Interior Design New York - Upscale Interior Design for the Sophisticated New Yorker

Do you love the idea of growing lush houseplants in your apartment but have a thumb that’s any color but green? Fortunately, options exist that thrive on neglect and poor conditions. Following are six plants that perform well in urban indoor environments and don’t need extra care and fuss.

Snake Plant

Snake plants thrive in low light and can go months without water. They provide a dramatic, upwards silhouette that pairs well with the urban minimalist interior design and doesn’t take as much space as plants with horizontal growth patterns.


Peace Lily

The gorgeous dark green leaves and large, white flowers of the peace lily make it a striking addition to any indoor decor. It has the added benefit of acting as an air purifier. Never place a peace lily in direct sunlight. You’ll know when it needs watering because the leaves will begin to droop.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera plants need a relatively bright location, so place yours need a window with a southern or western exposure. Only water the plant when the soil has dried out completely. Aloe vera performs best in soil that provides excellent drainage, so use potting soil designed for use with cacti. Your aloe vera plant can also do double duty as a burn salve — just snip off a tip and hold the inner tissues of the affected area. Aloe vera can grow over three feet tall, but if you don’t want yours to get that large, leaving it in a smaller pot will do the trick.

Spider Plants

Spider plants are excellent choices for city apartments because they’re typically placed in hanging baskets and therefore don’t take up valuable surface space. They aren’t fussy about the light at all, and they thrive when their roots are crowded, so you won’t have to remember to re-pot them as they grow. They also self-propagate by creating small versions of themselves that hang from existing stems, ensuring a constant source of visual interest. You can re-pot the baby spider plants and re-plant them yourself or give them friends and family, or you can simply leave them on the parent plant.



Bamboo is a beautiful plant that thrives indoors when it’s given water, shade, and plenty of neglect. Its dramatic horizontal growth habit makes it perfect for placing on a shelf about midway between the floor and ceiling with a light-colored wall as a backdrop.


Ficus is otherwise known as an ornamental fig tree. This tree is a common indoor plant that thrives as long as it has well-drained soil and receives light applications of fertilizer during the spring and summer growing season. Ficus makes an excellent accent plant, so place it in a highly visible area of your apartment.

Once you’ve mastered basic indoor horticulture techniques by introducing one or more of the above options into your indoor living environment, you’ll undoubtedly want to continue your journey with the wonderful world of house plants by moving on to some more challenging varieties.


Home is your private domain, and the choices you make when decorating your home are important. They will affect how both you and guests feel and serve as an expression of style as well as functionality. Before you decide on color and furniture, think of your overall goal for each room, and how it will affect the feel of your home as a whole.

Now, let’s talk about the five essential elements of home design:

1. Color

Color is the element that will make or break your room. Your color palette should set the mood for the room, even so far as determining how bright and open it feels. Different colors elicit different emotions as well, so be selective when picking out paint swatches.

When choosing a color palette, be aware that different colors elicit different moods.

When choosing a color palette, be aware that different colors elicit different moods.

2. Focal Point

Your eye naturally draws to the focal point of a room. Usually a fireplace or a central piece of furniture in the entertainment center. All design builds around and accentuates this convener naturally, and uses it to harmonize the room.

3. Lighting

Lighting will also profoundly affect the mood and openness of the room. Rooms that are dark seem smaller, and rooms that are naturally well-lit feel more open and inviting. Be aware of the ambient lighting of the room, and add accent lighting as necessary.

Select lighting carefully to set the ambiance of the room.

Select lighting carefully to set the ambiance of the room.

4. Proportions & Balance

Proportion refers to the size and arrangement of furniture against the scale of the room. Deeper furniture gives the illusion of a larger room, for example. Also, consider the size of rugs and curtains against everything else. If you don’t leave enough space between them, it will feel small and closed off. Too much and it will feel empty or redundant, so be careful where you choose to overlap.

5. Harmony and Unity

These are very important elements. The harmony and unity determine whether the room feels as if it is a whole or just furniture on the floor. If you gather all of the elements together the room should feel as if it is a puzzle where the pieces are perfectly fit together, encouraging natural eye movement between them.

There are three primary choices as far as the style choice of decorating around the focal point of your design:

1. Symmetrical

Designs and patterns are placed symmetrically across the room. For example, there is the same patterned pillow on either side of the couch, the table has an identical end piece at each end, etc. Symmetry in rooms mimics the symmetry of our own features and makes us more comfortable in a space.

Symmetrical design elements can be comforting.

Symmetrical design elements can be comforting.

2. Asymmetry

This is a slightly difficult task to achieve in a design, as asymmetrical design must be a careful balance of objects and patterns that compliment one another and carry equal visual weight to one another. You should pay attention to each individual piece and how it will shift the balance of the room so that it doesn’t feel chaotic.

3. Radial Symmetry

When all the elements of design are arranged around the focal point. Such as in the case of a spiral staircase or central table, where everything would be placed around rather than layered.

Pay attention to each element of designing your individual rooms and always try to keep the overall theme of the entire house in mind, so that each room compliments how you want your home to feel. As long as you keep your goal in mind, you’ll stay on your way to expressing your sense of self in your home.


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