This Plant Lover Turned a Room in Her Home into an Indoor Greenhouse

Name: Kate Scanlon and family
Location: North-East Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 1.5 years, renting

When Kate Scanlon’s son Finn was born, she needed a creative outlet while at home with a baby, so began her plant journey. She started cultivating indoor plants and learning a lot in the process, alongside collecting an impressive array of ceramic art, too. Kate and her family, plus their two dogs and two cats, moved from the inner-city Melbourne to the outer North-East of Melbourne in order to accommodate her family’s needs, as well as her ever-growing indoor plant collection. She has even converted an office space into her very own indoor greenhouse in the middle of their home! Kate has since followed her passion and is now working as a nursery manager. You can follow her beautiful plant world on Instagram.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Let’s say eclectic, relaxed, and plant-focused. With a 3-year-old (Finn), two dogs (India and Diesel), and two cats (Rorschach and Bleu), we’ve learned that we can’t invest in expensive furniture. Also, being renters, we’ve had to readapt to a new space every few years (along with having furniture from family members that we can’t… replace). So I focus on making each space still have small pockets of things that bring joy, namely in the form of handmade ceramics, plants, and art.

Inspiration: So much of how I style my home is honestly based around plants. They inspire me in so many ways, from color palettes, patterns, how to include more plants in each space, and my art choices. I’m also lucky to have contact with some amazing local artists and designers through my work at Plantsmith, and they’re constantly inspiring me to try something new.

Favorite Element: It would have to be the greenhouse in the middle of the house! Whenever I can find time, I’m in there. We chose the house almost because of that central room and its possible plant uses.

Biggest Challenge: Renting. It makes it hard to really have the house the way I’d like it in an ideal world. For example, I love dramatic pendant lights, and can’t stand the current tile choices, but we just need to work with it.

What Friends Say: How do you look after all these plants?!? (Although, most friends are plant nerds and beeline straight to the jungle room.)

Biggest Embarrassment: My dining chairs, but that’s probably not appropriate to say, given that they were a present from my in-laws (for my partner’s parents’ wedding… not our wedding, though).

Proudest DIY:  Converting the office in the middle of the house into my indoor greenhouse, or “jungle room”. It’s been a labour of love, but being able to grow the plants that I do in that space is incredibly rewarding. And I get to see them while I’m still inside! I have a lot of plants in that room that simply wouldn’t have their requirements met if they were somewhere else in the house.

Biggest Indulgence: Well, plants. And I have a weak spot for incredible Australian handmade ceramicists. The “Araceae” piece by Brian Cheung in the living room is one of my biggest indulgences, though, and I still see new details every time I look at it.

Best Advice: Work with what you have, and in your budget, and add character to that to make it your home. There’s nothing wrong with high-low styling. And greenery! Always plants. They bring instant calm and life to a space. Choosing the right plants for each spot will make caring for an indoor jungle much less work, though.

Dream Sources: One day I’ll get a Dreamer Sofa from Pop & Scott, one of David Bromley’s nudes, and everything from Great Dane Furniture and Fred International.


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