3 Ways to Use Houseplants to Create an Indoor ‘Destination’

THE TED LARE LOOK
man in room with houseplants

If you live in a condo building and don’t have access to any gardening space, or even if you do have outdoor space but love indoor plants, you can create a retreat-worthy space in your home. 

You can work with the plants you have and arrange them in a way that gives you a calming retreat feeling. You can also add some new indoor plants, use our arrangement ideas, and create one of these vacation-like spaces in your home.

Jungle Safari

Jungles have all those giant leaves, long vines, and architectural plants and, in general, are usually quite dense with plant life. So, to create that jungle vibe, aim for several large plants, a few medium ones, and some smaller ones. To take your jungle safari game to the next level, consider adding one or two vining plants that you can train to drape where you want them. 

Ideal indoor plants for jungle safari arrangement ideas include:

  • Monstera adansonii 
  • Split-leaf philodendron 
  • African mask 
  • Sansevieria 

These indoor plant arrangements should include hanging planters and plant stands placed quite close together. Make sure you have leaves at varying heights to give that jungle understory vibe. If possible, use your largest leaf indoor plants, like split-leaf philodendron and African mask, near the top so that you can hang out underneath them, just like you would if you were basking under a tree canopy in the jungle. 

indoor houseplants room

There are so many kinds of snake plants; a row of the tall ones, like the Laurentii cultivar, can give that dense jungle feeling. If possible, hang your monstera adansonii, and train it to climb and drape around your jungle space.

Jungles can be pretty dark inside, but your plants still need plenty of light, so you might need to add a few grow lights in your jungle space to make sure everybody gets enough light. 

Add in some jungle-themed decor, like pillows with monstera leaves on them, baskets to set indoor plant pots into, a tropical jungle soundtrack, and a small indoor fountain for trickling water, and you’ll be well on your way to channeling your inner Tarzan. 


If you want to take it a step further, you could really go for the jungle vibe and paint the wall behind your plants dark green and buy some furniture that reflects the jungle vibe. Dark wood or bamboo are pretty common elements in jungle style.

Tropical Paradise

Imagine the waves washing across the sand, a light salty breeze blowing in off the ocean, your swinging in a hammock and watching the sunset, surrounded by palm trees and colorful tropical flowers. 

Think light, flowy, relaxing beach life ideas for indoor tropical plant arrangements. You want color, lush leaves, and palms for a tropical theme. Indoor plants perfect for this include: 

  • Areca palm 
  • Triostar stromanthe 
  • Calathea 
  • ZZ plant 

ZZ, Triostar, and Calathea deliver on the color and lush leaves. And the Areca palm nails the palm tree fronds but at the scale of indoor plants. You’ll probably want multiples of most of these plants to truly create that tropical paradise vibe with this indoor plant arrangement. If you get a large areca palm, you can probably keep just one as a statement piece. 

Take your tropical paradise up a notch by hanging a tropical-style egg or hammock chair in a corner and arranging your tropical plants around the space. Aim for lighter-colored furniture and textiles to bring that beachy, sandy look. Hang long, flowy white curtains or sheers on nearby windows, so they move with the breeze when you open the windows. 

Want a breeze but too cold to open the windows? Set up a fan nearby. The breeze will up the beach vibes and help improve air circulation around your plants, which is an added bonus. 

Forest Adventure

Do you love camping, getting out into the cool forest, and soaking in the quiet and calm of being surrounded by giant trees? You can create that same vibe in your home with this arrangement idea for some forest-style indoor plants. 

There are many different kinds of forests worldwide, but for this indoor plant arrangement, we’re thinking: boreal forest, with soft moss underfoot, tall evergreen trees that you can walk between, lush fern fronds, and patches of sunlight streaming through here and there. 

Great plants for a forest adventure vibe include:

  • Boston fern 
  • Olive tree 
  • Nerve plant 
  • Norfolk pine

  Norfolk pines are your staple indoor plant to represent those evergreens in a forest; you may want to have a couple of them. Olive trees add in some color variation with their silvery leaves that rustle in a breeze. Boston ferns can fill in your understory with their lush fronds, and nerve plants add visual interest near the base of your trees, where moss and small shrubs would usually hang out. 

Add a lush soft rug in a dark brown or a green to get that soft moss feel underfoot. Get cozy on the ground with some lush throw pillows or a beanbag chair, and some buffalo plaid blankets. Add a few battery-operated LED candles that flicker to add a bit of campfire ambiance or some tiny twinkle lights in your Norfolk pine to represent stars. We would also be fully supportive if you decided to build a fort or even set up the tent and sleep in your forest nook!


If you’re ready to start creating your own retreat-worthy indoor plant arrangements, stop by the garden center, we’ve got plenty of beautiful options available to up the destination-worthy vibes in your home. 

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The Ted Lare Look

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