The Plant Charmer's 'Plants with Personality'

The Plant Charmer's 'Plants with Personality'

Lockdown has encouraged me to give my green thumb (another) chance. Although being a plant-parent is quite the responsibility (and I have two children!), I think they are worth it for the charm + personality they give an interior - this goes for plants too ;-) .  

 I've invited Sage x Clare friend, Ryan Klewer, aka 'Plant Charmer', to give us the low-down on how to add personality to your own home using indoor plants.


1. Howdy Ryan! Confession: we love your home (after eye-spying it on The Design Files).  Tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, what you do + why you do it?

Why thanks! I'm so grateful that the amazing team over at TDF chose to feature my place!

Indoor plant styling

To start, my name is Ryan, but most people just refer to me now as "that plant guy" and I'm totally okay with that.

I live with my partner in Collingwood, Victoria. We love the friendly atmosphere and the creativity in the area. There are so many cool established businesses, as well as up-and-coming ones that don't shy away from pushing the boundaries.

Plant charmer

I own and run a plant design studio called Plant Charmer. Essentially it's interior design, but with a major focus on plants.

My scope of work ranges from large commercial installations to intimate residential projects. One day I could be overseeing the delivery and installation of hundreds of plants and the next I could be helping a client choose between furnishings.

The thing I love most about my job is that it's incredibly dynamic. No two days are ever the same. I'm surrounded by amazing clients that allow me to have full autonomy over how their space will look, allowing me to flex my creative muscles and produce truly unique outcomes. 

2. Let’s say our home is currently plant-less (I know! The atrocity!), what type of plant would you suggest for a beginner to the indoor plant game and why?

Everyone has been in those shoes before, as we all have to start somewhere! The most common answer to this question is to stick to the most forgiving plants, such as a peace lily, snake plant or fruit salad plant.

Fruit salad plant
*Fruit Salad plant

However, I like to offer different advice. I believe you can go a little bit bolder, but just make sure you understand what it is you're buying first and pay close attention to the plant once you bring it home. Read the tags, talk to the people at the nursery and do a cheeky Google.

Once you have found a plant that can live in the conditions in your home, observe it. Take note where in your house it appears happier. Growing plants in your home is all about learning through trial and error. Even the best of us still have our casualties and that's totally okay!

The key is trying not to make the same mistake twice (or thrice!).

3. We’re big fans of layered, characterful homes that prioritise personality over perfection, do you have any hot tips on how to add to that aesthetic with plants?

The quirkier the plant looks, the more I'm attracted to it!

I'll always seek out the most wonky-looking plant in the nursery. They have so much more personality and bring an element of character to a space.

Don't be afraid to pick the odd one in the bunch! Also, as I mentioned before - if you find a plant that you love, or is a bit weird, and doesn't break the bank, give it a crack!

Quirky plantStyling with plants

4. Which plants never fail to make you smile, the ones that get better with time/age?

As I said earlier- the quirkier and more abstract the better in my eyes!

Whenever I spot a plant growing in someone's yard that is all gnarled and scraggly, I always stop and admire it! You can instantly tell that it has had to fight hard in life to reach the sun, so I also appreciate that it's a tough cookie and a survivor. 

Indoor plant styling

5. We love a funky plant pot here at Sage x Clare, do you have any go-to shops/recommendations on where to source them?

I absolutely adore the pots that come out of Lightly down here in Melbourne!

Their colour palettes, shape and forms complement plants so well and the way they art direct their photography is very inspiring. 

Lightly pot

High Swan Dive in Newcastle has an amazing array of pots from all over the world as well. The collection by Mari Masot is jaw-dropping.

Mari Mascot

Another option is to find some cheap, basic looking pots from your local hardware store and paint them yourself! That's what my partner and I have done in our space to get the exact look we were looking to achieve.

Thanks so much Ryan for sharing your knowledge, and thanks for igniting our desire to move into a converted warehouse ASAP!

You can contact Ryan and check out his work on his website, or say howdy on Instagram.


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