Q&A: Insights into Interior Plant Design with @plantroost
Cara Anderson (@plantroost) is an interior designer, nature enthusiast, and the creator and designer behind Plant Roost Design. Cara works out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, working closely with clients to ensure their vision of a plant-filled designer interior comes to life (literally)! She was kind enough to share some of her planterior design process, why she does what she does, and her thoughts on our planters with us - read on for more!
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
Interior Plant Design is another term for Interior Landscaping, Interiorscaping or Biophilic Design. It is a design approach that strives to connect humans to the natural environment through the use of direct and indirect nature in indoor environments. This can be done by using sustainable and natural materials, natural lighting, organic design elements, and plants, of course! These design elements can be incorporated by small strategic changes to an existing space or by designing from the ground up. Nature has so many positive effects on mental and physical wellbeing, and I believe it is essential we surround ourselves with natural elements at all times, especially when indoors.
I would love to say that I have regular go-to plants, but there are a few main factors that I consider when selecting plants to style spaces with. The first is assessing the environmental conditions of the space. This is essentially determining what type of natural lighting conditions are available, what the humidity levels are in the space and observing any other elements that may interfere with the health of the plant. Another factor is determining the amount of maintenance the plants will receive by their owner or professional caretaker. Some plants are easy to maintain, whereas others can be a large amount of work. The last is the overall aesthetic that the plants will offer - this comes last. Many people have the desire to style their space with specific plants without considering the other factors and this can lead to unhappy plants. Overall I do find myself using many of the same plants when styling most spaces, including Birds of Paradise, Snake Plants, Pothos and Philodendrons. These are all fairly fail-proof and beautiful plants that work in most environments.
I’ve been surrounded by nature my entire life and developed an understanding and passion for it early on. I developed my plant knowledge through working in a commercial greenhouse for many years with the responsibility of growing and caring for thousands of plants. I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in the Faculty of Architecture, specializing in Interior Design. I have been working in the design industry for 7 years and have realized over time the vast amount of synthetic materials being used in interior spaces. It is clear that our planet is reaching its limits and it is essential we find alternative sustainability-driven solutions for enhancing interior environments. I founded Plant Roost Design in 2017 as a way to offer clients professional design services using natural elements that will not only help the planet but also improve their health and wellbeing.
First and foremost I must say my own house, of course! This is where it all started for me. I've used my house as an experimental plant space for years now and over time it has turned into quite the tropical oasis. I have numerous living walls, many large and mature plants, propagation stations and grow lighting in my basement for starting seedlings and housing rare plants. Another space that I am very excited about is a large commercial project that will be completed this summer. It includes numerous custom moss walls, living walls and custom planters that are integrated around employees workstations. I cannot wait to see it all come together and witness how the plants develop and fill the space over time.
I thoroughly love both products! The Wally Pro Pockets and Wally Eco planters both allow the plants to "mix and mingle" to a certain degree which is my favourite aspect of both systems. I prefer to use the Wally Pro Pockets for large-scale commercial applications. They are unique to other commercial systems in that the plants can develop and grow substantially as a result of being planted directly into the system. They are great for achieving a very natural aesthetic that really does imitate an outdoor tropical environment. The Wally Eco planters can also be used for large-scale applications but I find are great for smaller-scale projects and residential spaces. They are very quick and easy to install, and can be maintained easily without a self-watering system. The different colours available can be used to match your wall colour or be used as an accent colour in the space. I love being able to group them together in any shape or size to achieve whatever aesthetic you want.
Thanks to Cara for sharing her story and her methods with us! See her work on social media: