Greenery In the Workroom

Scott and I spent the weekend in Kokomo, Indiana (it’s more than just a song – it’s a real town!) celebrating the one year birthday of our (ridiculously adorable) little nephew Max. Our messy home and my racing mind had me feeling anxious about the twenty to-dos I’d hoped to get done, but you know what? The time away was so, so necessary, forcing us to enjoy some much needed down time with family and friends. Oh, Kim. Sometimes I need that push to remember to slooow down. Enjoy. Relax.

One day two freshly invigorated minds later, we returned home Sunday afternoon to the first warm day Chicago has seen in months, which felt like the just-right time to take your greenery suggestions and hit our local nursery, Adams & Son Gardens. We were on a quest to find a tall, hearty plant for the workroom, and we not only came home with a winner (or four), but full of great advice from the staff (who we just adore; these guys are awesome!).


We let them know that we have a house full of pets – one of which (ahem, Miss Maddie) loves to treat herself to a green lunch from time to time. We were being overly cautious as we shot off question after question, although Maddie has never done any serious damage to any previous house plants other than a small nibble. Being mindful of this toxic plant list (thank you to reader Amanda for sharing that link!), we voiced our concerns for upset kitty bellies and our growing frustration that seemingly every plant seemed to be on the hit list. We also told them of our notorious black thumbs, but with all the light our ‘new’ house receives, it was about time we learn a thing or two; this home is craving plant life, and we were ready to make. It. Work.

The super sweet owner was so patient with us and our long list of likes, dislikes and concerns, and we came home with a huge – no, enormous!snake plant. It’s low on the toxicity list (our Maddie girl would need to consume multiple entire stalks for it to be harmful – the equivalent to 1 liter of the plant’s extract!), and for pet safety, he let us know that over 85% of house plants will be on this list. He loaded us up with the proper soil to use and told us to give our new plant a watering once every two weeks.

With his blessing, we felt comfortable with our purchase, but after potting it later that evening and placing it in the workroom, we were thrilled with our choice. It’s huge!


The 14″ navy planter was also purchased at the nursery, and, hey – do you remember these guys? If you’ve been with us for a while, you know I love a good dino! With our terrarium long gone (we’d like to blame the move, but let’s be real here), this felt like a proper home. And who are we to resist a dose of good quirk?


Our plant was so large, that we actually broke off a handful of unruly stems and re-potted them in the only extra planter we had on hand. Goodness knows they won’t last long in there, so we’ll need to upgrade that little terracotta pot soon!


Of course right before checkout, I spotted a slew of Croton-Banana plants, so those came home, too. We had one on our previous home’s console and it held up really well (even for us), but again – can we blame the move for its demise? (That’s a thing, right? Plant stress?)


Everything for the workroom seems to be falling into place, and every item that was wish-listed, needed and ordered are finally all under this roof. I’ve been busy pulling it all together, and soon enough, I’ll be breaking down dozens of moving boxes since all the things will have a home!

Thank you to everyone who chimed in on Friday with plant suggestions and tips. You all are the best. (The cat’s pajamas!)

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  • Kerri4.1.14 - 7:27 AM

    yay! i love snake plants and they’re great for pets! great choice! it’s beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • angela4.1.14 - 7:42 AM

    The snake plant was a fantastic choice. My son has had one for a few years and it requires very little care and I love how sculptural they are.

    Angela @ Number Fifty-ThreeReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.14 - 8:34 AM

      Excellent. I like the sound of “years”!ReplyCancel

  • Lyndsey4.1.14 - 8:11 AM

    Great choice, it’s fabulous! Just a tidbit of info (that i learned when we moved into our home), leaving your pot sitting on your hardwoods can damage the floor. I bought plant bases (with wheels!) at Ikea for $10 that i sit my plant pots on. Gotta protect those lovely floors :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.14 - 8:34 AM

      Oh, sheesh, shows how much we know! There is a plate under the pot… are you saying it needs to be elevated off of the hardwood floor? Thanks, Lyndsey!ReplyCancel

      • Lyndsey4.1.14 - 10:43 AM

        Yep, i thought the plate was enough too but my mom informed me that it needs to be elevated off the floor. I believe her as the old house we bought had lots of black stains on the hardwoods that need to be refinished, and it’s most likely from moisture that can get caught between the plate and floor. Learning through error!ReplyCancel

        • Nina4.2.14 - 12:14 AM

          Yes, I can also attest to the black marks left under plants on plates.
          While I’m sorry to hear the terrarium won’t be resurrected I am certainly glad to see your dinos are doing well. :)ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse]4.1.14 - 9:07 AM

    It’s amazing how much plants make a space come to life!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey d.4.1.14 - 9:07 AM

    I LOVE my snake plant (also called Mother-in-law’s tongue). I got mine more than a year ago and it’s going strong with very little intervention (I dump a big glass of water on it every week or so). I love that it’s mostly safe for the cats (we have three and one is a definite chewer). Even so, we’ve got the plant in a tall bullet planter and keep it away from counters or tables that the cats could use to get to it. It makes me feel extra safe (and the bullet planter is so retro it makes me squeal!).ReplyCancel

  • I love snake plants and this looks so beautiful! I can’t wait to see the whole workroom.ReplyCancel

  • Kate4.1.14 - 10:51 AM

    Oh my goodness – the pots in that last photo are so incredibly pretty. Love them!ReplyCancel

  • KJ4.1.14 - 11:23 AM

    I’ve been in a houseplant buying frenzy lately. We too have a bright and white office and the greenery just looks too good! I’m just wondering what the folks at the nursery said about the toxicity of the crotons. I just bought one this weekend but then I heard they are very toxic for cats. And of course that’s the plant my cat is most attracted to!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.14 - 11:33 AM

      Honestly, we didn’t ask them about the Croton because they’re going to be on a shelf up high – there’s no way Maddie would jump up there (she’s not the most… um, active cat!).ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design4.1.14 - 8:32 PM

    Love the snake plants and just bought one too! Put it into a copper potReplyCancel

  • kory4.1.14 - 11:28 PM

    Nice! I really like how the plants look as if they are underwater, just waiting for Nemo to peek out from somewhere! :)ReplyCancel


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