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A Small Relaxed Bohemian Home Filled With Plants

"Your light will always be too bright for someone." I read this quote recently and it really resonated with me. It's definitely true for people - but also for interior design! That's why I love to shake things up a little and try to feature a variety of different Scandi-inspired styles - so there's something for everyone! While yesterday's white Danish summer cottage was about a simple, pared-back way of life with an interior designed to take a back stage to the great outdoors, today's home tour is about bringing nature indoors, and creating a wonderful, relaxed, oasis in the heart of the city!  

Lifestyle photographer Caroline Reichel lives in the greenest district of Berlin with her partner and two cats. Her apartment may be small but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for it in plants! 

As someone who wishes they had more plants, I couldn't resist catching up with Caroline for some green-fingered tips! 

How would you describe your home?
We have a small, two room apartment in an old building with over 100 plants - a small urban jungle! 

What do you love most about filling your home with greenery?
I love to surround myself with plants - they calm me down. Plants grow with me and it's like one big green family. Also, I love the jungle. When I travel, I always go where it is especially green. Now I have my personal little jungle at home and I love it. 

Do they require a lot of care? 
I look after my plants two to three times a week. It's part of my morning routine. I find it very relaxing and a bit like meditating.  

I love how this climber has been trained up and around a mirror! 

Do you have any tips for anyone looking to acquire more house plants?
There are some plants that are very easy to care for and grow quickly - like Devils Ivy. In general, I can say it's better to water plants too little than too much. 

That's so interesting! I've found that the plants I've given up on and just shove out in the back yard to fend for themselves, always seem to thrive ! It makes sense now. 

Do you have a favourite plant?
I love all of them, but my favourite ones are climbing plants (philodendron) and one of my most beautiful plants, I think, is the Anthurium Crystallinum

Finally, your cats seem very happy at home! How do you manage your plants to ensure they do not cause any harm? 
I pay a lot of attention to where I place my plants - and whether or not my cats show an interest in them (particularly if they are poisonous). With my cats, it works wonders to position the plants a little higher. 

I am especially careful with plants that have smaller leaves, for example some ficus plants. They arouse more interest in our cats than plants with larger leaves. The Dragon tree (palm-like) is out of the question for us because our cats confuse it with cat grass because of its narrow leaves - and it's poisonous. 

Thank you Caroline! 

I need to head straight out to a nursery this afternoon and pick out some new house plants. Seeing Caroline's home makes me realise just how much greenery is missing from my own. Do you feel the same?

Even though I don't have a pet (actually that's not strictly true - we do have a hamster named Dexter), I was really interested in what Caroline had to say about how to manage plants around cats. So important, don't you think?

If you'd love to look at more plant inspiration today, you might like to check out more pictures of Caroline's Berlin home here. And there's a ton more 'green' inspiration to be found in the plant archive!

For something a little more permanent - I can also recommend the coffee table books Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants by Igor Josif and Judith De Graaf and Wild At Home by Hilton Carter. 

Speaking of greenery, I spent the day photographing a brunch setting in my small back garden yesterday for Danish brand Georg Jensen. It was so much fun - but being more of an interior photographer I always forget the challenges of outdoor photography - from the changing light and insects to rain showers and pigeon pooh! Even so, I can't wait to share the results with you soon!

Niki

Photography: Caroline Reichel

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The Delightful Home of a Plant-Lover and a Darling Dalmation!

In my mind, there are several key ingredients that help make a house a home. This list includes people (yes, I can see how this one might be an obvious one *laughs out loud*!!). But lately, it's become really popular for brands to recreate 'apartments'  - and no matter how amazing the interior designer / stylist, they can never truly give a place its soul! Other key factors include art, plants and books. And throw in a delightful pet (or should I say 'companion?' - anyone else following the UK news lately?!) and a home instantly becomes warm and inviting (awww, I miss having a cat!). Twenty-six year-old interior architect student Aya's 80 m2 (862 f2) in Krefeld, Germany includes all of these factors and more (the handsome hound is actually Till's parents' dogs - but he's often over to visit). But above all else, it's Aya's passion for collecting rare plants that really brings their home to life. Enjoy the tour! 

This striking black kitchen is from IKEA.

"I would describe my style as a mix between Scandinavian minimalism and boho - inspired by our vacations abroad."

A plant in the kitchen sink is a daily sight in Aya's home - and I have to say - it sure beats dirty dishes (thinking of my own right now...). 


"My parents use a greenhouse full of plants for their dining area. When I moved out and moved to a new city, I missed taking care of things and needed a hobby - so I started collecting rare plants."




I love how Aya has created different ways to display her plants using plant boxes, plinths and unusual pots! 

"I really like plant boxes - they are great for hiding plastic pots and stuff. It's also a good way to combine plants with different shapes and colours." 

I love the idea of an indoor mini greenhouse and wanted one ever since I saw one in the kitchen of this beautiful, creative Stockholm home. Isn't this one lovely in Aya's home? 

Design House Stockholm sells a great mini greenhouse

What do you think? 

Does Aya's home make you want to bring more plants indoors? I love greenery but I have to say, I'm, hopeless at looking after plants. These days I stick to plants that require as little maintenance at all - like plants that root in water and terrariums - genius! How are you with keeping plants alive? 

If you're looking for a little more green-fingered inspiration over the weekend, here's a little more:



Have a fabulous weekend friends! 

Niki

PS If my writing is a little off today it's because I've been at design fairs all week and was up at 4.15am this morning to travel to Frankfurt for Ambiente. Very excited to be here but have to admit, I'm on my third coffee and counting.... if you're curious to see more, I'll be sharing my finds over on instagram stories today and tomorrow. 

Photography: Aya / @living_lush_life - shared with kind permission.

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At Home With the Arctic Gardener

What to do when there's no greenery in sight? Turn your home into an urban jungle, that's what. At least this is the solution Agronomist Anders Royneberg has come to. Known as the Arctic Gardener, Anders has over 100 plants in his relatively small Oslo apartment, making him a bona fide member of the 'green squad' that's taking Instagram by storm. From spider and money plants to areca palm and kiwi trees, the Arctic Garderner's home is a true tropical oasis in the heart of Norway's capital city! I had a chat with Anders earlier today to find out more about why it's great to have so many plants, and how we can make our own homes that little bit greener!

 On houseplants as company:
"House plants are perfect roommates. They are quiet, well behaved and they don’t smell bad." 
 
On the 'green squad' community:
"I find fellow plant lovers to be friendly, supporting and creative. We all want a greener world both indoors and outdoors. I would say that most of us also are concerned about the environment and strive for a greener world."


On going the extra green mile: 
"Raise your plants off the floor and place them on the wall, sideboards, tables or chairs. It will give your home that lush green jungle feeling!"

On escape: 
 "Palms make me travel without even having to leave home. I can go to palm-fringed beaches and tropical forests in a split second."

On easy plants for the amateur: 
"Get plants with thick green juicy leafs. They store water in their leaves. They are survivors even though their owners forget them occasionally."


On plant health benefits: 
"I found that plants in my bedroom help me to sleep better. Not only do plants look great and bring vitality and life, they also have relaxing and purifying benefits. This I believe, promotes a healthy sleeping pattern."
 
On the best plant species for a beginner: 
"Try the spider plant (the one hanging next to the mirror). The spider plant has got spider-like plants dangling from the mother plant, like spiders on a web. It’s really easy to grow so if you are a newbie gardener, you should give it a go. Provide it with well-drained soil and bright, indirect light and they will flourish."


It's incredible just how much the plants breathe life into this home, don't you think?! But imagine the level of care involved? I couldn't resist firing off 5 more questions to understand what this requires and what an arctic gardener likes to do in his spare time (sooo nosey I know, but aren't you curious too?!).

The Arctic Gardener low down:

Favourite plant? Calathea Orfobiola, I love the tropical feeling I get from her.
Least favourite plant? I am not a big fan of cactus because I love watering, and they don't.
Number of hours spent 'misting' a day? I try to mist every day, the more misting the better in my experience. Some say misting doesn't work, I say it does.
Dream 'jungle' holiday location?  The rainforest of Madagascar. They've got some huge plants over there, and I like big green plants! The bigger the better in my mind!
Best, secret Oslo tip? The Oslo botanical garden is small but super cozy. Its inside this beautiful old Victorian greenhouse and it's free of charge.

Thank you Anders!

If you love plants and don't already follow Anders on instagram - the @articgardener is a MUST!

And for more green home inspiration today I love Hilton Carter's incredible plant-filled loft, Igor's happy plant-filled home and a guide to indoor climbers. Pure urban jungle inspiration!
Do you have a favourite house plant?

Niki

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The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Hanging Plants

Niki Brantmark / Genevieve Jorn

While Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber might be the It girls of fashion, in the interior world it's plants that are stealing the limelight! From large Palms and Fiddle Leaf Figs to smaller Chinese money plants and asparagus ferns, anything goes in the urban jungle! Last month we explored indoor climbers which have been slowly winding their away up the inside of windows across the continent. And this month I thought we could get into the swing (get it?!) of hanging plants. These guys have been hanging around (this is fun) for a while now and look set to stay! In fact, new and exciting ways to suspend your greenery to new, lofty heights are, er, on the rise! I caught up with my green-fingered friends Igor Josifovic, author of Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants, Hilton Carter, who's incredibly green home I featured here and the Arctic Gardener to get the complete low down and find out more about how we can create our best hanging garden game!

Hilton Carter

So what makes the best hanging plant? Igor advises "any trailing plant is perfect for a hanging pot as they prefer space to grow freely."

5 great hanging plants

1. English ivy*
2. Heartleaf philodendron
3. Spider plant 
4. Devils Ivy*
5. Boston Fern 

* the leaves are toxic so keep away from children and pets.  

Benjamin Edwards
 Tip:  If you have a ground floor window plants make a great 'natural' screen. But Hilton warns "be mindful to not block too much light coming into your windows so that your other plants, sitting away from the window can still benefit."

via Bloesem
Carly Page Summers
Hanging plants can be really heavy so you need a sturdy hook and a drill in order to make sure they stay up. Alternatively look for natural places to hang them in your home - like handles, knobs and ledges.

Chris Warnes
They also make great table decorations. In this space there were no pots necessary as branches were simply hooked over a long cane suspended from the ceiling. The beauty of this is you can update it depending on your mood, the occasion and what you find in the garden / local flower shop!

Hannah Puech Marin
Continuing on the same theme... using a rail (or in this case, a vintage ladder) is ideal if you're looking to hang lots of plants (and add to the collection as time goes on). This also means less holes in the ceiling (in a bathroom that's always good!).

For a more relaxed look it's good to use a variety of blooms. "I like to mix and match hanging planters choosing different hangers and pots as well as various lengths creating a more lively hanging garden," Igor tells me. "Of course this depends on personal preferences. But usually I would say hanging plants look lovelier when grouped together unless you have one big hanging statement plant."

Jeroen van der Spek
As long as the plant is suitable for hanging, there are no rules to the types you group. "I like to go free and wild listening to my guts. You can get playful and pair a trailing Tradescantia with purple leaves with a green Bird's Nest fern and romantic ivy plant," enthuses Igor.


Nicolette Johnson
When it comes to keeping your plants healthy, Hilton advises hanging them in places you can easily get to. "The easier they are to get to, the more likely you'll keep them alive and healthy."

And to water them; "take them to the shower or kitchen sink, water them and then let them drain out for about 15 minutes before putting them in back in the water," he adds.

Homezy
You might want to forgo the traditional hanging planter in favour of a Kokedama. Of Japanese origins, a Kokedama is a ball of soil, covered with moss from which a plant grows. Word of warning - these guys need a lot of water and a shady place.

To care for them check the weight and if it feels light, it's time to submerge the ball in water.

Hilton Carter
Another great option is the hanging terrarium or 'air plant' (source a similiar glass here). The beauty of these is that they are lightweight and can therefore be hung from the branches of other plants. 

via Vtwoven
And finally, the best hanging plant for a beginner? The Artic Gardener suggests opting for a spider plant. "It's really easy to grow so if you're a newbie gardener, you should give it a go."

Now that we're armed with the know-how, all that's left to do is invest in a few planters. Here are some of the prettiest out there:



1. Woven Palm Leaf Hanging Basket
2. Concrete Hanging Planter
3. Raj Hanging Planter Set
4. Mistana Nanette Flower Pot
5. Affiti Hanging Clay Planter
6. Macrame plant hanger
7. Hanging Planter

I hope this has been helpful! I for one, feel much more equipped to create my own hanging garden. I quite fancy one over the bath! Do you have a spot in your home ready and waiting?!

Niki

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Plant Tribe: An Inspiring New Coffee Table Book

It's Friday! Woohoo! Not that I have any wild plans ahead - but it will still be nice to put my feet up this weekend, how about you?! One thing I'll definitely be doing is reading my friend Igor Josifovic's new book - PLANT TRIBE. Launched a few weeks ago, Igor co-wrote the book with Judith de Graaff. It's their second book after the best-selling debut Urban Jungle and the pair also run the popular community Urban Jungle Bloggers). If you love plants, you'll love PLANT TRIBE. Igor and Judith delve into the many ways that nurturing plants help nurture the soul and offer inspiring advice for using plants to increase energy, creativity and well-being - and even attract love and prosperity. Say, what?! I'd better pay close attention! The book is also beautifully illustrated with photography by Jules Villbrandt. Here's a sneak peek at Tim Labenda's Berlin home which features in the book - and a few words from Igor! 


What was the idea behind PLANT TRIBE?
We wanted to write a book that changes our perspective on plants from merely decorating our homes and caring for them. We wanted to highlight how plants actually take care of us - making us happier, more creative, more balanced and more at peace with ourselves. All by making our homes more natural and beautiful. 

It takes a huge amount of work to create a book, but the process can be really rewarding. Is there anything that stood out to you?
We travelled throughout the USA, Brazil and Europe to make this book and we visited some amazing creative people in their plant-filled homes. We wanted to hear their personal stories, their bonds to plants, and why plants improved their lives on so many levels. 

We heard stories that made us laugh out loud and moved us to tears. These personal plant stories make the heart and soul of PLANT TRIBE. We hope this will inspire people to look at houseplants in a new and different way. 


Holding your book in your hands for the first time is such a special moment.  What are you most proud of? 
For the book, we worked with our friend and photographer Jules Villbrandt from Berlin. She managed to capture the magic moments, the personal bonds and emotions through her photography. To me, this book is a compound of good energy and positive vibes - just what we need right now more than ever before. 

Igor Josifovic

If you'd like to treat yourself to a copy of PLANT TRIBE, it's available through Amazon, Book Depositary as well as many other online retailers. You can also ask your local bookstore to order a copy or send a request to your library to stock it! 

Having seen a peek inside Tom's Berlin home in the book, I have a really strong urge to fill my home with plants now - how about you?! In case you'd like a little more inspirationt: 


Oh, and how did I not talk about that sculptural light in the first picture? - It's incredible, don't you think?! 

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend friends - see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography credits: Jules Villbrandt for Urban Jungle Bloggers except for the final two which were by Igor Josifovic

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