Our Favorite Ways to Use Tropical Plant Leaves as Decor

interior design with tropical leaf

Minimalism is in. The ‘less is more’ motto lends itself to all things interior styling, even floral designs. Although not new to the botanical decor scene, tropical foliage has upped its game in recent years. Once used as just filler, vibrant green leaves can and should stand on their own. 

Botanical decor is pleasing to the eye, but there’s also evidence that the pop of foliage has a psychological effect on us. They actually boost levels of dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin— the key neurotransmitters responsible for feel-good feelings like happiness and connection.  Walking into a room to see your joy-inducing foliage adds a sensory experience to your home. It’s a warming, calming, pleasing feeling that permeates through and uplifts your spirit. 

Adding single (or a couple of) stems makes a big statement in any room, tablescape, or event. While flowering blooms are still gorgeous and add fragrance, a bouquet is more ornate than the laid-back, effortlessly chic aesthetic of tropical leaves. We’ve got the best simplistic but stunning green ideas that aren’t your run of the mill designs— these are sure to make your space extra luscious and inviting. 

Striking Statement: Single Large Leaf 

single palm frond decor

Usually a palm frond, banana leaf, or some other multi-dimensional leaf that stands alone. Add it to the bathroom, kitchen, or living room. It’s a statement piece, so let it do its thing. 

Outside In: Two to Three Leaves 

multiple monstera leaves

Monstera has been popular for this display of greenery. Added to a sizable vase, this trend makes the perfect addition to a table, desk, or armoire. It gives just that splash of outdoors without being too ostentatious. Also, they keep for 2-3 weeks, so it’s easy and long-lasting! 

Tastefully Unique: Tablescape

tropical tablescape

Utilizing tropical leaves as table decor comes in handy when you’re planning last minute or just enjoy the vibe that fresh-cut greens contribute. We especially love incorporating exotic-looking leaves in place of a traditional accessory, like plate chargers. Laying the leaves flat on the table gives a different out-of-the-box approach that rivals the traditional option of upright vases. 

Warm Welcoming: Smaller Leaves

pothos decor

Sprucing up stark spaces, like the bathroom or hallway, you can use smaller and/or colorful leaves to make a pleasing enhancement. Studies show that guests feel serene when walking into a place adorned with flowers or foliage. It’s an inviting and comforting touch.

Scientific Chic: Exhibiting Propagation

propagation station decor

Another option to put smaller leaves on display is to prominently feature your propagation station. This is a great way to green up your common space while also creating new plant life! Plus, it's a quick conversation starter. You can find propagation tubes online or in certain home stores. 

For all of these designs, you can cut the leaves right off your indoor or outdoor tropical plants or buy from your local market. If you’re cutting them from outside, make sure to wash the leaf with warm soapy water before staging it as decor. This will rinse away any unwanted outside pests and help prevent the spread to indoor plants. 

Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects that cut foliage and plants have on people’s wellbeing. Besides just in the home, the impact of flowers and plants has been observed in the workplace. With people reporting more creativity, enhanced attention, and sharper problem-solving skills when exposed to the foliage. So better performance and satisfaction at work could be just a green foliage arrangement away.

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