Give your home a breath of fresh air

April 2014
DIY

We all remember the plant that thrived, but we also remember the one that ended up at the side of the curb. These little creatures are as particular as their owner, and finding the right match can be tough. The right amount of sun, the right amount of water, the right soil... Getting it all just right can take a bit of doing, but it’s easier with good advice from Mackenzie Clark, our home garden expert. Let Mackenzie walk you through the art of bringing a little bit of the outdoors, indoors, and give those milk cartons a chance to hold something precious once again by turning them into homes for your plants.

 

Our adventure involves white dots in black soil, little green sprouts, and the satisfaction that comes with doing something yourself. Your little green companions will sit quietly on your bookshelf as you read, adding life to your living room. They’ll grow with you, always recalling something organic, natural and pure – a little reminder of life in your life.

Green in Your Space: Creating an Indoor Garden

Adding some green to your space is not only a great way to increase your home’s health, but it can also be a clean and simple way to make a strong style statement. Here are our top three tips to creating an indoor garden of your own.
Select your plants

Our Canadian climate is unique in both its variety and its drastic seasonal shifts. Several months of snow can cause us to crave those sunny days spent outside in the garden, so thankfully there are some great species of greenery that will thrive all year round in the comfort of your home.

Our favourite selections for indoor greenery are low maintenance and easy to manage, we like to keep it simple. Succulents, jade and cacti are the perfect, easy to care for house guests. For some larger options, we love rubber and fig trees thanks to their deep green hue and their air-purifying properties. Care is simple for all the options listed above, so ensure you keep your home between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and wait for dry soil until you water.


Select your style

The key to avoiding the dreaded, and dated, appearance of a full-on greenhouse in your living room is that it’s important to assemble your indoor garden with attention to style. Just as you would in the other rooms in your home, consider your colour palette, your aesthetic and your design inspirations when selecting the vessels for the plants you select. The modernist might select five to seven baskets and pots in one, consistent colour. For a more eclectic look, source out a variety of materials and shapes for your collection while keeping it to three or four strong colour families. No matter what your individual preferences for your interior environment, taking the time to compile your look with the same attention to detail that you would select the other elements in your home will definitely pay off with the finished product!


Create your look

The final step to your indoor oasis is to assemble all the elements and incorporate them into your space. Whether it’s just the top of a dresser or bar cart, or an entire wall flanking your main living space, don’t be afraid to add some art or artifacts into the mix. Simple black and white photography, curated objects or a simple stack of magazines is a great technique to creating an interesting arrangement. Varied heights and added texture will be the perfect finishing touch for your look.

Make your own concrete planters

Making your own planters is easy and fun. Create a ton of planters with different shapes and sizes, and make them your own by decorating them with spray paint.
Materials
  • Concrete
  • Large bucket
  • Large stick (to stir your mixture)
  • Gloves
  • A few recycled cartons and cans for the molds
  • Water
  • Rocks
  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Spray paint
  • Clear coat spray paint
Steps
  1. Mix and match your cans and cartons, pairing up large and small ones. Cut off the tops of the cartons.
  2. In the bucket, mix concrete powder with water, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir until the paste is thick. If necessary, add concrete or water to get the right consistency.
  3. Fill one of the larger molds with concrete. Fill a smaller mold with rocks (or other heavy objects) and wiggle it into the concrete-filled larger mold. Set aside and repeat with other molds. Let dry for several hours.
  4. After a few hours, remove the smaller molds and loosely put them back into place. This will ensure that will be able to get the smaller molds out once the planters are completely dry.
  5. Once the concrete is fully dry, remove all of the molds. If necessary, use a utility knife.
  6. Prepare the planters for spray painting by taping off the areas you do not want to paint. Make sure that the paint doesn’t seep through by pressing down firmly on the tape.
  7. Apply spray paint to exposed areas; let dry.
  8. Remove tape, then spray the entire planters with clear coat spray paint. This will protect your planters from the elements.
  9. Your planters are ready to host your favourite plants!