Discover how to breathe new energy into your home with verdant greenery
by Michelle Mastro
“Plants breathe new life into a home and offer a wealth of benefits. Adding plants goes beyond improving the look of a space.”
–Jill Lamberson, Owner, The Bungalow
Over the past few years, houseplants, florals, and botanical displays have become increasingly popular. As people remain at home—and look to bridge their indoor and outdoor spaces—more homeowners are filling their abodes with plants. Jill Lamberson, owner of The Bungalow, knows all about the advantages of transforming a residence into a beloved home with leafy green beauties.
“Plants breathe new life into a home and offer a wealth of benefits. Adding plants goes beyond improving the look of a space. Plants benefit your health, from supplying oxygen to offering something worth nurturing,” she explains.
Lamberson helps her clients usher in living, breathing plants through her Whitefish-based business, The Bungalow. For her, bouquets and houseplants are more than decoration. “I was attracted to this particular design niche because you can’t look at plants as just décor. When you’re dealing with a living thing, it resonates with people on a different level,” she says. Plants pull the viewer’s attention, infusing a room with value that goes beyond simple aesthetics. “You are seeing something growing and changing. Plus, you’re caring for it and nurturing it. This is the real reason people are starting to collect houseplants,” she adds.
Anyone can learn to care for plants, and every interior style can feature them. “It comes down to the right vessel,” Lamberson observes. “It’s all based on individuality, on the client’s space, especially in this area where people have more rustic or organic spaces.” But Whitefish has seen a wave of more modern and contemporary builds, and Lamberson finds that some clients are eager to experiment with a range of plant varieties. “It makes my job very interesting,” she continues. “You can use the same plant in two very different spaces and come up with different looks for each.” The right vessel can truly transform succulents, ferns, or even orchids to fit any style or aesthetic for the intended interiors.
In fact, Lamberson works with clients who prefer to keep with the classics. Orchids, usually utilized in exotically modern spaces, work surprisingly well with traditional looks. “I have a client who loves her dazzling and classic white spaces paired with lovely pale-hued orchids to create a timeless vibe in her home,” Lamberson says. The exotic flowering plant provides subtle pops of color.
Like anything else in décor matters, diligently curating a space is key. A popular category of plant Lamberson tends to use is ferns. “The majority of my clientele are seasonal homeowners, so coming up here is a treat for them to see the ferns of this climate,” she says. Ferns contribute to a Montana mountain aesthetic. And while some can be very high-maintenance, there are many that are hardy and drought-tolerant. “I connect the right plants with the right person with the mind for the right care. I never minimalize the basics when I teach clients how to care for their plants,” she explains.
Sometimes a simple refresh is all it takes. “I work with clients, telling them, ‘This is what we did last year; this is what we will do again this year.’ Plugging in the basics of care, basics of light, refreshing people’s memory on all these crucial pieces of plant care helps the plants thrive in their homes,” Lamberson says. “Having a black thumb, as opposed to a green one, is a myth.”
Caring for plants can be a trial-and-error process. Lamberson wants people to have success with their plants by sticking with them to the point that they become a part of her clients’ daily lives. “Some people turn away from using fresh, living items in their homes because they tried it and they think it didn’t work for them that one time,” she notes. Instead, finding the right plant for the right space sometimes means discovering the right teacher.