Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul.
I know what you’re thinking, but I promise you that creating a beautiful and inspiring bedroom isn’t just about the envy-inducing Instagram photos! Minimalist plant bedroom decor goes above and beyond simple visual aesthetics or style.
It is about intentionally crafting the spaces you use every day to set yourself up for success.
Whether you have a natural flair for interior design and want to understand how you can incorporate more greenery into your bedroom, or you’re just looking for some constructive tips because you have absolutely zero experience, I’m here to tell you that plants are the key!
There are so many decisions to make when decorating your bedroom, and I know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed. But what I’ve come to understand from my own experience is that by following a few very simple design principles, you can create the calming minimalist sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of.
If minimalism is about defining your why and focusing on this above all else, then it is worth starting this process by reminding yourself of your bedroom’s primary function: relaxation, sleep and restoration.
This should be a place where you can unwind from the mental stresses of your day, as well as somewhere you feel physically safe, refreshed and re-nourished.
From the health benefits of indoor plants to understanding which plants are suitable for your bedroom, this guide will help you to feel more confident with your styling choices. We’ll also consider the debate between real and faux florals, before diving into practical styling guidelines for incorporating plants into your minimalist bedroom aesthetic.
The Health Benefits of Plants in Your Bedroom
If going for a walk in nature is often prescribed as medicine for the soul, then it should come as no surprise that there are health benefits to bringing the outdoors in! Many studies now also back this up from a scientific perspective, revealing a clear link between plants and mental health benefits.
When 1 in 8 households in the UK currently doesn’t have access to a garden, this becomes even more important for looking after your own well-being. Furthermore, nurturing, caring for and tending towards plants has been proven to reduce stress levels and boost your mood.
- Reduces stress – being in and amongst plants helps you to feel calmer, with studies showing that plants contribute to feeling more soothed, relaxed and natural.
- Relieves symptoms of depression & anxiety – research suggests that it can be therapeutic to look after plants. This can be seen in action with some medical clinics, which are now prescribing potted plants to patients with anxiety or depression.
- Boosts recovery times & pain tolerance – several studies have shown that hospital patients have a higher pain tolerance when distracted by plants in the room, and that those looking at greenery can even experience a quicker recovery period.
- Improves cognitive function – people sitting in a room with plants perform better on tasks involving memory recall. A research study also concluded that time spent in nature can increase memory retention by up to 20%!
- Increases creativity – one study suggests that plants can boost creativity by 15% or more within the workplace.
- Boosts mood – research has found that just spending just 20 minutes in a room with a plant is enough to make you feel more content.
- Interconnectivity of all living things – on a subconscious level, being amongst plants is a reminder of our inherent interconnectedness to all other living beings.
What Plants Should You Choose for Your Bedroom?
What you might not know if you’re new to the rich and varied world of indoor plants, is that some plants are more suited to a bedroom environment than others.
In particular, you may want to choose plants which improve air quality by diffusing toxins and releasing oxygen (NASA has conducted fascinating research on this!). Other plants may provide allergy relief or help to soothe with their scent, as well as improving the overall aesthetics of your bedroom.
If you’re a first-time plant parent who is taking steps to pursue a more minimalist way of life, then I’ve tried to include plants which are easy to care for (read: hard to kill!), forgiving with watering, and can be maintained in moderate or indirect light conditions (unless otherwise stated).
As a side note, you should also check the individual suitability of these plants for your bedroom when pets or children will be around, as some of these may be toxic and therefore unsuitable if they aren’t placed out of reach.
- Ivy – cascading ivy releases oxygen and absorbs pollutants, and has even been proven to clear the air of mould spores! It needs moderate light and humidity to thrive.
- Pothos – a hardy trailing plant that is a good option for bedrooms with moderate to low natural light levels. For optimal health, make sure to let it dry out between watering.
- Boston fern – native to humid forests and swamps, be aware that this trendy-looking fern does need bright light and humidity.
Statement Standing Plants
- Monstera (aka Cheese Plant) – these tropical and on-trend evergreens are surprisingly good for beginner plant owners. They can survive with moderate light and once-weekly watering.
- Rubber Plants – with their dark, glossy leaves, these eye-catching plants bring a touch of drama to your room. The good news is that they can tolerate low light and minimal maintenance..
- Dracaena – another dramatic plant that holds its own in any bedroom, these air-purifying powerhouses will need space as they can grow up to 3 feet tall. They’ll also need moderate light and moist soil.
- Aloe Vera – you’ve probably heard of aloe vera as a soothing ingredient in soaps and body lotions, so this is a great option for its healing properties. It needs infrequent watering but bright light, so position on or near a windowsill for best results.
- Air Plants – one of the easiest plants to care for (they don’t even need soil!), air plants look attractive in glass terrariums. Note that they need bright light and regular misting.
- Succulents – hardy and therefore difficult to kill, succulents can add visual interest in mini pots. They also come in lots of different shapes and sizes.
- Snake Plants (Sansevieria or ‘Mother in Law’s Tongue!) – bold and eye-catching with its sword-like leaves, this is a great plant to start out with as it needs indirect light and only small amounts of water.
- Peace Lillies – with glossy green leaves and bright white flowers, peace lillies remove allergens and toxins from the air and do well in a well-lit bedroom. A bonus is that they are very forgiving for beginners!
- Lavender – a lovely bedside or makeup table accent, lavender is a soothing scent that research has shown has a calming effect on the nervous system. This perennial needs bright light and won’t last indoors forever, but you can plant it outside after the bloom fades so that it returns in a year’s time!
What About Faux Flowers?
Have you ever had to look closely because you can’t tell if a plant is real or fake? People have been using silk to craft artificial flowers for nearly 1,500 years, with new ‘fresh touch’ technology meaning that faux florals are looking more realistic than ever before.
So let’s just pause to address an obvious question that you might be asking yourself at this point – what about artificial flowers? There are surely benefits to these, in particular with regard to minimalism. Aren’t they going to be longer-lasting and require less maintenance than living plants? Or is it just cheating?
Whilst they may include elements of plastic, and it seems ironic to imitate something so natural with something man-made, faux flowers are hypoallergenic, pet-friendly and you don’t have to worry about the usual limitations like seasonality, light levels or humidity.
Whilst you won’t get some of the benefits like air-purifying qualities or the feeling of nurturing something, I would argue that faux florals are a great way to introduce nature into your home. If your subconscious believes everything you tell it (whether it’s true or not!), then my own experience is that just the appearance of greenery is enough to give you the same mental health benefits as if you were surrounded by real plants.
I personally have a mixture of real and faux florals in my bedroom, for example a real peace lily and a faux ivy garland. This gives me a good balance when it comes to style, time and convenience. But whatever your preference, there’s no right or wrong answer!
Minimalist Plant Bedroom Styling Ideas
Now that you’re more aware of the benefits plants can bring to your bedroom, as well as hopefully having a better idea of which plants you’d like to introduce into your space, let’s get to the exciting part with ten of my top styling tips! One of the many great things about introducing greenery is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create a beautiful and inspiring sleep sanctuary. All you need is the basic design principles below; simplicity really is key.
1. Choose a neutral colour scheme
Before you even start to think about the plants themselves, you need to think about your bedroom as the background canvas in which to show them off in their best light. To make greenery pop, I would advise sticking to a neutral colour palette.
My personal choice is crisp and clean white. Not only does this bounce more light around your bedroom, but you just can’t beat the simplicity of white bedding paired with natural greenery. This minimalist colour palette is visually calming, encouraging clarity and relaxation.
2. Use natural materials & textures
Alongside a neutral colour palette, my next piece of advice is to opt for natural textures and materials, for example a light wood bedframe, wicker plant pots, and a simple jute rug. You can also pair white bedding with soft throws and cosy cushions, which adds depth and dimension to an otherwise clinical colour scheme.
This helps to extend the natural feel that plants bring to your space. I particularly love my bed frame from IKEA, as well as this seagrass storage basket which doubles up as a lovely base for any standing plant.
3. Add interest with hanging pot plants
Another way to instantly add visual interest to your bedroom is to hang a plant from the ceiling.
It may be slightly more work in the short term, as you’ll need to use a solid hook that can withstand the weight of your chosen plant, but it’s worth it for the overall effect!
I particularly like the natural and hand-crafted feel of macrame plant hangers, which you can either make yourself as a DIY project, or alternatively purchase readymade.
4. Incorporate statement standing pieces
Larger statement pot plants bring a dramatic touch to any bedroom, making the space instantly feel more luxurious and expensive. Use the examples above like rubber plants or dracaena for low-maintenance options.
If you’re unsure about positioning, a handy tip is to use the corners of your room for displaying these bigger and bolder pieces. This will provide a satisfying finishing touch to your space.
5. Drape a garland over your headboard
With some headboards that create a shelf effect, you may even be able to position plant pots on top of it. However, a new way to incorporate plants into your headboard is to use a garland (for example, English ivy). I really like the boho-minimalist vibes!
Let’s toss out the myth that garlands are just for Christmas and start using them to bring joy to our bedrooms all year round! Faux floral is probably an easier option here, but the overall look will be just as stunning as the real thing.
6. Experiment with shelving & window ledges
Shelving is a great way to introduce height and pleasing visual elements with your bedroom plants. You can even experiment with trailing plants like ivy or pothos for a modern yet natural feel.
If your windowsill is robust enough and has enough depth, this can also be a great place for small pots. Particularly for plants that thrive in bright sunlight, this will naturally be the best place to house your aloe vera and succulents.
7. Stick to the rule of three
This is a good rule for any decorative touch, but when it comes to lining up plant pots, stick to the rule of three! This handy tip says that things arranged in odd numbers are more visually appealing and memorable than groups of even-numbered items. And three in particular seems to be the sweet spot!
For example, if you have some miniature potted succulents, group them in a trio for maximum visual appeal!
8. Position on bedsides & dressing tables
I simply love a small bouquet of fresh or dried flowers at my bedside or on my dressing table; it’s a small but important act of self-care that brightens up my morning. As one of the first things I see when I wake up, it helps me to enter into a positive mindset for the rest of the day.
Buy a small vase that appeals to you and change this up as frequently as you like with fresh blooms. I particularly like lavender for its soothing scent and healing properties! Eucalyptus is another simple but effective favourite.
9. Try dried flowers
For a slightly different and more muted vibe, try dried flowers. These will bring an antique, aged feel that is still completely on-trend. Opt for pampas grass or fountain sprays and pair them with whites, creams and muted corals for a dreamy, natural atmosphere.
This gives you a nice mix of ‘real’ florals, with the long-lasting and low-maintenance benefits of faux floral (without the plastic!).
10. Let in as much natural light as possible
And finally, there is nothing more refreshing than a minimalist white bedroom that is flooded with natural light. Not only does this give your plants the energy they need to grow, but sunlight can’t help other than to brighten your mood.
If you can, opt for lighter-weight curtains like linen or voile which invite sunlight into the room. And if you have blinds, opt for white and open them fully whenever you’re able to!
Let Nature Do Her Magic
If, as Henry David Thoreau put it, an early morning walk really is man’s best medicine, then I encourage you to tap into the energetic abundance of all living things and introduce the natural world into your home as much as possible!
Create a minimalist plant bedroom with the basic principles of a neutral colour palette, natural materials, statement greenery and natural light. Not only will you sleep better at night with a calm and spa-like backdrop, but you’ll awaken more energised to start a fresh and exciting new day.
For more inspiration to wake up early, read my post on motivational morning quotes! And if you enjoyed this article, check out my ultimate guide to creating a relaxing minimalist home.