ISSUE 64  |  Loft Living

5 Favorites: Lofty House Plants

March 22, 2013 6:00 PM

BY Justine Hand

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The design conundrum of "how to make the most of a small space" gets a lot of attention these days. But sometimes creating a cozy environment in a lofty room can be equally challenging. One easy fix for looming spaces is to fill them with an indoor tree.

Wondering which large-scale plants work well indoors? Not to worry. This recent house plant convert and new owner of a copious abode has been doing some research.

Above: Adding a sense of drama and perhaps a bit of wit ("Did you really just come inside?"), a laceleaf maple makes a statement in this soaring entryway. A 3-gallon pot acer dissectum (Laceleaf), as well as other maples, can be purchased from Sooner Plant Farm; $89. For more information visit Japanese Maples Online. Photo by Michael Graydon.

But would you really wrap a root ball in burlap? See Design Sleuth: There's a Maple Tree in the House.

N.B. A word of caution: though we love this look, we have a feeling this specimen is on its way outdoors, as most experts recommend against planting maples indoors.

Above: Five trees provide a striking vertical element, as well as a bit of greenery, in the kitchen of São Paulo architect Guilherme Torres. Upstairs, the tops of the trees create a lush view out of the bedroom window.

Above: I love the idea of adding a bit of Mediterranean romance in my home with a silvery potted olive tree. Willis Orchard carries a large variety of olive trees in myriad sizes. A 5 to 6 foot Lucca olive tree is $185. Photo via image from AnoukB & Marjon Hoogervorst.

Above: Framing a lofty bed, a lemon tree provides an intimate canopy. Meyer Lemon trees grow indoors, but remember that these citruses need from eight to 12 hours of sunlight per day. Organic, 3-year-old lemon trees are available at Four Winds Growers for $49. Photo by Mikael Dubois. Styling by Lotta Agaton.

Above: Take advantage of the tropical climate in your lofty bath to grow bananas. Aarons Farm offer a variety of types and sizes, including large ornamentals (no fruit) similar to the one above; $109. Image via Skona Hem.

Above: Framed in the doorway of this striking space by Lotta Agaton, an abundant fig softens the monochromatic decor. A 3- to 4-Year-Old Celeste Fig is available at for $56.

Above: Photographer Anita Calero fills the upper reaches of her New York loft with the feathery fronds of a tree fern. Similar ferns are available at the Fern Factory; $25. Image via Loft Life.

Above: A potted ginkgo enjoys the sun at this Malibu ranch. Similar trees are now on sale at Nursery Hills; $49.95 for a 5- to 6-foot plant. Photo via House Beautiful.

Have a slightly less lofty home? Don't worry, I already selected some favorite Mini House Plants for you.