After almost five years in the suburbs, I’m moving back to New York City in May. While I’m excited to have world-class restaurants and art institutions at my fingertips, I’ll miss Virginia’s abundant parks and hiking trails. I’m certainly not moving into a penthouse on Central Park West, so I’ll have to make a greater effort to stay connected to nature. Being surrounded by green is calming, grounding, and beautiful, so it’ll be a win-win. The first signs of spring (hi cherry blossoms!) are inducing fantasies of infusing my new apartment with life. As potted plants and flowers for the living room and kitchen are practically de rigueur, I’m challenging myself to approach my bathroom decor with a green thumb. Here are a few of the most verdant ideas sprouting on my inspiration board so far:
1. Keep it wild
Since full blown bouquets are expensive and too perfect sometimes, I’m loving this simple vase of wildflowers. Think more stem than flower, more leaves than petals. It is a small indulgence to replace them weekly, but they last longer than say, roses and are cheaper, too. Have fun with the proportions; pairing long stems with a short and minimalist vase make for a striking effect.
2. Paradise found
Okay, this definitely reminds me of a trip to Bali rather than a typical New York City bathroom, but we can take a cue from this tropical paradise. If you have a window in your bathroom, place a tropical tree floor plant by the bathtub or toilet. You can also recreate the simple steps to the bathtub with reclaimed wood. Incorporating wood and other natural elements are a sure way to feel earthy and grounded.
3. Play around with levels
Floating shelves are simple to install and are much more attractive than those flimsy over the toilet organizers from Bed Bath & Beyond (you know the kind I’m talking about). We love how this homeowner accessorized these rustic shelves with terracotta potted plants and a bright framed print. The long vine-y plant lends an organic, jungle feel. The idea is to feel transported into a sanctuary; by mixing and matching levels and placement of the pots, the overall effect feels effortless. Plus, the bright green floormat pops and brings the entire space together.
4. Art imitates life, and life imitates art
This mostly white bathroom feel serene and tranquil. Orchids are a common household decoration, but they feel extra luxurious and glamorous here placed by the sink. The artwork adds a mysterious element to the nature-inspired atmosphere as well. I’m not entirely sure what that photograph is meant to be of, but the man looks like he’s floating in the ocean, with rays of sunlight shining through the surface. How surreal and transporting is that?
5. Source unique vases
I’m guilty of sticking freshly bought flowers in the basic, plain vases that I’ve hoarded from getting flowers delivered on my birthday. For my new apartment, I’m going to keep a lookout for vessels that are works of art in themselves. I’m obsessing over this bubble-like blown glass vase that makes an impact on the floor with what’s basically a tree branch. You can place anything in a beautiful vase and it will look expensive and special.
6. Think tropical
The tropical leaf print motif is currently a big trend in fashion and home decor. Go straight to the source by purchasing a plant with large tropical leaves. Keep it simple with a white or terra cotta pot, and juxtapose it with other natural materials like a jute rug, unglossed wooden cabinets, or a tree stump stool.
7. Celebrate year-round
Wreaths aren’t just for holidays. This gorgeous one above is dried and stands out beautifully from the rustic plank walls. Also, I love magnolia wreaths, which are classic Southern and can keep for years if well maintained. Installing wooden planks as an accent on just one wall of your bathroom can be a weekend project. Source leftover wooden pallets from warehouses and stain them to your preferred darkness. After measuring and cutting for size, use real nails and Liquid Nails to adhere to the wall. The resulting effect is truly amazing.
8. Your urban oasis awaits
This space combines city and wilderness in one fell swoop. The shower curtain is a lush green forest, and you can even make your own by having a print shop blow up a high resolution nature photo. The cactus is a foil to the tropical leaf, as in reality neither of these plants would be anywhere near one another. Though not in the photo, an aloe vera plant would be cute and could provide relief for summer sunburns, stat. Even the hand towels have printed fern motifs, which reflect the pale blue-green walls. The slate colored floor tiles are reminiscent of the concrete jungle and the world that lies outside.
9. Embrace Florals
The chinoiserie style is making a comeback. The space above actually doesn’t contain anything living, but the ornate walls feel lush, extravagant, and all-encompassing. Feeling like you’re in a turn of the century Chinese or Japanese garden is a pretty cool thing to say about someone’s bathroom, right? Go bold and find a wallpaper that takes this theme to the max.
10. Go oversize
If your bathroom allows it, go with an oversize plant or small tree. Think something leafy or even fruity, like a lemon tree. The key is to experiment with proportion and layering. Finding an oversize plant creates a focal point that is soothing and awe-inspiring. Just be sure to keep it simple with your other furniture and accents.
How will you inject greenery into your bathroom this spring?