The Art of Slow Living

Let your houseplants teach you how to take life easy.

We learn a lot from our plants. They teach us how to nurture our growth, awaken our environment, and embrace the light. But perhaps the most important thing plants teach us is how to slow down. Many times we feel pressure to grow, succeed, or live at the pace of others. Caring for our houseplants shows us that each individual plant grows in its own time and in its own beautiful way. Let's explore the art of slow living and how we can learn to enjoy the present through designing with plants.

What Is Slow Living?

Slow living is all about enjoying the journey. It encourages us to leave the rush outside and create a haven of calm on the inside. Through seeking a slower pace, we can be more deliberate in everything from our passions and hobbies to our housework and home design. So as we design our space to meet this relaxed tempo, it helps to turn to the things that keep us present. And that’s where plants come in. From the rich colors to the evolving shapes, plants play an important role in developing a space that feels intentional. Put together areas that encourage stillness, rest, and creativity to create an environment that fosters wellness and growth. Caring for and designing with plants offers an easy approach to simple, meaningful living. Even the way we interact with plants—watering, pruning, and selecting the perfect location for their needs—forces us to pause and be purposeful with our time. Here are a few more ways you can cultivate a calming atmosphere at home.

From the rich colors to the evolving shapes, plants play an important role in developing a space that feels intentional.

Take In the Surroundings

A piece of art, the treasured keepsake brought back from a trip—there are so many items that make our space our own. And yet, it’s easy to forget about their significance as we pass them by each day. Design your home in ways that highlight your favorite, most meaningful possessions. Pairing back your aesthetic to put your plants and treasured pieces in the spotlight can help you to slow down and appreciate their impact throughout your daily life.

Create Intentional Spaces

From grow lights to plant stands, we take so many measures to ensure that our home is a safe and ideal environment for our plants. What we may not realize is how this practice rewards us just as much as our plants. When we enter a space that’s thriving with healthy plant life, our mood shifts. It immediately works to soothe stress and offer a lush escape.

1. Consider The Vibe

When designing our homes for slow living, we need to consider the feeling we want each room to invoke. Then place items, plants, and furniture in ways that support our vision. For example, if we want our living rooms to invite us to sit down and be creative, we might think about opening up the space so that the furniture pulls us in, rather than acts as a barrier.

2. Play With Scale

We could set large, playful plants like Chinese evergreens or fiddle-leaf figs within the space to promote joy and vibrance. It is important to be mindful of available space when buying houseplants online. Even offering a range of seating—from large floor pillows to ottomans, chairs, and sofas—adds diverse options for how one could enjoy the space. Those options ultimately force us to be present when entering the space, and beckon us to relax when we get there.

3. Add Fresh Flowers

To really create a purposeful shift, add fresh flowers. Flower arrangements are a great way to infuse unmissable beauty into a space. The phrase “wake up and smell the roses” hints at the importance of remembering to stay present in the positive. We like taking this a bit more literally by incorporating bouquets wherever our space could use a pleasing perk.

Find Ways to Stay Present

Using plant care as a type of meditation goes all the way back to the ancient art of bonsai, in which Buddhist monks learned to grow trees in small containers. Getting in sync with the simple needs and slow pace of plants has a long history of benefiting our health and well-being—it’s no wonder we like using them to enhance the look and feel of every space.

Consider using plants and other sensory triggers to create a home design that fosters distinct feelings in each room. A kitchen becomes an intentional space when it’s filled with growing herbs that are ready to be tossed into dishes or drinks. For restrooms that are actually restful, bring a little dreaminess in with candles and humidity-friendly plants like spider plants. Or, turn your home office into a cottage-core dream: macrame hanging planters and plenty of natural light make a day at your desk a lot more pleasant. And of course, the bedroom is an ideal space to layer with textures. Weaving together different materials—fluffy, soft, knitted—adds sensory appeal that calls for lingering in bed a little longer. (You earned it.)

Make Room for Growth

Instead of buying a full grown plant, consider buying a smaller plant that will eventually grow big. Young plants are an investment in the growth of a design. Use them as reminders to stay patient while getting to witness something grow toward its full potential.

It’s so important to invest in activities or items that encourage us to relax. Simple things, like brewing a cup of tea or misting plant leaves can offer a reset—they provide respite from on-the-go life. Even a plant trailing from a macrame hanger can be a welcome reminder that it’s A-okay to just chill out. However we design our space for slow living, it’s sure to invoke a deeper sense of satisfaction as we become more aware of the beauty and growth that surrounds us. If you're interested in sharing the benefits of slow living with a loved one or a friend, you can send a plant gift shipped directly to their door with Greendigs!