The 1970s have had a huge influence in home trends for a few years now and it doesn’t look as though that influence is going anywhere anytime soon. The warmer shades of the spectrum – think mustard yellow, rust orange, soft peach, green shades and plenty of gold – as well as natural materials such as rattan and macramé are giving our homes a cosy and inviting feeling, something we crave when we want to feel more grounded.


Alongside these trends is the spectacular return of the humble house plant. Not only do indoor plants add an organic, natural element to our interiors and marry with just about any interior design style you may love, they come with a host of incredible health benefits.

Did you know that plants can make you more creative? That they can help you to be sick less and make you think more clearly? Here are just a few of the ways that science has shown us why house plants don’t just look good but are beneficial for both your home as well as your health.

Plants Boost Your Mental Health

Whether we’re trekking through a patch of woodlands or simply heading to the park to walk the dog, a walk outdoors in nature lifts our mood. There’s a reason for that. Nature is well known to help us alleviate stress, depression and anxiety.

Surrounding yourself with plants indoors helps to trigger the same chemical response in our brain on a smaller scale, releasing serotonin – also known as ‘the happy hormone’ – which lifts our mood in a completely natural way.

Researchers have even identified microbes (M. vaccae nicknamed “outdoorphins”) in the soil we use to pot up our plants. These have benefits too, as the microbes boost the release of cytokines in our brains which in turn leads to the release of additional serotonin.

Plants Make You More Creative

As well as lifting your mood, house plants can increase the amount of oxygen in the air which allows us to concentrate better, increase reaction time and allow us to tap into our memories.

A 2013 study by Neuroscientist David Strayer has shown this can also make us more creative, quieting the prefrontal cortex in our brain (the region involved in multi-tasking, critical thinking and problem solving) and instead activates the imagination network in our brain, allowing it to “idly wander or to dip into our deep storehouse of memories, ideas and emotions”.

Plants Help Distract Us from Physical Pain

We’re genetically inbuilt to find nature soothing so it’s a great distraction from physical pain and discomfort. Studies have shown that hospital patients who have plants in their room or a view of green space in their window feel pain less easily and, in some cases, actually recovered faster.

Patients with plants had lower blood pressure, lower ratings of pain, less anxiety and less fatigue than patients without plants in their room.

Including plants in our homes may provide those same benefits to our own physical health, increasing a positive response in both mind and body.

Plants Make Us Better Workers

If you work from home, you might find that including a few plants around your desk area can actually be more beneficial than not having them at all.

In 2017, a study showed that people who work in spaces with greenery had a 26% boost in cognition and they recorded 30% fewer sickness-related absences. Bringing plants into your home working environment – whether we work at a desk or the dining table - can help us concentrate easier and get through our work faster.

House Plants Give You Cleaner Air to Breath

Unfortunately, our indoor environments can be higher in pollutants than our outside air with things like plastics, fabrics, carpet cleaners and fabric softeners creating VOCs (volatile organic compounds) exposing us to fine particles, leading to dry eyes, headaches or even more serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses. Happily, house plants can help clean our indoor air too.

Scientists studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants have found that in addition to carbon dioxide, they’ll also help eliminate harmful compounds in VOCs by absorbing them into their leaves and roots. The microorganisms that live in the soil of potted plans also play a role, neutralising VOCs and other pollutants.

In fact, research highlights that rooms with house plants contain up to 60% less airborne moulds and bacteria than those without any greenery.

With large windows that let in plenty of natural light and the ability to add your own personal touch, Essential Living offers rental spaces in beautiful London areas, perfect for adding house plants to your home. With so much scientific evidence suggesting that house plants are good for our home and health, isn’t it time you welcome some greenery into your home?

Kimberly Duran


Through her blog Swoon Worthy, writer and creator Kimberly Duran has been teaching millions of readers for over a decade how to create a home packed full of personality. Allowing readers into her ‘eclectic boho glam’ home, Kimberly shares accessible design ideas, DIYs, styling tips, trends and inspires her readers via her own personal journey.