Plants create a living wall that separates the kitchen from the open space plan of the loft. Hilton Carter @ CICO Books 2020.

Plants create a living wall that separates the kitchen from the open space plan of the loft. Hilton Carter @ CICO Books 2020.

Born to love wild

Are you feeling wild today? Want to take a peak into homes where plants rule?

It’s a mindset that Hilton Carter, passionate lover of all things green and author of Wild Interiors, Beautiful Plants in Beautiful Spaces, CICO Books 2020, explores and practices on a daily basis. After surveying restaurants, hotels, and public spaces as well as the countless homes he has visited and styled, Carter notes that filling spaces where people gather with greenery has become a new way of life. To so many of us the need to surround ourselves with plants is just that: life.

As Carter takes us on a journey through 12 very special plant-lovers’ homes, he offers styling tips. Artist Alina Fassakhova has amassed 80 plants that happily grow in clusters throughout her loft apartment. In part they act as living screens demarcating spaces in an open plan design.

Philodendron and Alocasia separate Alina’s kitchen from the rest of the space making the transition feel natural and not blocking out light as a screen would do. It’s not easy for her to pick a favourite plant, but Alina does choose the variegated Monstera because every leaf has a unique, abstract pattern.

Carter has laced his book with valuable information on a wide variety of plants including plant descriptions and instructions on light requirements, temperature, watering and repotting. There’s even a section on trending plants

In Antwerp Belgium, when Sofie and Yannick renovated a townhouse built in 1905, they had two things in mind: finding more space for our cats and plants and finding new ways to integrate plants into different rooms and lighting conditions. In the room that opens out to a patio they built a beam and added a skylight so they could hang plants and a hanging chair.

Carter calls this a plant throne, a place to sit and survey all the beautiful greenery in your kingdom. Prominent plants in this photo are Monstera deliciosa, rubber plant and fiddle-leaf fig. The jungle vibe is all around but balanced in rooms where smaller plants sit on side tables.

Carter has a few words for pets vs plants. Acknowledging that plants can be toxic to pets he suggests hanging climbing or trailing plants up high, grouping small plants along a window sill leaving no room for jumping felines, and choosing larger tree-like plants that have tall trunks, which keeps the foliage out of reach.

Plants require the right “outfits” to sit in. Another point of style for Carter is how the plants are presented. Choose a selection of pots and hangers that suit the size and growth patterns of your plants. In Sara’s duplex cottage in L.A., her living room has an intriguing display of plants. A fiddle-leaf fig, a bird of paradise, sword fern and golden pothos thrive in comely pots and a large open weave basket.

Carter offers a guide for plant selection according to the available light in each room as well as which plants suit specific rooms. Understand your light and space requirements before you bring home these new friends. It is a great source of happiness tending to the plants and watching them thrive under your care.

Written by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email decorating questions to Follow Debbie at,,

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Photo via Hilton Carter @ CICO Books 2020                                Position a “plant throne” in the midst of your indoor jungle and enjoy.

Photo via Hilton Carter @ CICO Books 2020 Position a “plant throne” in the midst of your indoor jungle and enjoy.

Just Posted

Quentin Lee Strawberry Photo from RCMP
O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

"They’re angry. They’re frustrated,” Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling says of his members, whose pension assets have been transferred to a provincial Crown corporation. (Photo contributed)
Only 17% of Albertans support draft curriculum: teachers’ association

Fewer than one-in-five Albertans support the provincial government’s draft K-6 curriculum, says… Continue reading

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man to apply to withdraw manslaughter guilty plea

Tyler John Campbell wants to change plea after judge rejected seven-year sentence

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine being prepared at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the University of Toronto campus in Mississauga, Ont., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Canada to get two million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses as provinces expand rollouts

OTTAWA — Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the… Continue reading

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh listens to a question as he speaks with reporters on Parliament Hill, Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in Ottawa. Singh says he believes there's a connection between anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests and far-right extremism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Jagmeet Singh says link exists between anti-maskers and far-right extremism

OTTAWA — Federal New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh is the latest… Continue reading

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Iqaluit elders home evacuated after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

IQALUIT, Nunavut — An elders home in Iqaluit was evacuated on the… Continue reading

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Boost in near-term funds, risk should lure more social-finance investors, Hussen says

OTTAWA — Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says he expects changes to… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday May 7, 2021. Canada's justice and heritage ministers will be recalled to justify a change to the Broadcasting Act that critics warn could erode the rights of individuals users who upload content to social media. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Heritage committee to seek answers from ministers on C-10 changes

OTTAWA — Canada’s justice and heritage ministers will be recalled to justify… Continue reading

Young people line up for COVID-19 vaccines at Downsview Arena in Toronto on Monday, May 10, 2021. Ontario has just opened up vaccines for 18+ in high risk areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Vaccine rollouts expand, but COVID-19 caseloads still high in some provinces

There were signs of hope that Ontario and Quebec are making progress… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vile of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after providing doses to customers at the Junction Chemist in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in light of uncertain future supply of all the shots approved for use in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Ontario likely to mix 1st and 2nd vaccine doses amid lack of AstraZeneca supply

TORONTO — Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in… Continue reading

Opinion piece
Opinion: O’Toole’s carbon taxes would come with big costs for families

Erin O’Toole’s proposed carbon taxes would cost you more to heat your… Continue reading

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan's decision to travel to Arizona for a holiday has been sharply criticized by many.
Advocate file photo
Jason Stephan: Mothers are unsung heroes during these challenging times

During these challenging times, politicians of all persuasions have recognized “front line”… Continue reading

Most Read