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Martha's Green Room in Bedford: 5 Ways She Decorates with Lush Plants

As expressive as paintings and as appealing as antiques, houseplants bring life to every room. They're also Martha's secret to decorating her Bedford home with a flourish.

Photography by: Pieter Estersohn

At Cantitoe Corners, Martha's home in Bedford, New York, greenery reigns supreme. "I enjoy changing the landscape indoors just as much as I do building a landscape outside," says Martha. "I love versatility of potted plants as decoration for my house." This is the aptly named Green Room in Bedford, where a lot of inspirational design techniques have taken root. Here are a few ways to breathe life into your surroundings, just like Martha.

1. Set the Stage

The subtle palette of browns, grays, and greens on the walls and furnishings provide a visually congenial setting for foliage so shapely, blossoms so vivid, and clay pots so handsome, they seem to double as art objects. The colors "make a great backdrop for foliage and flowers, but they also take your eye into the garden," says Martha.


2. Opt for Lush, Leafy Houseplants

Houseplants bring a sense of life to any space they occupy. The shape and texture of the leaves add visual interest to the monochrome color palette seen here, and lend a friendly, welcoming air to the formal furnishings.


3. Put Your Plants on a Pedestal -- Literally

Between the windows, a marble-and-wood pedestal table -- a gift from Martha's daughter, Alexis, brings a cluster of gesneriads (cousins of the African violet) to new heights. And flanking the fireplace in Martha's Green Room are Greek Revival stone columns that elevate a pair of stately jade plants. Twin Irish Georgian sofas facing each other reflect the symmetry of the plants balanced on their pedestals.


4. Add Sparkle and Shine

To offset the earthy tones in the room, Martha brightens up the space using elegant brass accents on the table, next to the fireplace, on the walls, and suspended from the ceiling. An early-19th-century Swedish mirror reflects the sparkly Austrian giltwood chandelier while also doubling the light in the room.

Photography by: Pieter Estersohn

5. Utilize Flea-Market Finds

Complement plants authentically (and without breaking the bank) by using rustic containers collected from flea markets, thrift stores, and tag sales, like Martha does. She buys silver-plated saucers, like the ones seen here, for a few dollars each.



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