Martocchia REALTORS® | Boston Real Estate, Cambridge Real Estate, Newton Real Estate


Houseplants are a great way to make your home feel more comfortable, colorful, and--in the winter--to bring a bit of living nature back into your life until spring arrives.

There are houseplants that will thrive in just about any location of your home. Plus, you can find houseplants that are low-maintenance or ones that are a bit more rewarding as you care for them and watch them grow.

In today’s post, I’m going to list the best houseplants for each room of your home. I’ll cover “impossible to kill” low-maintenance plants and some that require a bit more work. I’ll also cover large and small plants, as the size will often depend on the available space in the rooms of your home.

Read on for the list of the best houseplants for each room of your home.

Bedroom

The bedroom is a place for rest and relaxation. You don’t want anything too high maintenance or too big and bright. Lavender gives off a calming scent that is perfect for your cozy sleeping space.

Lavender is relatively low-maintenance, just be sure to water sparsely in the winter time, and only when the soil has dried out completely to avoid root rot.

Lavender works in other rooms as well, such as on a kitchen windowsill where it can be used for cooking.

Bathroom

The bathroom tends to be a humid place without much spare room. A single aloe vera plant near a light source can be a great accent.

Extremely low maintenance and useful after a day out in the sun, the bathroom is a perfect home for aloe vera. Simply snap off a leaf and use the gel inside for your burn.

Office

There are a few choice places for plants in the home office. A large snake plant in the corner of the room is a great way to add some life and color. Similarly, a money tree is easy to care for and fun to watch grow as you braid its stem (and what’s a more fitting place for a money tree than the place where you make your money!?).

For the desk, a small cactus or succulent will do the trick, as you don’t want it to take up too much room.

Living room

For the living room, we can finally start talking about some of the bigger houseplants on the list. A Norfolk Island Pine looks like a small pine tree (though it technically isn’t one) and it can grow several feet high indoors. This is a great choice for homeowners in colder climates who don’t want to fill their house with unfitting tropical looking plants.

Palm and Yucca, on the other hand, are perfect for homes in warmer climates. They can grow several feet high and fill up empty spaces in a large living room with ease. There’s a reason these are used in so many hotel and office building lobbies--they’re easy to care for and can grow large enough to fill the void in a big building.

Windowless rooms

Most plants will need at least indirect sunlight to stay healthy through the year. But, if you have a windowless room in your home that you want to brighten up with a houseplant you have options.

Dracaena, snake plants, and creeping fig all grow well in little to no light and are easy to take care of.  



 Photo by Trudi Finniss via Pixabay

Wallpaper is making its comeback in 2020, much to the delight of today's edgiest designers. Fitting wallpaper, with its vintage appeal and old-time reputation, into modern spaces presents a unique challenge. But then again, today's wallpapers bear little resemblance to the paper our parents used in the '60s. Deceptively easy to apply, contemporary or even vintage wallpaper is an affordable way to turn a ho-hum space into a vibrant and interesting home.

Industrial

Industrial design comes and goes, and it's in again this year in a big way. You can cash in on the trend without breaking the bank by hanging wallpapers made to mimic building materials such as reclaimed wood or metal. A little goes a long way when papering a space to look like exposed brick. This is why we recommend sticking to a single accent wall in lieu of papering your whole room. 

Ombre

Ombre is a trend that's new to wallpaper, but it creates a clean, minimalist effect that pleases the eye. Gradients can be shades of gray or transitions between colors of light to dark. They can even feature misty, moody mountains as a background for simple furniture pieces to add depth and shading to your space. Wallpaper that graduates from light at the top to dark or patterned at the bottom makes low ceilings appear taller, too. 

Exotic

Tropical is trending in 2020. So are Asian-themed papers that boast botanical prints. Bold and busy, these wallpapers bring a bit of culture to your bedroom or bath, and they're a pleasing welcome when you return home after a long, hard day at the office. Busy prints like these are ideal for wide-open spaces that need color and pattern to bring them close and make them feel cohesive. 

Graphic

Graphic wallpapers, ones that feature bold lines and geometric shapes are rumored to be big in 2020. Wallpapers such as these bring order to a room, actually evoking the sensation of a calm and organized life. Graphic wallpapers pair well with the busier florals of couch cushions and with textures such as corduroy or chenille. 

Classic Blue

Wallpaper that features classic blue colors is expected to soar this year, after Pantone's decision to choose it as their official color of the year. Expect to see classic blue, and it's contrasting and complimentary colors of orange and purple, adorning America's walls and ceilings this year.

If you're considering adding an accent wall of wallpaper this year, you'll have multiple varieties from which to choose. Try bringing texture and pattern to your space by shopping by the roll this spring instead of in the paint department. 


Photo by Jafar Mansuri on Unsplash

To resurface or replace? That's the question. Consider replacing if:

  • They have significant water or humidity damage.
  • They're poorly constructed and/or falling apart.
  • The design frustrates. You could do better starting over.
  • The style can't be easily updated, for example, floral moldings.
  • The cost to refinish is more than new cabinets. It can be.
  • Otherwise, you may want to refinish what you have to make your cabinets.

    How to Replace Cabinets

    Replacing cabinets rarely involves building them yourself. Most kitchen remodeling professionals don't even do that. You can purchase pre-made cabinets. They'll fit in most kitchen. But don't forget to measure.

    Start by evaluating how the cabinets are attached. Most cabinets simply unscrew from the wall for clean removal. You can now hang new ones in their place. But remember, if you need to stain or finish, always do that and let them dry before hanging. It will just be easier when they're on the floor or a work table.

    If it's just the hardware you don't like, consider replacing it instead of the whole cabinet. That's generally a small job that just needs a screwdriver and new handles.

    How to Give Cabinets a New Look

    A coat of paint or stain can work wonders. But know that refinishing actually takes a lot longer than hanging new. Plan for three to eight weekends of work and a semi-functional kitchen during that time. The more cabinets, the longer it will take. Let's get started

  • Choose your resurfacing medium. Polyurethane, varnish, paint, lacquer, shellac, penetrating oil or vinyl are all excellent choices. Purchase this, a stripping agent, clothes and brushes and your local home supply.
  • Ventilate. Open some windows and turn on your stove vent to keep the smells from overpowering you. Safety first.
  • Clean the surfaces. They may have collected years of grease, dust and hand oil.
  • Protect your kitchen by laying down plastic 
  • Remove the hardware and soak it in soapy water. Scrub it, if needed. But a good soak should do most of the work.
  • Strip & refinish the cabinets according to the instructions on the finish you choose. If you're getting creative with alternating colors or finishes, you may want to remove the doors and lay painter tape to create crisp contrasts between shade. 
  • Once dry, replace your glistening hardware. And you're done. 
  • *Pro tip* Some woods soak up oils like a sponge, so you might need multiple coats to achieve the desired look. That's one reason the job takes multiple weekends since each layer must dry.


    Arranging furniture in your home can be a real puzzle. There’s so many different mistakes that can be made in how you set up the seating, tables, and bedding in your home that you probably don’t even realize it. Below, you’ll find some of the most common furniture arranging mistakes and how to fix them. 


    All of Your Furniture Is Against A Wall 


    It may seem like a way to make your room feel bigger to push everything against a wall, but this thought process is flawed. You want your rooms to feel cozy, not spaced out. You’ll be surprised what floating furniture can do for a room. 


    You Put Too Much Furniture In A Room


    Whether you have a small space or a giant room, plan what kind of furniture you put in the room very carefully. Overcrowding a space makes it feel stuffy and claustrophobic. While you hope to have enough seating in a room for everyone, you don’t need to overdo it. Put the furniture in a room that makes sense for you to have. There's also no harm in having big, open spaces in a room. As long as the purpose is served, sometimes an airy space can be quite a stress reliever.


    Putting more furniture in a space won’t help a room to magically grow either. Be realistic about how many square feet you have in a room. From there, you can decide what goes where. If you still feel that you have too many pieces of furniture around, it’s time to sell or donate some of the chairs and tables that don’t get as much use. 


    You Tend To Block Windows With Furniture


    Using your sofa or a bed to place in front of a window may seem like a good idea. Whether your purpose is to block some light, or if it’s your only option for placement, you may need to do some refiguring. One problem is that the light coming in the window will cause some serious fading to any material that’s in the path. If it’s a bed that’s placed across a window, you also face a lack of privacy. 


    You can fix any of these issues quite simply with some drapery. Drapery helps to filter the light, reducing the heat in the room. Using curtains will also help you to reduce the incidence of fading on your fabrics. Curtains also help to keep your privacy. While it can be difficult to arrange a small room where a window is your only option for furniture placement, the simple addition of curtains really makes a difference.


    The holiday season is here and with it is the Christmas carols, sales and...trees. Setting up a Christmas tree is one of the most magical and memorable traditions of the season. At least, it is for those who get to simply put decorations on it or admire it from afar. This year make it the easiest part of the holidays by starting with a well-formed plan.

    Admittedly it’s not a very complex plan, but having these few steps sorted out and ready beforehand makes the whole process go much smoother (and stress-free).

    Prepare the area you’d like to place the tree beforehand. Avoid windows, radiators, and fireplaces which can lead to your tree rapidly drying out. You’ll want to move everything out of the way to easily bring in and set up the tree. Measure this area out and write it down to bring with you the day of. You’ll want to not only know the height of your ceiling but also the dimensions of the surface area where you’ll be placing your tree in.

    You’ll also want to know the measurements of your tree stand. Know what the max and minimum width your stand can support. You don’t want to find out the trunk of your tree is too big or small after you make the cut. If you’re buying a new tree stand, choosing one with a larger water basin will mean less watering throughout the week.

    If you plan on bringing home a very tall tree having a large piece of plywood to attach your tree stand to will help keep it balanced and out of danger from tipping. Regardless of the height of your tree placing a sheet of plastic or some tarp down will protect flooring from the tree and potential water damage. It’s not the most glamorous look but nothing a tree skirt can’t hide.

    Put the stand on before bringing your tree in. It’s much easier to get a stand on a horizontal tree than trying to muscle up and aim for the “bullseye” from above. Put it tight enough to stay on but loose enough to reposition. When tightening the stand onto your tree you want to make sure the tree is perfectly vertical. Have someone give the thumbs up from a distance that the tree is straight.

    Trim the very top of the tree of branches that obstruct the ability to put your tree topper on and any straggling branches that throw off the evenness of your trees triangular shape. Give the tree 24 hours to “settle in” before decorating.

    Throughout the first few days of bringing your tree home, you’ll want to keep a very close eye on the water levels in the stand. It will most likely need to be watered several times a day for this time. Always keep those water levels topped off to avoid a dried out fire hazard. Never allow the level to go lower than the stump as your tree will start sealing up with pitch and no longer able to absorb water and stay fresh.




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