Nine lustworthy houseplant tips and trends

According to the Royal Horticultural Society’s 2020 gardening trends report, house plants are set to become hero pieces, with people seeking large, show-stopping varieties. So forget the wilted little pot plant on the side table, it’s time to go big.

Low maintenance rubber plant

The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) has been a popular pick of houseplant for a while now, and with reason. It’s low maintenance (just needs some bright, indirect light and water once a week) and it can grow as tall as you want if it’s in the right size pot.

Start small

You will never really know how a tree will fare in a certain spot until it is there. And while you may want to buy the largest tree you can find, it’s a smart and less expensive option to buy a young tree to start with and to let it grow and adapt to your home’s conditions.

Plants for low light

For homes that don’t get a lot of light, palms are a great option as they are tolerant of slightly lower light conditions than other indoor plants. While they are slow-growing, their sculptural foliage makes them a real show-stopper.

SWISS CHEESE PLANT (Monstera deliciosa)

Thriving in bright, indirect light the Monstera can grow very big so make sure it has enough room to stretch.

Dust off

One of the concerns with having a large indoor plant is how to remove the dust off leaves without too much trouble. For leaves that you can reach, you can just wipe them with a moist cloth. For large trees you may need to use a ladder. If the plant isn’t too heavy you can also give it a light wash in a shower, or take it outside during light rain.

Wall art

If space is limited, you can use the walls for display. Trailing indoor plants like Devils’ Ivy (also called pothos), String of Pearls (Senecio Rowleyanus) and Peperomia are all great options.

Living sculptures

For homes that have a nice sunny spot available, a cactus can be a stunning addition. Cacti don’t need a lot of water, just plenty of sun and fresh air.

Vertical garden

Green walls look amazing and have a host of benefits, from improving air quality to reducing noise levels.

Flowering beauty

If a green jungle isn’t your style, a mass of orchids is certainly a show-stopping stylish feature for any interior. While they can be a little tricky for beginners, the key is to a healthy orchid is water but not too much and plenty of bright, indirect light.

Inside the home of award-winning designer Natalee Bowen

Combining Hamptons sophistication with Australian charm this new home by Natalee Bowen ticks all the boxes of great design.

In rural town of Toodyay, Western Australian, award winning designer and James Hardie ambassador, Natalee Bowen has transformed a small 1860’s farmhouse into an Australian Hamptons mansion sprawling over 1,000sqm. Now known as ‘The Farm Estate’ the property, which has been in the Bowen family for five generations, has been reimagined by Bowen.

“The Australian Hamptons look is uniquely our own, standing apart from the American original,” says Natalee. “It combines the original tenants of timeless style that evokes the surrounds and a love of entertaining, with Australian hues and classic weatherboard. We wanted to embody those ideas in The Farm Estate by continuing the legacy of the traditional home, while exploring that of the Hamptons style,” she adds.

Upon first look it’s easy to see the grandeur of the Hamptons style thanks to the addition of two wings and a refined roofline accented with gables. At the same time an extensive veranda, corrugated iron roof and a full Linea Weatherboard wrap, tie the home to the classic Queenslander style.

Nothing typifies traditional Aussie home design quite like weatherboard. This offers an element of texture with simple shadow lines and an air of craftsmanship. In America they use shingles over time, fade to light grey in the sun giving a home a sense of timeless charm. Traditionally, this would require timber which is relatively high maintenance in the long run. Thankfully, there are modern alternatives like Linea Weatherboard, which is made from thick boards of premium fibre cement that create deep, defined shadow lines. They are also resistant to warping, flaking and damage from moisture and fire, so they hold the look longer,” says Natalee.

The detailed craftsmanship of the facade is continued with James Hardie’s Axon cladding in the veranda’ soffits. This vertical groove look is mirrored within, through Hardie Groove lined ceilings. “Texture is key to any Hamptons home and consistency is a universal rule of modern Australian design,” Natalee continues.

“We’ve injected the home with an Aussie feel through colour,” Natalee adds. “Downstairs we’ve used richer caramels and softer blues to mirror the wheat fields and sky outside. Upstairs, muted greens emulate the beautiful native treetops. It’s the best way to honour both looks,” adds Natalee.

HardieGroove panelling features in the bathrooms and master bedroom as a new take on the traditional square panel and dado rail wainscoting. This in turn continues the textured detailing through from the front to the back of the home.

Doors were a central part of the design, which features the classic blues, whites and greys of the Hamptons style, with tones chosen to suit the farmland location. This included pairs of Classic PCL 4G entrance doors with clear glazing, by Corinthian Doors. Natalee chose to finish her doors in Dulux Saxby blue, linking it to the interior beyond.