Book Review: At Home with Plants

eye catching mantelpiece display of plants in brass pots

At Home with Plants

There’s no escaping it. Plants in the home are the biggest interiors trend since the 1970’s and if you haven’t noticed yet, where have you been? Certainly not scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest, where every single mouth-watering image is filled with giant fiddle leaf figs, baskets of trailing greenery, or jungle-esque displays of exotic specimens. It’s like every room has been invaded. And am I a fan? Hell yes! Plants bring a room to life. They have a positive effect on our moods, and if you sometimes wonder what is missing from your perfectly styled room and can’t put your finger on it. You can bet it’s plants.

eye catching mantelpiece display of plants in brass pots

“Create an eye-catching still life by planting indoor plants in complementary containers and combining them with striking objects.” Kara O’Reilly

So why, you might ask, have I recently been extolling the virtues of the faux variety of plants (here and here)? Hangs head in shame. Because I am rubbish at keeping them alive. I’m a serial killer. And it’s not something I’m proud of. But, but, but, I have recently devoured At Home With Plants by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly and I’m going to try to do better.

specimen plants bring a room to life

Ian Drummond is an award-winning interior landscape designer and RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner so he knows a thing or two about plants. And how to use them. So this book is full of useful information about which plants will work best where, and how to care for them. And Kara O’Reilly is a interiors writer who has managed to inspire this plant killer to have another go.

plants displayed on top of a cupboard use 'dead space'

“Displaying a trailing plant and an assortment of ferns in the dead space on top of a cupboard creates a lovely indoor ‘border'”. Kara O’Reilly.

There are chapters on the practicalities of growing houseplants, inspiration for using the right plants in the right room (this might be an area where I consistently get it wrong), and an A – Z Plant Directory. Making it a useful reference book for anyone wanting to bring the outdoors in.

plants in the kitchen

“Create your own indoor kitchen garden with a selection of edible plants.” Kara O’Reilly.

But At Home With Plants is so much more than that. The photography by Nick Pope is stunning and expertly styled by the amazing Elkie Brown. All combined they show us how to use plants as a focal point and a sculptural element within a room. It’s not just about indoor gardening and possessing and growing a plant. It’s about using plants as another accessory and combining them with other objects to create a particular style or mood.

plants in the office

“Place a restful green display in your line of sight.” Kara O’Reilly.

From strikingly geometric terrariums to pretty hanging baskets, practical herb pots and colorful window displays, this book is packed full of exciting and gorgeous ideas.

At Home with Plants

At Home With Plants by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly

Published by Mitchell Beazley

Price £20

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