.
Tropical-Medinilla Here is a shot with my hanging Medinilla plant on top. Houseplant-of-the-month-May-Tropical-plants-created-and-photograph-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell I hope you have enjoyed my collection of Blooming Tropical plants and are now fully acquainted with the three starring houseplants of the month : Gloriosa, Kangaroo Paw and Medinilla.

Wishing you all a wonderful day.

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, Editor of Little Big Bell, with the exception of the window box DIY instruction photos by The Joy of Plants. This is a collaborative post with The Joy of Plants.)

Botanicals-on-the-door-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell I’ve previously posted the kitchen that I styled for a collaborative project with Red magazine and The Joy of plants. My theme was The Happy Life trend, which was full of celebratory brights.

There were 5 other designers who were each asked to style a room in the same Victorian house, in North London.

Their themes were very different to mine, hence a separate blog post.

The 2 themes in question were the Eco Luxe and Unexpected Wild trends.

Eco-luxe-botanical-trend-by-Marianne-Cotterill-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Styling the Eco Luxe theme in the master bedroom, was Marianne Cotterill, a renowned stylist.

Eco-Luxe-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Her brief was to create a room as an oasis of tranquility, using elegant natural materials for a sense of comfort and luxury.

Materials for the Eco Luxe trend included rough stone, unfinished and polished wood, smooth stainless steel and copper.

Toned down greens were used as part of the natural look, copper for a touch of luxury, powerful yellow ochre and black for clarity and order, and white for spaciousness.

Those pots created from copper sheet foil were simply stunning and that botanical print dress completed the look of the wall. Eco-Luxe-trend-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Beautiful shallow bowls of smooth contours, filled with green shoots were stacked on this elegant dressing table.

Examples of Eco Luxe plants are the Monstera and Dracena, that display gradations of colour from dark green to rust and hanging plants such as Nepenthus. Eco-Luxe-by-Marianne-Coterill-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell Natural textures and materials were inter mingled and layered, creating a sense of depth. Eco-Luxe-trend-The-joy-of-plants-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Green was accentuated by metal black, white and wood, all working harmoniously. Eco-Luxe-1-by-Marianne-Cotterill-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Terrariums and upcycled milk bottles were used to display plants.

That Cire Trudon candle really set the mood for the room. Succulents-in-cork-by-Marianne-Cotterill-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Such a great idea to use recycled corks to display succulents.Terrariums-by-The-Urban-Botanist-photo-by-Little-Big-BellNext, is the work of Lucy Serafi, owner of The Urban Botanist, with her own interpretation of Eco Luxe.

Love those Copper bottles flanked by beautifully styled Terrariums.

Botanicals-in-the-hallway-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell As we move out into the the hall and stairways, we were met by the Unexpected Wild theme.

These have been created by Ian Drummond, the creative director of Indoor Garden Design.
Hanging-orchids-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell What can I say? I need to reproduce this hanging orchid look at home.  Orchids-on-chandelier-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell And this! absolutely gorgeous!

Ian’s brief, the Unexpected Wild trend, was to create “an aura of relaxation, as if nature was allowed to run free. To showcase irregular, robust shapes that have a simple natural look alongside natural tints and terracottas.”

Take a look at the bathroom he styled below. Unexpected-wild-botanical-trend-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell What luxury, to have a fireplace in the bathroom surrounded by wild and lush greens. Red-magazine-Unexpected-wild-trend-bathroom-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell How about this for an after work soak? It’s like taking a dip in the wilderness.
Bathroom-plants-by-Ian-Drummond-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell More bathroom creativity.Colour-in-the-bathroom-photo-by-Little-Big-BellNaturally, I had to snap this as it was colourful, and such an amazing idea for bubble bath storage. Unexpected-Wild-trend-Red-magazine-Sarah-Keady-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell The Unexpected Wild theme continued into the dining room.

This was styled by Red Magazine’s Interiors Editor, Sarah Keady.

Love the idea of foliage in glass jars of varying sizes, that adorned both the fireplace and dining table.
The-Joy-of-plants-and-Red-magazine-Redgreenhouse-event-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell A natural tone of wood and creams. The look had been softened by the use of Asparagus ferns in the place settings. Styling-plants-at-home-Red-magazine-event-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Old step ladders and crates with vintage books were used to display potted greens. Styling-with-plants-Sarah-Keady-Red-magazine-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell A closer view. Unexpected-wild-photo-by-Little-Big-Bell Here, Joanna Thornhill, also a stylist, has put her interpretation too on the Unexpected Wild theme, but with pops of colour. Spring-blooms-by-Jo-Thornhill-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-Bell Love this idea of sprouting bulbs from glass jars.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the green inspiration.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project with my fellow designer friends.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

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